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April 19, 2018 | Israeli digital diabetes care platform GlucoMe and Norwegian electronic medical record (EMR) company DiaMan AS announced Tuesday the market launch of the GlucoMe digital diabetes care solution in Central America, according to a statement. The GlucoMe solution will first be introduced into Guatemala, Panama, and Dominican Republic and later into Costa Rica and Nicaragua followed by the rest of Central America. GlucoMe will integrate its digital diabetes solution provider with DiaMan’s diabetes-focused EMR software, under the agreement. DiaMan will lead the distribution of GlucoMe’s solution throughout Central America, including all products — wireless blood glucose monitor, mobile app, and diabetes clinic software for healthcare professionals. Working closely with hospitals and other institutions, DiaMan expects to reach up to 70,000 users in two or three years, the statements says. Founded in 2013 by Dov Moran and Yiftah Ben Aharon, GlucoMe’s digital diabetes platform consists of a smart glucose monitor, insulin pen monitor, mobile app and cloud-based digital diabetes Clinic. Currently, about 7 million people or 8 percent of the adult population of Central America have diabetes.

 

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lawgeexApril 18, 2018 | Israeli contract review automation startup LawGeex announced Tuesday it had closed a $12 million Series B funding round, bringing their total funding to $21.5 million, a statement said. The funding round was led by venture capital fund Aleph. Lool Ventures also participated in the round. LawGeex’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform uses artificial intelligence to automate, review and approve the legality of business contracts before they are signed. According to a study conducted in February in collaboration with top academics at leading universities, LawGeex’s AI platform achieved an accuracy of 94 percent in its capability of spotting risks in business contracts, while US lawyers only achieved an average of 85 percent. While it took 92 minutes for the participating lawyers to complete all five NDAs, it only took LawGeex AI 26 seconds, the study said. Founded in 2014 by CEO Adv. Noory Bechor and AI specialist Ilan Admon, the startup has offices in Tel Aviv and New York and clients that include eBay and Farmers Insurance.

together pharmaApril 18, 2018 | Israeli medical cannabis company Together Pharma announced Tuesday that its subsidiary Globus Pharma has signed a cooperation agreement to set up greenhouses of up to 25 acres in a foreign country, according to a statement from the company. The greenhouses will be set up no later than six months after the agreement signing. The cannabis harvesting is planned for the first quarter of 2019. Together did not name the country or company with who its subsidiary signed the deal. The deal could bring in annual sales of $75 to $300 million depending on the harvest, the statement said. Globus Pharma will own 51 percent and the partner will hold 49 percent. Together also announced on Monday that its subsidiary had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to sell medical cannabis or oil to an unnamed Canadian company with a license to grow, produce, and import medical cannabis.

google shoppingApril 18, 2018 | US search engine giant Google will launch Google Shopping, a feature on their search results page which includes links to buy products according to search words typed by internet users, sources tell Globes. Azrieli.com and Super Pharm are said to be among the first Israeli customers to integrate the feature into their sites. Google will charge for advertising on this feature and hopes to include referrals to websites all over the world, the Israeli daily reports. The feature works when a user clicks a link to put him or her on the shopping page. The advertisement will have a picture of the product, its price, and reviews from other internet users. The service is currently in its first stages, Globes says, and advertisers will only appear to up to 2 percent of internet users. Google Shopping already operates in 37 countries.

April 17, 2018 | Israeli life sciences venture capital find aMoon Partners, co-founded by Dr. Yair Schindel and Marius Nacht, also the billionaire co-founder of cybersecurity giant CheckPoint Software Technologies, announced that it raised $200 million, with a goal for a total of $500 million, to invest in mid- to late-stage companies in the health and medical technologies field. The funds were raised from private investors. “The opportunity is vast,” Schindel said, according to Bloomberg. “There are about 1,500 life-sciences startups in Israel, of all types, and about 10 percent of them are mid- to late-stage opportunities. That’s a huge pipeline that we’re following very closely.” The average investment will be between $10 million and $40 million, he said, adding that most of the investments will be in Israel with possible opportunities in the US, the UK, and Switzerland. The first aMoon health fund was set up in 2017, with Nacht putting up $200 million. The fund invested in 16 startups.

