August 30, 2016 | The EastMakers Program, a new incubator focusing on the Internet of Things and hardware, launched Monday night in Tel Aviv at and event at the Google Campus. The program is a collaboration between StartupEast, a three-year old incubator that helps Israeli companies expand into Asian markets, and MakeMountain, a Shenzen-based incubator that helps companies in the field of manufacturing. It is the first such program focused on IOT and Hardware. The joint venture will choose three start-ups for its first round, which will receive pre-seed investment and free services equivalent to $100,000, a one-month preparation program, and an incubation period in Shenzen to help them get their China operations up and running.
August 30, 2016 | Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia, the Israeli directors of a popular music video for British rock band Coldplay’s song “Up&Up” won an MTV Video Music award for best visual effects on Sunday night in New York. The song from Coldplay’s “A Head Full Of Dreams” album has amassed over 75 million views on YouTube since being posted on May 16. The “Up&Up” video, with its turtle swimming through a New York City subway station and a baby crawling across the wing of small airplane, was described by the Metro UK as “brilliantly weird.” Chris Martin, front-man for Coldplay, told the Radio station Beats 1, “I think it’s one of the best videos people have made.”Heymann and Muggia were also nominated for best director, but lost out on that award to the artist of the night, Beyonce, who took home seven awards, including video of the year.
August 29, 2016 | The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has opened Israel’s first academic degree program in wine: the International MSc in Viticulture and Enology. The four-semester MSc program begins on March 2, 2017. Students will gain knowledge and skills at an academic level, consistent with leading programs in other wine-producing countries such as France, the United States and Australia, with special emphasis on the Israeli industry. Upon completion, the students will earn a world-recognized MSc degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This is the first MSc level degree in viticulture and enology to be approved by the National Council for Higher Education (CHE) in Israel.
August 25, 2016 | The Israeli enterprise mobility developer SkyGiraffe announced that it closed a $6 million funding round. The round was led by SGVC with participation from Trilogy Equity Partners, Heroku Founder and CEO James Lindenbaum, Parse Founder and CEO Ilya Sukhar, and Lookout Founder and CTO Kevin Mahaffey. The company, which had previously raised $4.5m from 500 Startups, Microsoft Ventures, Trilogy Equity Partners and angels, intends to use the funds to continue expanding its platform among other growth initiatives. Founded by CEO Boaz Hecht and VP of R&D Itay Braun in 2012, and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, with a research and development center in Ramat Gan, Israel.
July 10, 2016 | Israel’s Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd., a global fixed satellites operator of the advanced AMOS satellite fleet, is to be fully acquired by Luxembourg Space Telecommunications, which is owned by Chinese communications company Beijing Xinwei Technology, for $285 million. Spacecom, which was founded in 1995 and is based in Ramat Gan, is owned by Eurocom Group, which is controlled by Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch.
August 24, 2016 | Israeli company Mobileye, which develops vision-based driver assistance systems that help prevent collisions, said Tuesday that it is developing a self-driving system with Delphi Automotive that will be ready for production by 2019. Mobileye cut its ties with Tesla Motors last month after the electric carmaker’s autopilot system faced scrutiny from regulators following a fatal accident in early May. Tesla’s autopilot system uses EyeQ chips from Mobileye to help with image analysis for steering and staying in lanes. Mobileye and Delphi said their technology would cater to automakers that may not necessarily want to develop their own self-driving systems. Mobileye, which was founded by Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram in 1999, recently teamed up with BMW and Intel to manufacture a driverless car by 2021.
