October 20, 2016 | American customer experience management company Medallia has acquired Israeli startup Kampyle, which develops software for capturing customer feedback on digital and mobile channels. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2009 by Eran Savir and Eylon Steiner, the company raised $1 million prior to the acquisition.
October 20, 2016 | Israeli social networking startup HearMeOut has requested the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to trade on the Australian Securities Exchange, in hopes to raise at least $4.2 million (5.5 million Australian dollars). Founded in 2014 by Moran Chamsi, Yaki Gani, Issy Livian and Lior Menashe, the company – which has been dubbed “the audio version of Twitter” – has so far raised $750,000.
October 20, 2016 | Israeli startup Oryx Vision, a developer of vision solutions for autonomous cars, has raised $17 million in a financing round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Maniv Mobility and Trucks VC. Founded in 2009 by David Ben-Bassat and Rani Wellingstein, the company provides driverless vehicles a detailed 3D view of their environment.
October 19, 2016 | Neomatix, an Israeli startup specializing in computer vision and big data analytics for vehicle tires, is the winner of Shell’s Bright Energy Ideas Challenge. It was chosen over 218 other mobility startups from 36 countries, receiving a prize of €25,000 in cash and a €100,000 convertible loan. According to Geert van de Wouw, managing director of Shell Technology Ventures, the winning startup was selected thanks to its potential effect on sustainability and road safety. Founded in 2011 by Kfir Wittmann, Neomatix has already raised $3 million.
October 19, 2016 | Speaking at Oslo Innovation Week (OIW), a five-day event bringing together startups, established companies, government organizations and investors, Anya Eldan, the GM of Early Stage Companies and Incubators at Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist and one of the leading women in Israel’s innovation ecosystem, explained how Israel, a small country, is competing with much larger ones. “We are very innovative and entrepreneurial,” Eldan told the large gathering. “We have about 1,000 new startups each year and about 7,000 operational at any given time – with a very large venture capital industry. Eldan believes the growth and global attraction of Israeli businesses has a lot to do with not being afraid to fail. She and the government encourage entrepreneurs to not shy away from it. “We as a government should encourage people in every sector to take chances, that is what innovation is all about. Also, one of the most important contributions a successful entrepreneur can make is to help others – and one thing we see a lot in Israel is the mentoring network.”
October 16, 2016 | Israeli startup SimpleOrder, which develops a management platform for restaurant owners, has closed a $2.75 million series A financing round led by Lazarus Israel Opportunities Fund and Foodlab Capital, with participation from existing investors Cyrus Angel Fund and private angel investors. Founded in 2012, by Arik Mazan, Amir Zelig and Guy Even Ezra, the Tel Aviv based company has raised $4.45 million, including the latest financing. SimpleOrder’s platform allows restaurant owners and managers to keep track of accounting and other financial data in real time, providing for more transparency in order-placing and making the service industry more efficient.
October 13, 2016 | After a preliminary meeting with Jon Hanssen-Bauer, the Norwegian Ambassador to Israel, an exclusive group of Israeli media, representing NoCamels, The Jerusalem Post and Calcalist, will be traveling to Norway this Sunday as guests of The Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv, for Oslo Innovation Week, a week long-event aimed at entrepreneurs, investors, creatives, developers and visionaries across an extensive variety of sectors. The event serves as a bridge connecting industries, accelerating businesses and as a platform to network. Oslo Innovation Week gives an overview of new ideas in the start-up scene both in Norway and globally. One of the Israeli speakers at the event is Anya Eldan, a seasoned high-tech executive and one of the leading women in Israel’s innovation ecosystem. Eldan was chosen by Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson to manage the early-stage and incubator programs that have become a world-class model for 21st-century idea labs. Among the other notable speakers at the event are Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, and Mike Butcher, Editor At Large at TechCrunch.
October 13, 2016 | Frutarom Industries, the Israeli flavors and specialty fine ingredients giant, has acquired Brazilian company Nardi Aromas for $1.6 million. This is Frutarom’s seventh acquisition this year, and part of its global expansion strategy. Frutarom, which was founded in 1933 by Yehuda Araten and Maurice Gerzon, has production and development centers on all six continents, and sells 52,000 products to more than 29,000 customers in 150 countries. Frutarom’s products are intended mainly for the food and beverages, flavor and fragrance extracts, pharmaceutical, health food, food additives and cosmetics industries. The company employs more than 4,500 people worldwide.