April 17, 2018 | Israeli company Applitools announced that it raised $31 million in Series C funding led by OpenView, with participation from its existing investors Sierra Ventures, Magma Venture Partners, iAngels, and La Maison. Applitools platforms allow users to automate application tests that usually would be conducted manually, seeing how the app would appear on browsers, devices and more. Applitools said in a statement that it will “use the investment to fuel market expansion of its AI-powered visual testing and monitoring solution by scaling its R&D, operations, and sales.” Applitools CEO Gil Sever said, “Our mission is to help customers automate all visual aspects of application delivery, and address the growing importance of providing exceptional digital experiences across any device, browser, operating system, and language. We are excited to partner with OpenView to scale our enterprise-grade platform to support digital transformation with the velocity and quality that businesses demand.” Since it was founded in 2013 by Sever and Adam Carmi, Applitools has raised more than $46 million. Applitools sayd it developed the first and only “visual AI engine (Applitools Eyes) that mimics the human eye and brain in a reliable and scalable fashion.” The company says the tool has tens of thousands of users across more than 300 companies, and “recently crossed a total of 100 million visual comparisons and one billion component level validations.” Applitools is headquartered in San Mateo, California, and has an R&D center in Tel Aviv.

Technion Israel Institute of Technology logoApril 17, 2018 | The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has announced a $50 million naming gift from the Helen Diller Family Foundation to support the university’s new cutting-edge center for science and engineering. The center will be called the Helen Diller Center for Quantum Science, Matter, and Engineering, according to a statement from the university. “The gift…will strengthen the Technion’s position as a world leader in quantum science and engineering by providing the means for new faculty recruitment, establishing new infrastructure, seed funding for research and development, and educating a new generation of engineers with a master of quantum mechanics,” the university said. This is one of the largest single gifts ever to the Technion from an American donor. The Helen Diller for Quantum Science, Matter, and Engineering is also the first of its kind in Israel, hoping to advance the basic sciences while using the principles of quantum mechanics to impact various engineering fields and develop applications for a wide range of industries. The center will serve as a platform for collaboration between Technion scientists and engineers, as well as a research center for quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum computing, quantum sensing and detection, quantum materials, and quantum simulators.

 

travelperkApril 16, 2018 | Israeli-founded, Barcelona-based business travel booking and management platform TravelPerk has announced it has raised $21 million in a Series B funding round, according to the company. The round was led by Berlin-based venture capital firm Target Global and London firm Felix Capital. Spark Capital, Sunstone, and Amplo also participated in the round. This brings the company’s total money raised to $30 million. TravelPerk has been ranked the fastest-growing SaaS company in Europe and the fourth fastest-growing globally on the SaaS 1000 list, the statement says, and the company “has built the world’s largest bookable inventory” by integrating not only with hotels, airlines, rail companies, and all the major leisure travel sites. The next-generation platform, founded in 2015 by CPO Javier Suarez, and CEO Avi Meir, who completed his military service in the main technological unit of the Israeli Intelligence Corps, is a free service that also offers 24/7 customer support.

promoApril 16, 2018 | Slidely, the popular visual content creation service and cloud-based video creation service based in Tel Aviv, has announced that its online video creation maker for businesses, Promo, will be integrated with Shutterstock, the leading American stock photography, stock footage, stock music and editing tools company, according to a statement. The new content integration adds more than nine million premium quality videos to the Promo video platform over the next few months, increasing the video library from 3.5 million to over 12.5 million. Promo, launched by Slidely in August 2016, has already attracted over 40,000 paying customers and has become one of the fastest-growing software-as-a-service video creation platforms for small-and-medium-sized businesses.