August 9, 2016 | Taiwan’s General Mobile Corporation (GMobi) has acquired Israeli mobile ad company MassiveImpact. No financial details were disclosed, but market sources believe the acquisition was for several tens of millions of dollars. Founded in 2005, MassiveImpact is a leading performance advertising platform specializing in social media promotion of mobile applications, which has raised $9.3 million and has 80 employees. MassiveImpact reaches over 1 billion users in 190 countries, with blue chip clientele including leading tech, retail and gaming brands Gameloft, Citibank, AIA, Tencent, and Baidu, among others. The acquisition of MassiveImpact will complement existing mobile technology services provided by GMobi such as Firmware-Over-The-Air (FOTA) updates, secure mobile payments, and mobile advertising. For GMobi customers, the MassiveImpact acquisition means greater value via optimized targeting, content delivery, and end user experiences through the company’s Real Time Performance (RTP) platform.
August 24, 2016 | Olympic bronze medalist judoka Yarden Gerbi has put her name tag up for auction on eBay, saying she will use the money to support the Pediatric Cancer Unit at a Tel Aviv hospital. As of now, the top bid stands at $13,100 or NIS 49,421.09, though with five days left to the auction it will likely rise. Gerbi, whose bronze during the Rio 2016 Games made her just the second Israeli woman to win a medal at the Olympics, says donating the proceeds from the ID tag to the Children’s Cancer Ward at Sourasky Hospital will make it “more special for society.” She says she will dedicate the tag to the winning bidder and sign it for them.
August 23, 2016 | Experts from The Mayo Clinic, an American medical practice and research center which is the largest integrated nonprofit medical practice in the world, will lead the teaching of medical challenges within IDCBeyond, the new entrepreneurship program at IDC Herzliya. The cooperation will be led by Amir Lerman, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, director of the cardiovascular research center, who was recently appointed as head of Mayo Clinic’s new initiative of discovery, investment and cooperation with Israeli companies and technologies. According to Nava Swersky Sofer, Managing Director of IDCBeyond at IDC Herzliya, “The new program is designed to train and qualify participants in developing and establishing innovative ventures by implementing technologies to address global challenges which characterize the 21st century. The cooperation with Mayo Clinic will expose students to the forefront of technology and innovation, and pinpoint the issues facing health systems worldwide. This cooperation opens a number of possibilities for entrepreneurship students, from exploring new horizons to establishing innovative ventures.”
August 22, 2016 | Israeli DIY-website platform company Wix.com announced a sponsorship deal with major league baseball’s New York Yankees. As part of the cooperation package, Wix will be the team’s official website design sponsor and partner for 2016. The partnership will include a campaign to find the New York Yankee’s number one fan. The winner will build a site together with Wix at the TheBiggestYankeeFan.com domain. Wix, founded in 2006 by CEO Avishai Abrahami, CTO Giora Kaplan and VP Client Development Nadav Abrahami, has developed a platform enabling users to easily set up and design their own website. This is not Wix’s first involvement in sport. Six months ago, Wix announced a sponsorship deal with top English soccer team Manchester City and before that the company twice advertised during the Superbowl, the biggest sporting event in the US.
August 22, 2016 | Israeli startup CellSavers, which provides an on-demand repair platform for smartphones and other mobile devices, has completed a $15 million financing round, led by Carmel Ventures, with participation of Sequoia Capital Israel. The current funding follows the company’s $3 million round in seed funding led by Sequoia Capital in December 2015. CellSavers’ platform is based on an end-to-end technological and operational solution, which enables the company to match consumers and skilled professionals in real time. CellSavers was founded in 2015 by CEO Eyal Ronen and president Itai Hirsch.
August 22, 2016 | Indian software company Wipro has invested $1.5 million in Israeli startup cyber security company Intsights. In a filing to the Bombay stock exchange, Wipro said it was acquiring a minority stake in the startup. Founded in 2015 by CEO Guy Nizan, VP Intelligence Alon Arvatz and CTO Gal Ben David, the Herzliya based company infiltrates the cyber-threat underworld to detect and analyze planned or potential attacks and threats. The company also provides advance warning and customized insight concerning potential cyber attacks, including recommended steps to avoid or withstand the attacks and delivers in-depth analysis of cyber threats originating from in-house sources, third-party sources or threat actors. Intsights raised $1.8 million in October 2015 from Glilot Capital Partners. Wipro made the investment through Israel venture capital firm TLV Partners.