October 9, 2016 | Sand Storm, a family drama based in a Bedouin community in the Negev Desert, is Israel’s entry for best foreign-language film for the Oscars. In January, the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its 2017 shortlist of foreign-language film nominees. Israel hopes its first-ever Arabic-language submission will be on that list. The film tells the story of two Bedouin women struggling to change the patriarchal rules of their society. Sand Storm won six Ophir Awards – the Oscars equivalent in Israel – from the Israeli Academy of Film and Television. Honors included best director for Elite Zexer and best film. Sand Storm is Israel’s 49th submission for the best foreign-language film category at the Oscars. Ten of these films have made the shortlist – the last in 2012, Footnote by Joseph Cedar. The Oscars will be held in Los Angeles on February 26, 2016
October 9, 2016 | Israeli RSS reader platform NewsTab has closed a $1.5 million financing round with investors including former VMWare CEO Paul Maritz and former Pelephone Communications Ltd. CEO Eyal Levy. The company will use the proceeds to develop new features. The Tel Aviv-based startup was founded by CEO Arnon Catalan. NewsTab provides a cross-platform service that offers dependable RSS reader functionality, where users can find, follow and organize and browse their favorite news sources, on an intuitive user interface. Users can also follow any Twitter user or hashtag, as well as Google News topics and Google Alerts, to get the best articles through Google’s algorithm. The company also announced the launch of its Android app and Web service while the iOS launch is planned for later this fall.
October 6, 2016 | eBay has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Israeli visual search technologies developer Corrigon Ltd.. No financial details about the deal were disclosed but media reports suggest that eBay will be paying $20-30 million for the Tel Aviv based startup. Corrigon helps identify objects within an image, matching both visual and textual elements to ensure that the image is recognized, correctly classified and best-matched to its corresponding product. Corrigon is eBay’s second acquisition in Israel in 2016 following the purchase of SalesPredict, which uses advanced analytics to predict consumer-buying behavior, for about $40 million.
October 5, 2016 | Israeli digital payments company Payoneer has raised $180 million in growth equity financing from TCV (Technology CrossOver Ventures) with the participation of former investor Susquehanna Growth Equity. The financing includes $90 million for expanding the company while shareholders sold a stake worth a further $90 million. This is the largest-ever investment in an Israeli FinTech company. Payoneer transforms the way businesses send and receive cross-border payments. The company was founded in 2005 in Israel by president Yuval Tal and former CTO Ben Yaniv Chechik and has raised $235 million to date including the latest financing round. Payoneer is headquartered in New York and has its development office in Tel Aviv, which houses 560 of the company’s 760 employees worldwide.
September 29, 2016 | Israeli smart city startup Reporty has raised $5.15 million in a Series A financing round led by its chairman, former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Ehud Barak. The Tel Aviv based homeland security company has raised $7 million to date with the participation of investors from the US, Asia, Europe, and Israel. Reporty provides a national system to enhance first response to emergency events through real time video and audio. Founded in 2014, Reporty is led by CEO Amir Elichai and CTO Alex Dizengoff, their app is now launching in 160 countries.
September 28, 2016 | Centaur Analytics, a Greece-based AgTech IoT startup that provides real-time stored agriproducts monitoring and protection solutions, announced today it has raised $1.3 million during a recent funding round, which was led by Israeli seed-stage venture fund OurCrowd First. The company stated the funds will be used to accelerate the commercialization of its proprietary wireless sensors and cognitive services platform for monitoring and protecting post-harvest product quality.
September 27, 2016 | Israeli venture capital firm Aleph has raised $180 million for its second fund, Aleph II. Founded in 2013 by Michael Eisenberg and Eden Shochat, Aleph has invested in startups such as WeWork, Meerkat and JoyTunes.
September 26, 2016 | Samsung GIC, the Global Innovation Center, part of Samsung Electronics, announced the opening of Samsung NEXT Tel Aviv, It’s first branch outside of the US. The announcement was made by Eyal Miller, Managing Director and CEO of Samsung NEXT Tel Aviv, during a press event at the organization’s new offices in Sarona, Tel Aviv. Samsung GIC empowers entrepreneurs and startups to build, grow and scale advanced software and services. Headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley with additional locations in New York, South Korea and now Tel Aviv, Samsung GIC works with startups at every stage of development through incubation, investment from Seed to Series B, acquisition and partnership. The organization is spearheaded by David Eun, formerly President of AOL’s media division and Global Head of Content Partnerships at Google.