together pharmaApril 16, 2018 | Israeli cannabis company Together Pharma has announced that its subsidiary Globus Pharma, specializing in the medical cannabis sector, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to sell medical cannabis or oil to an unnamed Canadian company with a license to grow, produce and import medical cannabis, a statement from the Israeli firm said. Under the agreement, the Canadian company will buy 50 tons of dried inflorescences (flowers) of cannabis each year or its equivalent, five tons of medical cannabis oil from Globus Pharma. The companies will also collaborate in R&D and promoting technologies in the medical cannabis sector. The companies estimate that the sales revenue of this deal will be between $3.17 and $4.7 per gram of inflorescence. Globus Pharma will provide the Canadian company with medical cannabis from farms in Israel “subject to receiving an export permit for medical cannabis” or from its farm in an overseas country, which has an export agreement with Canada. Israel is currently going through a medical cannabis export freeze ordered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February, which suspends reforms that would allow for the legal export of cannabis. The state and its cannabis industry stand to lose out on an opportunity to bring in $1 billion in annual revenue, but while Israeli cannabis farmers were angered by the decision, many of Israel’s leading cannabis companies and supporters remain optimistic that the ban will be lifted soon. Also, many of the Israeli companies, such as Together, are continuing to market and sell their medical cannabis products through overseas companies. The Canadian company is currently applying for a license to market and sell its own medical cannabis products in Canada and abroad. The company has told Globus that it expects to receive the license within four to five months.  Globus Pharma already has a sales agreement with a German company for 25 tons a year and a sales agreement for three tons a year with another Canadian company. Together also recently reported that “it will work to establish up to 25 acres of greenhouses in a country outside of Israel in a self-financed project,” according to the press release.

April 15, 2018 | Israeli startup Healthy.io announced a new partnership with the US National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and Geisinger, one of the largest health services organizations in America, for a clinical trial using a smartphone-enabled home urinalysis device for chronic kidney disease (CKD) among patients with high blood pressure. Healthy.io, according to the Tel Aviv-based company, “uses computer vision, machine learning, and user-centric design to turn the smartphone camera into a medical device.” The Israeli startup’s app will enable users to conduct a urinalysis test at home and securely share results with their clinicians to monitor the presence of albumin, which indicates kidney damage. Part of the clinical trial will be to “examine the effect of mailed, Healthy.io smartphone urinalysis kits (Dip.io test) to improve albuminuria screening compliance and detection of albuminuria.,” the companies said in a statement. Healthy.io CEO Yonatan Adiri said the company was “proud to pioneer its ‘adherence as a service’ platform with such forward-looking institutions as Geisinger and the National Kidney Foundation, adding that its “mission is to use advanced computer vision and patient-centric design to let clinicians empower their patients at scale without additional cost or effort.” He went on, “Like a Netflix for adherence we lean on the spread of digital technology and efficient logistics to offer on-demand testing delivered directly to the home. With a smartphone in your pocket, the point of care becomes wherever you are.” Alexander Chang, M.D., practicing nephrologist and assistant professor in the Kidney Health Research Institute at Geisinger, said, “Early detection of CKD is crucial so that risk factors can be aggressively managed to prevent end-stage renal disease and cardiovascular disease.” Kerry Willis, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at NKF said the new trial “will provide important information on how to increase testing for CKD in this high-risk population.Our hope is that a home-based test makes it easier for patients at risk for CKD to comply with regular albuminuria screening and that this will lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of CKD, reducing cardiovascular risk and preserving kidney function.” The clinical trial will get underway on April 16.