August 21, 2016 | Israeli biotech startup Nutrinia has closed $30 million Series D financing to fund two pivotal trials for registration. TPG Biotech led the investment, joined by H.I.G. BioHealth Partners and WuXi Healthcare Ventures, as well as existing investors including OrbiMed, Pontifax and others. The Ramat Gan based company is developing a proprietary oral formulation of insulin for intestinal malabsorption in preterm newborns and Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) in infants. Nutrinia will use the proceeds to initiate two pivotal trials for registration in separate indications related to acceleration of gut maturation and adaptation: intestinal malabsorption in preterm newborns born between 26 and 32 weeks’ gestational age, and infants with SBS who are under 12 months old. Nutrinia was founded by Professor Naim Shehadeh head of Pediatric Diabetes Clinic at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, at the NGT incubator in Nazareth, which was supported by the Jacobs family, who invested in the company’s earlier investment round along with Maabarot.
August 21, 2016 | The Technion’s fourth Student Formula team finished twice in the top ten in the Formula Student competitions held this summer in Europe. In the competition in Hungary, the team finished in 9th place (out of 34 universities) and in the Czech Republic in 8th place (out of 42). Ranking was based on a number of criteria, including business plan presentation, circling the track, a 22 km heat (endurance), driving in figure eights, fuel efficiency and acceleration to a distance of 75 meters. Technion’s Formula car, which competed in the combustion engine category, achieved especially good results in the acceleration heat, the 22 km heat and driving in figure eights – heats that were held on a wet course in the Czech competition. According to the team leader, student Evgeny Guy, “In both competitions the car performed as planned with no unusual problems. All in all, this was our most successful season to date, and we received warm compliments not only from the judges but also from other teams.”
August 18, 2016 | Uber, the world’s largest ride-hailing network, announced today it has acquired Otto, a 90-person startup co-founded by Israeli Lior Ron, which is focused on developing self-driving truck technology. Uber would not comment on the terms of the acquisition, but according to reports, Uber will pay roughly 1 percent of its most current valuation — a sum worth about $680 million after the inclusion of its most recent fund-raising — if certain internal benchmarks are met by the Otto team. Otto’s current shareholders will also be entitled to 20 percent of the profits of any self-driving trucking business the company is able to build over time. With the acquisition of Otto, Uber gets a fast infusion of self-driving expertise, including Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski, one of the founding fathers of autonomous technology.
August 18, 2016 | Car manufacturing giant Ford has acquired Israeli computer vision and machine learning company SAIPS. The acquisition of the Rehovot-based company is part of Ford’s pledge to develop a driverless car by 2021. No financial details of the acquisition were disclosed but media reports say Ford will pay several tens of millions of dollars. This is Ford’s first acquisition in Israel. Founded in 2013 by CEO Udy Danino, CTO Rotem Littman and US Branch Manager Noga Zieber Bullkich, SAIPS provides algorithmic solutions. The company has not raised any funds to date and after the acquisition will continue operating as an independent entity within the Ford corporation.
August 18, 2016 | Israeli global equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd has been awarded a full Capital Market Services (CMS) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). With the license, OurCrowd is now able to market its equity crowdfunding platform in Singapore. Receipt of the license is part of OurCrowd’s targeting of Asia as a huge potential market for alternative investment in promising startups. As part of this, last March Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB) invested US$10 million in Jerusalem-based OurCrowd, which invests in startups with differentiated and highly scalable technology products and services. Founded in 2013, OurCrowd has raised over $250 million for investment in almost 100 companies, and has already had eight companies in their portfolio either acquired by a multinational or listed publicly.