September 26, 2016 | Team Israel has won the World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament in Brooklyn, crushing Great Britain 9-1 on Sunday night. Five Israel pitchers combined to limit Britain to four hits, and three members of the blue and white hit the first home runs of the tournament over the wall to lead Israel to victory, and a place in the WBC main tournament for the first time. Israel was a perfect 3-0 in the tournament, having beaten the British side 5-2 last Thursday then beat Brazil 1-0 on Friday in a pitcher’s duel, to move into the final. The team now moves on the 16-team tournament, which will begin in South Korea in March.
September 26, 2016 | According to a report in Israel’s Calcalist, after leading five funds in Israel and exits of hundreds of millions of dollars, Sequoia Israel will make new investments only through their American fund, Sequoia Capital. A similar step was taken from Benchmark and Greylock Partners who are no longer active in Israel. According to estimates, the reason for the decision to close the Israeli fund is primarily the desire of the partners to work through the American fund to give Israeli companies better access to the American fund.
September 25, 2016 | Israeli anomaly detection and real time business analytics company Anodot announced an $8 million financing round led by Aleph Venture Capital and with participation by Disruptive Technologies L.P., bringing Anodot’s total funding to $12.5 million. In the nine months since Anodot’s launch, dozens of customers, including several Fortune 500 companies, have already implemented the product to prevent crises and drive revenues. Ra’anana based Anodot was founded in 2014 by CEO David Drai, VP R&D Shay Lang, and Chief Data Scientist Dr. Ira Cohen.
September 22, 2016 | Israeli network relationship management platform developer Mobilize announced it has closed a $6.5 million Series A financing round and launched the self-service version of its product. The investment was led by Trinity Ventures with the participation of Floodgate Ventures, Hillsven Capital, Array Ventures, Upwest Labs in addition to SaaS angels such as Eoghan McCabe, CEO of Intercom.io, and Sanjay Subhedar. Mobilize was founded by Sharon Savariego and Arthur Vainer and has offices in San Francisco and Tel Aviv.
September 21, 2016 | American-Israeli online used-car marketplace Vroom has raised $50 million in a funding round from existing and new investors, bringing their total funding to $218 million. Founded in 2013 and headed by CEO Allon Bloch, VRoom will use the funding to help expand its operations in the United States and increase inventory. The company currently has an inventory of more than 2,300 vehicles, according to its website. Vroom expects to generate more than $1 billion of revenue in 2016, up from $900 million last year. The latest round was led by existing investor T Rowe Price Associates Inc, and added technology-focused investment firm Altimeter Capital and Foxhaven Asset Management as investors.
September 21, 2016 | Israeli company BlazeMeter, which produces performance testing tools for DevOps, has been acquired by CA Technologies. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed although media reports suggest the acquisition was for about $100 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. CA Technologies said that the acquisition of BlazeMeter, which has offices in Tel Aviv and Palo Alto, would enable it to extend its DevOps portfolio. BlazeMeter will integrate with CA’s continuous delivery solutions to improve testing efficiency and accelerate the deployment of applications. BlazeMeter, which was founded in 2011 by CEO Alon Girmonsky, raised $6.5 million in a series A financing round in 2014 from Glilot Capital Partners and YL Ventures GP Ltd.
September 21, 2016 | Israeli crowd-funding firm OurCrowd raised $72 million from financial institutions and private investors from around the globe. So far, the crowdfunding platform has invested $300 million in 100 portfolio companies and funds. Some of its portfolio startups were sold or went public, including: ReWalk, which is traded on Nasdaq; Crosswise (bought by Oracle); Replay Technologies (bought by Intel); and NextPeer (bought by Viber). Founded in 2013 by Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s community includes nearly 15,000 investors from 110 countries.
September 21, 2016 | Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva Pharmaceutical and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced an agreement to develop and commercialize pain drug fasinumab. This is Regeneron’s investigational NGF antibody in Phase III clinical development for osteoarthritis pain and in Phase II development for chronic lower back pain. Under the terms of the agreement, Teva will pay Regeneron $250 million upfront and share equally in the global commercial value (excluding Japan, Korea and other Asian countries covered by a previous collaboration), as well as ongoing R&D costs of about $1 billion.
September 20, 2016 | FinTech startup Curve has raised $3 million, bringing its total funds to $5 million. Founded in 2015 by Israeli Shachar Bialick, along with Tom Foster-Carter and Anna Mostyn-Williams, the startup develops a credit card that aggregates all your bank cards and will be synced with a mobile app.