TAU, Tel Aviv University, Tel AvivApril 15, 2018 | Tel Aviv University announced that it was setting up a new venture capital fund to invest in Israeli startups, the first Israeli university to make such a move. The fund, TAU Ventures, will invest in early-stage startups and will run various incubation programs in different tech fields, the university said. The first program off the ground focuses on cybersecurity and is run in partnership with Japanese multinational NEC Corporation. According to Globes, which cites sources close to the university, the fund will total some $20 million. TAU Ventures’ offices will be in Ramat Aviv and will be run by Nimrod Cohen, formerly of Plus Ventures, which led investments in a number of successful startups including YOTPO, Bringg, and WSC Sports, sold to Snapchat. TAU President Joseph Klafter said in a statement, “Tel Aviv University is the most innovative and entrepreneurial university in Israel and I am proud that we arrived at the next required step, with the establishment of TAU Ventures, the new investment vehicle of the university.” Klafner said the initiative sets the university “in line with the leading universities in the world,” like MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley, which also have venture arms. Cohen said that “the advantage of the fund will be [in] identifying unique opportunities in early stages and suggested added value to the entrepreneurs among the students and our alumni of TAU.” Among the investors in the fund are Singapore-based Chartered High Tech Fund, Maxine Commercial Capital in Los Angeles, and additional investors from Canada. Eyal Agmoni, the head of Chartered Group said, “we made this investment out of our strong belief in the Israeli high-tech industry in general, and from knowing that a big part of entrepreneurship in Israel [involves] Tel Aviv University.” Bahzad Kianmahd, the co-founder and acting chairman and CEO of Maxine Commercial Capital said, “As an enthusiastic person in higher education and the future of Israel, I am proud to be a part of a fund which will operate under the TAU umbrella.”

April 15, 2018 | Israel’s Partner Communications Company, which runs the low-cost cable and internet service Partner TV, announced a collaboration agreement in Israel with Amazon Prime Video. Partner TV customers will now “have access to the Amazon Prime Video service on Partner TV set-top box, which offers access to view a broad selection of global content and Amazon Prime original content, including TV series and movies,” Partner said in a statement. Partner TV said it is the first and only television service in Israel to offer Amazon Prime Video application on a set top box and the first OTT (Over the Top) service in the world to support this application on an Android TV set top box. Amazon made it’s Prime Video content available in 200 countries, including Israel in 2016 via computer, smartphone, and TV apps. This is the first partnership with a cable operator. Partner also offers Netflix free of charge for new subscribers for up to three months. The financial details of the Amazon-Partner deal were not disclosed.

wibbitz logoApril 12, 2018 | Just before Israel’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 12, Israel’s official memorial to Holocaust victims Yad Vashem announced a cooperation with Israeli video platform startup Wibbitz. Yad Vashem will use Wibbitz to make Holocaust stories documented in texts and sound clips into video clips, through the company’s artificial intelligence platform. The goal is to create visual content that is shareable and can be easily distributed online. Wibbitz, founded in 2011 by Yotam Cohen and Zohar Dayan, creates video content for over 400 sites and has locations in Tel Aviv, New York, and Paris. The Jerusalem-based Yad Vashem was established in 1953 as a memorial dedicated to preserving the memory of Holocaust victims and those who fought Nazi oppressors as well as researching genocide and the Holocaust phenomenon.

genieApril 12, 2018 | Israeli smart oven food tech company Genie Enterprise has announced they have closed a Series A financing round, which was “oversubscribed at $10 million,” according to a statement. Carl Marks Securities acted as exclusive financial adviser for the deal and its principals were also investors. The round will help grow Genie in the United States. Founded in 2014, Genie’s food technology company develops and markets smart ovens that cook quick, but tasty meals at restaurant quality from fresh, dried ingredients without preservatives or artificial flavorings. Founded in 2014, Genie develops and markets smart ovens they call “kitchen-in-a-box,” which can cook restaurant-quality meals “at the touch of a button” in two to three minutes, from pods that carry fresh, dried ingredients. Genie also markets these pods. The Genie smart oven scans a barcode on the pod to cook the meal. The company began targeting Israeli hospitals, hotels, cafes, and businesses in 2017 and now hopes to do the same in the US. They have been used by companies such as Apple in Israel.