August 18, 2016 | Israeli optical communications developer ColorChip has raised $20 million from Gemini Israel Funds, BRM Group, IGP, Vintage, HGL Capital, and Viola Credit. Founded in 2001 by Dr. Shimon Eckhouse and Prof. Shlomo Rushin of Tel Aviv University School of Engineering, the Yokneam based company has raised $80 million to date including the latest financing round and its previous financing round of $25 million in November 2015. IGP, Gemini and BRM led previous financing rounds. ColorChip is a privately held Israeli company that provides cost effective, dense, hyper-scale transceivers and advanced optical splitters. The funding will enable the Israeli company to ramp-up operations and accelerate product development.
August 16, 2o16 | Dr. Inna Slutsky of Tel Aviv University won the 2016 MetLife Foundation Promising Investigator Award in Medical Research for Alzheimer’s Disease from the American Foundation for Aging Research for her exemplary medical research in Alzheimer’s disease. The award was presented on July 25, 2016, with the during the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto. Dr. Slutsky, the first Israeli scientist to ever receive a MetLife Foundation Award, is a member of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at TAU’s Sagol School of Neuroscience. She has focused her research on the breakdown of communication lines between brain cells in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.
August 15, 2016 | In recognition of Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAid‘s contribution to humanitarian aid work around the world, Navonel Glick, the organization’s chief operating officer, has been selected to receive the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award at the Ali Center’s annual gala dinner in September. IsraAid recently helped the people of Fiji in the wake of Cyclone Winston. They currently focus on water purification and desalination in the village of Vuma in the island of Ovalau. IsraAID is Israel’s leading humanitarian non-governmental organization and is committed to providing life-saving emergency relief and durable solutions for populations affected by natural disasters, epidemics and post-conflict situations. Voni is one of six leaders under 30 to receive the Core Principle Award from the Center. The award was named after Ali’s six core principles: confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect, and spirituality.
August 14, 2016 | Ori Sasson claimed the bronze medal in the judo men’s over- 100 kilogram competition on Friday, giving Israel two medals in a single Olympics for the first time in 12 years after fellow judoka Yarden Gerbi had ended the drought three days earlier. Israel had gone without an Olympic medal since windsurfer Shahar Zubari won a bronze eight years ago. Sasson took Israel’s total medal total to nine since it began participating in the Summer Games in 1952. He joined judokas Yael Arad (Silver – Barcelona 1992) and Oren Smadja (Bronze – Barcelona 1992), windsurfer Gal Fridman (bronze – Atlanta 1996, gold – Athens 2004), canoer Michael Kolganov (bronze – Sydney 2000), judoka Arik Ze’evi (bronze – Athens 2004), Zubari (bronze – Beijing 2008) and Gerbi on arguably the most prestigious list in Israeli sports.
August 10, 2016 | Israeli startups took the top two awards at the finals of the Global Innovation Awards 2016 (GIA 2016), a global startup competition featuring 21 startups from around the world competing for $1.5 million in cash prizes. NiNiSpeech, which developed a revolutionary digital platform for treating speech disorders, took first place and AerialGuard, which developed an autonomous navigation system for unmanned aircraft, came in second. This is the second consecutive year that an Israeli startup won first place in the competition. Last year, Israeli startup DiaCardio, developer of innovative software for decoding echocardiograms, took first prize. Israel was represented in the competition by Israeli ambassador to China Matan Vilnai and Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) partner, Yoav Tzruya, both of whom spoke at the event. According to Tzruya: “The fact that an Israeli startup won the competition for the second year in a row not only demonstrates Israel’s technological edge and out-of-the-box thinking, but also the Israeli tech market’s relevance for global markets, specifically with a focus on China.”
August 9, 2016 | Israeli startup Deep Instinct, which uses artificial intelligence in deep learning for cyber security, has been awarded the Most Innovative Startup award at the Black Hat IT cyber security conference in Las Vegas, one of the world’s most prestigious cyber security conferences. Deep Instinct’s deep learning app for cyber security, launched in November 2015, is in the patent registration processes. The app facilitates advanced capabilities in detecting security threats and breaches with an innovative degree of accuracy, and makes it possible to prevent them from materializing in real time.