September 18, 2016 | Israeli FinTech startup Tipalti has raised $14 million in a funding round led by venture capital firm SGVC. A provider of payments automation solutions, Tipalti was founded in 2011 by Chen Amit and Oren Zeev. It has so far raised $27 million.
September 15, 2016 | Chinese corporation Kuang-Chi Group has announced it will invest $4.3 million in Agent Video Intelligence (Agent Vi), an Israeli video analytics company, as part of the startup’s $6 million financing round. Founded in 2008 by Gadi Talmon and Zvi Ashani, the company has so far raised $20 million.
September 14, 2016 | Digital testing company Applause has raised $35 million in a Series F financing round, led by Direct Equity Partners, an investment program managed by Credit Suisse, with the participation of Accenture. This round brings Applause’s total funding-to-date to more than $115 million. The round had full participation from all of Applause’s previous investors, including Goldman Sachs’s Merchant Banking Division, QuestMark Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Mesco Ltd and MassVentures. The company’s most recent funding was a $43 million Series E round in January, 2014. Applause is an Israeli company, with global headquarters near Boston, Massachusetts and its development center in Herzliya that was originally launched in 2008 as uTest.
September 14, 2016 | Car maker Volkswagen is partnering with former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin to form a new cyber-security company called CyMotive Technologies. Other former Shin Bet executives involved in the joint venture, which will be based in Herzliya, Israel, are Tsafrir Kats and Dr. Tamir Bechor. The new company will develop products and solutions for the next generation of cars. “We see CyMotive as a long-term investment, with the purpose of making the vehicle and its surroundings safer,” Dr. Volkmar Tanneberger of Volkswagen said in a statement.
September 14, 2016 | Israeli startup Optimove has raised $20 million from Israeli venture capital firm IGP – Israeli Growth Partners. Optimove provides online marketing technologies to some 200 companies. Founded by Pini Yakuel in 2009, this is the company’s first financing round.
September 13, 2015 | Israeli network security startup Cato Networks has raised $30 million in a series B funding round. The financing was led by Greylock Partners with participation from Singtel Innov8 and existing investors U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), Aspect Ventures and the company’s founders, Shlomo Kramer and Gur Shatz. The funding will allow Cato Networks to offer its cloud-based network security as a service solution, the Cato Cloud, to the global market, bringing the cloud’s transformative power to networking and security. Today’s financing is the Tel Aviv-based company’s second after closing a $20 million series A round in June 2015, shortly after it was founded.
September 13, 2016 | Israeli cyber security company Claroty has come out of stealth mode and announced it has completed a financing round of $32 million. The startup also announced that it is launching its protection platform for industrial networks. Established in 2014 as part of Israeli cyber security foundry Team8, Claroty’s backers include Bessemer Venture Partners, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Marker, ICV, Red Dot Capital Partners, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. The company enters the market as the most substantially funded cyber security startup focused on protecting industrial control systems, and with one of the deepest teams in OT security from organizations including Siemens, IBM, Waterfall Security, Palo Alto, iSIGHT Partners (FireEye), ICS2, and Industrial Defender. With offices in Tel Aviv and New York, Claroty was founded by CEO Amir Zilberstein, chief business development officer Galina Antova, and CTO Benny Porat.
Septemeber 13, 2016 | Israeli cloud company CTERA Networks announced a $25 million investment round led by Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from Cisco, and new investor Vintage Investment Partners. Based in Petach Tikva and New York, CTERA, which was founded in 2008 by CEO Liran Eshel and VP R&D Zohar Kaufman, has raised $70 million to date including the latest financing round. The funds will be used to fuel sales and marketing initiatives and accelerate global customer acquisition as the CTERA Enterprise File Services Platform becomes a gold standard for file storage, collaboration and data protection among secure and distributed enterprise organizations.
September 13, 2016 | Israeli marketing analytics startup Datorama has raised $32 million in a funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Marker LLC and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors also participated in the round. This series brings Datorama’s total funding to $50 million. Datorama was founded in 2012 by Ran Sarig, Efi Cohen and Katrin Ribant.
September 12, 2016 | Israeli investment platform Creditplace has raised $6 million, according to a Globes report. The startup enables investors to buy invoices of vendors awaiting payment. Headed by CEO Yaron Saban, the Tel Aviv-based company was founded by Dekel Golan and Serge Aziza.