Aug. 8, 2016 | Israeli telecommunication company GAMA Operations will supply additional emergency interactive voice response systems to the Israeli government. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 1995, and headed by CEO Eyal Alon, GAMA has developed a diverse portfolio of software products, from interactive emergency notification systems to virtual receptionist applications with speech recognition features. Current clients of GAMA, a portfolio company of private equity firm Hagshama, include IBM and Visa.
August 8, 2016 | Innoviz Technologies Ltd. has raised $9 million in a Series A financing round. Investors included venture capital funds Vertex, Magma and Amiti Ventures, as well as Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Investments and Properties Ltd. and Zohar Zisapel. Zisapel is the company’s chairman and is described as a co-founder. Innoviz is developing a sensor called Lidar sensor a laser sensor that performs a highly accurate scan of the car’s surrounding and builds a detailed 3D image. The company’s technology is called High Definition Solid State Lidar and, according to the company, enables a high level of performance and accuracy compared with current mechanical solutions.
August 8, 2016 | Kaltura the Israeli-U.S. startup that helps organizations manage their video content, has raised $50 million from the U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs and says it is on its way to an initial public offering. Sources said the Goldman Sachs investment round values Kaltura in the hundreds of millions of dollars, though short of the $1 billion that would have won it the coveted status of “unicorn.” The round brings its total fundraising to about $160 million. Formed in 2006 and headquartered in New York City, the company is mature by startup standards, counting 1,000 paying corporate and educational customers whose video content is seen by an average of 700 million people a month. Ron Yekutiel, Kaltura’s CEO and chairman, told TheMarker the Goldman Sachs investment signaled the company’s strategy of avoiding an exit and remaining independent.
August 7, 2016 | Israeli company Formlabs, which develops high resolution desktop 3D printers, has raised $35 million Series B funding round led by the Foundry Group. Other investors included Pitango, Pascal Cagni, DFJ Growth and CAD titan Autodesk, which promised ‘strategic collaboration’ with Formlabs as a part of their investment. The new investment will enable Formlabs to scale its operations to meet growing customer demand worldwide, grow R&D efforts, and to extend Formlabs’ reach in the market and ecosystem. Formlabs was founded in 2011 by Maxim Lobovsky, Natan Linder, and David Karnor, a graduate of the Herzliya InterDisciplinary Center (IDC) Zell Entrepreneurship Program.
August 7, 2016 | Israeli automated in-app marketing platform developer Insert has raised $10 million in Series A financing led by Battery Ventures and others including Shlomo Kramer. As part of the financing, Battery Ventures General Partner Itzik Parnafes will join Insert’s board. Insert provides marketers and product managers with an easy to implement solution for engaging with their app’s users. Founded in 2015 by CEO Shahar Kaminitz and VP development Yaron Goldberg, and based in Yakum north of Tel Aviv, the company has raised $15 million to date.
August, 7, 2016 | Google-owned GPS driving app Waze has released a new safety feature that reminds users not to forget their child, pet or other loved ones in the car before getting out. The feature, called “Child reminder,” was made available to the public on Thursday, when Waze released its latest update on app stores for Android and iOS. As reported by NoCamels, the feature comes amid concerns over recent child hot car deaths. Since 1998, there have been 37 child heatstroke fatalities on average per year in the U.S. There have already been 26 heatstroke deaths involving children in the U.S. since the beginning of this year. Like Waze’s other safety features, “Child reminder” is opt-in. The alert can be turned on and off in the app’s “general settings.” Drivers who choose to keep the feature on can also customize the alert “to include their child’s name or pet’s name. The alert will only appear if a driver has entered a destination in Waze and has arrived at that destination. Founded in Israel in 2007 by Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar, and Uri Levine, Waze has built a solid reputation for the way it lets users share real-time traffic data, prompting Google to acquire the company for more than $1 billion in 2013.
August 4, 2016 | Two of the four Israeli representatives at the International Chemistry Olympiad, held last week in the city of Tbilisi in Georgia, won the silver and bronze medals. Held for the 48th consecutive year, it is the oldest scientific competition for high school-aged students. In total, 264 students from 66 different countries competed. The four Israeli high school students trained at The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s Schulich Faculty of Chemistry. The winners are: Ron Solan of Rishonim High School in Herzliya (silver medal) and Rina Sevostianov from Makif Gimmel High School in Ashdod (bronze).
August 4, 2016 | Israeli cloud optimization company Cloudyn has raised $4 million from Infosys, India’s second largest software company, in exchange for a minority equity stake. Based in Rosh Ha’ayin, Cloudyn was founded in 2011 by CEO Sharon Wagner, CTO Dr. Boris Goldberg and VP products Vittaly Tavor. The company raised $11 million last December in a financing round led by Carmel Ventures and has now raised $20.5 million to date including Infosys’s investment. Cloudyn’s single pane of glass approach provides clarity and actionable insights for optimal cloud management and the company’s systems monitor and optimize cloud deployment for many Fortune 500 companies.
August 4, 2016 | Israeli medical device company Ornim Medical, has closed a series C financing round of $20 million. The Kfar Saba based commercial-stage medical technology company specializes in clinical research, development, and distribution in the field of tissue and cerebral blood flow and perfusion. The financing was led by Chinese medtech VC fund LongTec HongTao China Ventures LP with the participation of existing investors OrbiMed, GE Ventures, and others. Founded in 2004, the company has raised $70 million to date.
August 4, 2016 | Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva Pharmaceutical completed its $40 billion acquisition of the generics arm of rival Allergan on Tuesday, a move Teva hailed as confirmation of its intention to become one of the world’s largest drugmakers. The $40 billion deal, the largest in Israeli history, was agreed last year but finally confirmed on Tuesday. Allergan Generics was the third largest in the same market by sales, and the acquisition gives Teva a large market lead and catapults it into the top 10 pharmaceutical firms globally, according to the company’s figures.
August 3, 2016 | Intel Capital, the global investment arm of the US-based chipmaker Intel Corp., has invested in three additional Israeli startups, Velostata, Panoply.io and Sedona Systems, for a total of $25 million, the company said in a statement. Along with other participating investors, Intel Capital led all three rounds in the companies. In this wave of funding, Panoply.io raised $7 million in Series A, while Sedona Systems and Velostrata raised $13.6 million and $17.5 million in Series B rounds respectively. This latest investment by Intel Capital brings the total funds invested in Israel to more than $345 million in more than 80 Israeli companies since 1997.
August 3, 2016 | Spot.IM, an Israeli online community creation technology that allows any website to become their own social network, announced today it has closed a Series A funding round of $13 million. Notable investors in the round include Index Ventures, AltaIR and Norma Investments Limited, representing businessman Roman Abramovich, among other prestigious serial technology investors and various media and marketing visionaries such as James Hilton (CEO of M&C Saatchi Mobile), Avishai Abrahami (Co-Founder & CEO of Wix), Giora Kaplan (Co-Founder & CTO of Wix), Nir Zohar (President & COO of Wix), Brian Bedol and Ran Tushia. Founded in 2012 by Nadav Shoval and Ishay Green, Spot.IM currently works with 4,600 active sites, enabling social engagement for more than 300 million unique monthly users for its media partners, which include News Corp, Meredith Corporation, Time Inc., Little Things, and Advertising Age.
August 3, 2016 | Israeli flavors and food ingredients company Frutarom Industries Ltd. has signed an agreement to fully acquire Irish company Redbrook Ingredients Services Limited for $44.8 million (€ 40 million). The transaction is being financed through bank debt. This is Frutarom’s sixth acquisition in 2016 and part of its global expansion strategy. Redbrook was founded in 1987 and has an R&D and sales and marketing center and production site near Dublin as well as a production unit and R&D and sales and marketing center in Daventry, England, near Frutarom’s Wellingborough site. Redbrook has 39 employees. Frutarom was founded in 1933 by Yehuda Araten and Maurice Gerzon.