September 11, 2016 | Columbia University’s top honor for achievement in biological and biochemical research has been awarded to two researchers from the Hebrew University for their research, which led to the new field of Epigenetics, and yielded insights into how cells and embryos develop. The 2016 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize was presented to Prof. Howard Cedar and Prof. Aharon Razin of the Hebrew University, and their American colleague Dr. Gary Felsenfeld.
September 11, 2016 | Israeli startup Proov has raised $7 million from Mangrove Capital Partners and Israeli crowd-funding firm OurCrowd. Proov, a Pilot-as-a-Service (PaaS) platform, simplifies the way new technology is evaluated and adopted. Founded in 2015 by Alexey Sapozhnikov and Toby Olshanetsky, this is the company’s first series of funding.
September 8, 2016 | Israeli startup Celeno Communications completed a $38 million financing round. Founded in 2005 by president and CEO Gilad Rozen, the company supplies chips and software technology for managed WiFi apps. Red Dot Capital Partners, which focuses on investments in growth companies, led the round. New investors participated in the current round, including Poalim Capital Markets, and the OurCrowd investment fund. Previous investors also took part, including Liberty Global, Cisco, Pitango Venture Capital, 83North (formerly Greylock Israel), Vintage Investment Partners, and Miven. According to figures from the IVC databse, including the current round, Celeno has raised $107 million since it was founded. Celeno has 120 employees, including 85 in its Ra’anana headquarters. The company also has representatives in the US, Europe, and Asia. Among other things, Celeno plans to use the funding to recruit 20 new employees in a variety of areas.among other things.
September 8, 2016 | Israeli startup WSC Sports Technologies has closed a $12 million Series B financing round led by Intel Capital, with participation from existing and new investors including the Wilf family (owners of the Minnesota Vikings), the ownership of the LA Dodgers, and Dan Gilbert (majority owner of the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers). The company also announced that Intel Capital Director Uri Arazy will join the WSC Sports board. The investment brings WSC Sports’ total funding to $16 million and will help the company significantly accelerate growth and international expansion. Based in Ramat Gan, the company has developed an automatic, real-time, customized video creation platform for sports broadcasts designed for amplifying sports content and value. WSC Sports was founded by CEO Daniel Shichman, VP business development Aviv Arnon, CTO Shmuel Yoffe, and COO Hy Gal. Their customers, including the NBA, Turner Sports, Big East Conference, British Telecom the ELeague and others.
September 6, 2016 | Israeli startup FairFly, which notifies travelers when the price of their airline ticket drops, has announced it will no longer serve individual clients, and is shifting focus to serve the enterprise sector. In a letter to clients, CEO Aviel Siman-Tov, writes: “We’ve decided to put all of our focus on our enterprise product and discontinue our mobile app.” Starting Sept. 15, the company will no longer provide services to individual clients through its mobile and web platforms. FairFly was founded in 2013 by Uri Levine (the co-founder of popular navigation app Waze), along with Siman-Tov, Gili Lichtman, and Ami Goldenberg.
September 6, 2016 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem retained its leading position in a list of the best colleges published today by British higher education data provider Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). The 2016-2017 rankings place Hebrew University first in Israel and 148th in the world. The other Israeli institutions on the list include: Tel Aviv University, at No. 212, The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, at No. 213; and Ben-Gurion University, at No. 320. Topping the list are MIT, Stanford, and Harvard. First compiled in 2004, the QS World University Rankings rate the world’s best-performing higher education institutions, considering over 4,000 for inclusion and evaluating over 900. The ranking considers universities’ performance across six indicators, selected to reflect research impact, commitment to high-quality teaching, internationalization, and global reputation amongst both academics and employers.
September 5, 2016 | Israeli cyber security startup Cronus Cyber Technology announced that it raised $3.5 million. According to figures from the IVC database, the company has raised $6.2 million since it was founded, including the current round. CEO Doron Sivan and CTO Matan Azugi founded Cronus in 2014. Cronus’s product uses an algorithm to try to imitate a human hacker’s way of thinking. Former Israeli Air Force chief Eitan Ben Eliyahu is the company’s chairman. Cronus’s financing round included US fund Janvest Capital Partners, a European investor, and a strategic investor from Hong Kong. The company previously received funding from the Ministry of the Economy and Industry Chief Scientist. The company’s headquarters are in Haifa, and it also does business in the UK, Germany and Hong Kong. The money raised is expected to enable Cronus to expand its business to the US.