August 3, 2016 | Israeli cyber security startup CyberX has raised $9 million in a financing round led by Flint Capital and including existing investors Glilot Capital Partners, Swarth Group, GlenRock, newly joined ff Venture Capital (ffVC) and additional angel investors. CyberX, which was founded by CEO Omer Schneider and CTO Nir Giller, both veterans of the Israeli Elite Cyber Security Unit, develops cyber security solutions for the Industrial IoT market. The company has raised $11 million to date.
July 31, 2016 | Riverbed Technology has acquired Israeli SaaS company Aternity. No financial details were disclosed but San Francisco based Riverbed, which specializes in application performance products, is believed to be paying $60-70 million. Founded in 2004 by Amnon Yacoby, Amir Eldad, Eden Shohat and Orit Kapon, Aternity develops end-user experience monitoring tools. Aternity is headquartered near Boston in Westborough, Massachusetts and maintains its development center in Hod Hasharon. The company has raised $25 million to date and investors include Genesis Partners, Vertex Venture Capital and Intel Capital.
July 28, 2016 |Israeli content recommendation company Taboola is set to acquire Israeli video ad company ConvertMedia. No financial details about the deal were disclosed but sources estimate the acquisition could approach $100 million. ConvertMedia’s 60 employees in Tel Aviv and New York will join Taboola. ConvertMedia provides outstream videos that reside inside publishers’ content. It is a complement to Taboola’s article-focused content discovery platform, which provides those recommendations at the bottom of pages across the web. In a blog post about the acquisition, Taboola CEO and founder Adam Singolda wrote that the two companies share a common goal: “to become one of the top video/TV companies in the world.”
July 28, 2016 | Israeli online gift card marketplace startup Zeek, announced today it has closed a $9.5 million Series B financing round led by Scale-Up Venture Capital. Other prominent investors in the round include Blumberg Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, FJ LABS (Fabrice Grinda), Waze founder Uri Levine, Emery Capital, Ton Ventures, Radiant Venture Capital, iAngels and Target Global. Zeek is a mobile app and website that allows users to buy gift cards and vouchers from their favorite brands at a discount and sell unwanted gift vouchers for cash, providing a solution to the estimated $100 billion of unused gift cards globally. This round of funding will support Zeek’s growth in the UK and expansion overseas, and the company hopes to attract new talent to advance their vision.
July 28, 2016 | Israel EdTech startup SlateScience, which developed the Matific educational math and science games for mobile and web platforms, has raised $45 million led by Australian entrepreneur Leon Kamenev. The company raised $12 million last year. Founded in 2012, the company’s products are sold in over 20 countries around the world and is available in 20 languages. Following the fundraising, Matific plans to expand its Israeli R&D center and is recruiting new employees.
July 28, 2016 | Israeli agTech data company Prospera has raised $7 million in a Series A financing round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. The company enables farmers to maximize yields by using artificial intelligence to analyze databanks related to yields. Prospera’s technology captures climate and visual data from the ﬁeld and provides actionable insights to growers via mobile and web. The Tel Aviv based company has 30 employees and was founded in 2014 by CEO Daniel Koppel, CTO Shimon Shpiz, and VP R&D Raviv Itzhaky. Prospera’s customers include US farms that supply the largest retailers in North America and Western Europe.
July 27, 2016 | Israeli company Mobileye, which develops vision-based driver assistance systems that help prevent collisions, has ended its partnership with car manufacturer Tesla Motors. The announcement comes on the heels of of a recent fatal crash of a Tesla car, which was operating on autopilot mode. Mobileye, which was founded by Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram in 1999, recently teamed up with BMW and Intel to manufacture a driverless car by 2021.
July 27, 2016 | Israeli cyber security company SafeBreach has closed a $15 million Series A funding round. The round includes new investors Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, Hewlett Packard Pathfinder and Maverick Ventures, along with previous investors Sequoia Capital and Shlomo Kramer. With the new funding, the company, which has developed continuous security validation, will expand R&D, sales and marketing positions to more effectively meet demand from customers and partners. Based in Tel Aviv, CEO Guy Bejerano and CTO Itzik Kotler, veterans of the IDF Air Force and IDF Intelligence unit 8200, founded SafeBreach in 2014. The company has raised $19 million to date including the latest financing round and has 30 employees.
July 27, 2016 | Israeli startup Engie, which has developed an app for streamlining the process of taking a car to the garage, has raised $3.5 million in an Series A financing round led by OurCrowd with participation from other investors including Waze co-founder and former president Uri Levine. Engie is a smartphone app that connects to the car’s computer, analyzes the car’s condition and offers real time quotes from mechanics. The company was founded in 2014. Since the app was launched, more than 200 garages around Israel have joined it, and it has almost 100,000 users in the country. The funds raised will help Engie expand overseas.
July 26, 2016 |The Israel Venture Capital Research Center (IVC) has published its IVC-Shibolet Israeli Private Equity Market Survey for the second quarter of 2016. The survey showed that private equity investment in Israel in the first half of 2016 fell 24% to $1.6 billion in 29 private equity deals from $2.1 billion in 53 deals in the corresponding period of 2015. In the second quarter of 2016, 13 Israeli private equity deals accounted for $1.3 billion, up from $270 million invested in the preceding quarter, but below the $1.6 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2015. The average deal amount climbed to $98 million, the highest quarterly average in the past four years. Foreign PE funds lead Israeli PE deal-making, with 80 percent of total capital invested in the first half of 2016. The survey also showed that 88 percent of all PE investments were made in the technology sector. Also, straight equity deals dropped 50% in the first half of 2016.
July 26, 2016 | Israeli wastewater treatment company Emefcy has raised Australian $31.6 million (US$23.6 million) on the Australian Stock Exchange after closing a placement of shares. The company raised the money from investors that included funds and institutional bodies from the US, Hong Kong, China, Australia and Singapore, but not from Israel. Emefcy was founded in 2008 by CEO Eytan Levy and CTO Ronen Shechter. The company has developed a high-quality, low energy consumption wastewater treatment technology, compared with other technologies on the market.
July 25, 2016 | Israeli startup DreaMed Diabetes, which develops diabetes treatment and management solutions, announced today that it has raised $3.3 million from Norma Investments Limited, representing businessman Roman Abramovich, and a strategic investor. The funds will be used mainly for the further development of Advisor, DreaMed Diabetes’s decision support technology platform for determining the optimal patient-specific insulin treatment plans leading to balanced glucose levels in people with diabetes. Based in Petah Tikva, the company was founded in 2014 by Eran Atlas and Shahar Miller.
July 25, 2016 | Israeli pharmaceutical company Entera Bio, a subsidiary of DNA Biomedical Solutions Ltd., has raised $7.5 million in a loan convertible into shares. Pontifax led the round, with participation from private investors. Based in Jerusalem, Entera Bio is developing orally administered drugs as a replacement for injectables and IVs.
| July 24, 2016 | Israeli cloud computing startup Redis Labs has closed a $14 million Series C financing round. Bain Capital Ventures and Carmel Ventures led the round, with participation from other existing investors, at what the company described as a significantly increased valuation from the previous two rounds. Redis Labs said it will use the proceeds to expand sales and marketing efforts to accelerate global customer acquisition. Founded in 2011 by CEO Ofer Bengal and CTO Yiftach Shoolman, Redis provides cloud database services and has over 6,200 enterprise customers and its Redis Cloud service exceeds 55,000 accounts.