September 5, 2016 | Hargol FoodTech, the Israeli company developing Steak TzarTzar — high-protein grasshoppers — emerged victorious among 30 finalists chosen to present their budding food technologies at the recent Agro Innovation Lab startup competition held in Vienna, Austria. The competition attracted 160 applications from 49 countries. Agro Innovation Lab, a new accelerator for startups and entrepreneurs, is a subsidiary of Austrian agriculture multinational corporation RWA. As the winner, Hargol FoodTech will receive initial investment from RWA, which will become a shareholder and will join Israel’s Trendlines Group, an Israeli innovation commercialization company, as an investor. (Earlier this year, Bayer and Trendlines announced their $10 million, five-year Bayer Trendlines Ag Innovation Fund.)
September 4, 2016 | Co-working space WeWork has announced that it will double its presence in Tel Aviv with the opening of two new Tel Aviv locations – Ibn Gabirol and Hazerem – and the expansion of the Herzliya Pituach location. WeWork Ibn Gabirol and WeWork Hazerem are expected to be open by the end of 2016, marking the 5th and 6th locations launched in Israel of the US-based firm, since entering the Israeli market two years ago. Herzliya Pitucah, the 2nd location to open in Israel, is also expanding due to high demand. The new locations in Israel come at a time of global expansion for WeWork. In 2016, the company has opened its first locations in Montréal, Mexico City, Berlin, Shanghai and Seoul, with plans to come to Paris in 2017. Founded in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, WeWork runs 77 sites in 23 cities around the world, including Berlin, London, Boston, New York and San Francisco, providing professionally designed workspace, as well as other services (insurance, consultancy, etc) that startups need in order to scale up. The company has achieved a valuation of $5-10 billion, after raising over $1 billion from institutional investors, including Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, J.P. Morgan and the Harvard Management Company.
September 4, 2o16 | Maya Sarfaty, a Tel Aviv University graduate has won a top Student Academy Award and her documentary will be automatically entered in the Academy Awards competition. Sarfaty will also receive a gold medal for her film, “The Most Beautiful Woman,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced. Beneath the appealing title lies the true story of a love affair between an SS guard and a young Jewish woman at the Auschwitz death camp. Among the list of nominees, Sarfaty’s film was the only one to make the cut in the foreign documentary category and is therefore guaranteed a gold medal when the final winners are announced on Sept. 22. A Netanya native, Sarfaty earned an undergraduate and master’s degree at the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University and also graduated from the Nissan Nativ Acting School, which conducts classes in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. She now lists herself as an independent filmmaker who has earned credits as director, writer and/or editor for such films as “Still Waters” and “Overtime.”
September 1, 2016 | Israeli startup Beyond Verbal, which offers emotion analytics based on vocal intonations, has raised $3 million in a financing round led by Chinese technology giant Kuang-Chi. Beyond Verbal focuses on raw vocal modulations – probably the most expressive output our body produces. This non-intrusive technology enables wearables and digital health applications to better understand consumer interactions. Founded in 2012 by Yoav Hoshen, Yuval Mor, and Yuval Rabin (son of the late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin), Beyond Verbal has so far raised $10.1 million.
August 30, 2016 | The 16th annual GoForIsrael conference will be held for the first time outside of Israel, on September 20th, at the Grand Hyatt, in Shanghai, China and continuing in Wuhan. The Shanghai portion of the conference is expected to welcome some 1000 Chinese investors and 100 innovative Israeli companies, including Mobileye, Xjet, Tufin Zerto, Wework Emefcy, ReWalk Robotics and many more. Many major Chinese investor groups such as Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, Lenovo and leading financial enteties such as Fosun, PingAn, China Everbright, SAIF Partners, Sinopec, CYND, Sailing Capital, GTJA, GF Xinde are expected to join the event. The Wuhan portion of the event will feature the participation of the Israeli companies and 800 additional investors. Organized by Cukierman & Co. Investment House and Catalyst Fund, GoforIsrael is one of the most influential business conferences in Israel. This year’s conference focuses mainly on the opportunities between Israel and China as well as on the Chinese desire for investment. The event is jointly organized with Yafo Capital, an Investment House in Shanghai, China.
August 31, 2016 | Israeli company Freightos, an International online freight network, has as acquired WebCargoNet, a Barcelona based air-cargo rate management provider. WebCargoNet helps bring air cargo companies online with automated freight routing and pricing, and will complement Freightos’ efforts to do the same for air, ocean and trucking, the company said in a statement. The result, said Eytan Buchman, the marketing director of the Israeli company, will create the “world’s largest freight Big Data database of over 200 million data points,” helping more companies take part in the online freight marketplace offered by the Jerusalem-based company.
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.