sequoiaApril 12, 2018 | Sequoia Capital Israel General Partner Gili Raanan has announced he is launching a new cybersecurity venture capital fund named Cyberstarts, according to a press release. This is said to be the world’s first venture capital firm backed by cybersecurity entrepreneurs. “The fund’s unique model is introducing a fresh approach for pre-investment decision making process and post-investment portfolio services,” the statement said. The fund has already received $50 million in funding in a very short time, thanks to the support of various cybersecurity entrepreneurs, including Check Point co-founders Shlomo Kramer and Marius Nacht, Imperva co-founder Amichai Shulman, IBM-acquired Trusteer founders Mickey Boodaei and Rakesh Loonkar, Palo Alto Networks founder Nir Zuk, and Microsoft-acquired Adallom founder Assaf Rappaport. Sequoia capital is also an investor in the fund. The fund also includes 10 US-based Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to support the decision making process.

menora mivtachimApril 11, 2018 | Israeli insurance giant Menora Mivtachim will team up with IBM accelerator, Alpha Zone, to strengthen their involvement in insurtech, Globes reports. Sources inform the Israeli daily that the insurance company will select advance-stage Israeli insurtech startups along with the accelerator.  The companies they select will receive insurance-based consultations and access to big data from Menora Mivtachim and access to cloud-based AI services and business assistance from IBM during the 20-week program, which will take place in IBM’s headquarters in Kiryat Arie. Menorah Mivtachim also partnered with global startup accelerator MassChallenge in January 2018.

ourcrowdApril 11, 2018 | OurCrowd, the leading global equity crowdfunding platform has announced that the recent exits of two companies in the past two days, its portfolio companies have achieved a total of 20 exits over the past five years. American footwear and apparel giant Nike announced Tuesday that they have acquired Israeli computer vision company Invertex for an undisclosed amount and San Francisco-based bike sharing service Jump is set to be acquired by Uber following a trial program with the company earlier this year. Other exits among the 20 include companies like Argus Cyber Security, which was acquired by Continental AG in 2017 for over $400 million, Shopial, a company that moves your online store to social networks, acquired by Magento in 2017, and ReWalk, a wearable robotics company for people with lower limb disabilities, who raised $36 million in an IPO on NASDAQ. Founded in 2013 by Jon Medved, OurCrowd currently has almost 25,000 accredited investors from over 112 countries. It has raised over $650 million and invested in 145 portfolio companies and funds. The company predicts it will surpass $1 billion in assets under management, raised through equity crowdfunding from investors.

karambaApril 11, 2018 | Karamba Security, an international provider of end-to-end automotive cybersecurity prevention solutions, announced Tuesday they have raised $10 million in funding from the US venture debt firm Western Technology Investment (WTI.) This brings Karamba Security’s total investment to $27 million. The company will use the money raised to acquire companies and technology assets to accelerate its Autonomous Security portfolio and address the growing demand for Karamba solutions. Founded in 2015, the Hod HaSharon-based company provides industry-leading automotive cybersecurity solutions for autonomous and connected cars. Security software products created by the company include Carwall and SafeCAN.

April 11, 2018 | Sources tell Israeli daily Globes that online orders at Israeli pharmaceutical chain Super-Pharm will soon be taken off shelves, packed and shipped by robots. The network has hired Tel Aviv-based startup CommonSense Robotics to operate a logistics center where products will automatically be packed by robots. The center is scheduled to launch in the next six months. Super-Pharm will pay Commonsense Robotics a monthly retainer to operate the center, provide robot equipment, and employ workers. The service is expected to shorten delivery time, cut labor costs for retailers, and even cut delivery cost. CommonSense Robotics, a Tel Aviv-based company founded in 2015  aiming to help online grocery retailers offer on-demand, one-hour deliveries using robotics and artificial intelligence, raised $20 million in a Series A funding round in February.

April 10, 2018 | Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity company founded by Israeli Nir Zuk, announced its intent to acquire Israeli cybersecurity firm Secdo, which develops solutions for enterprise security operations teams for quick incident responses. Secdo’s patented technology “uses assisted learning combined with the only thread-level visibility to automatically investigate and respond to every alert from any security technology,” the company says. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. “Secdo’s team of elite engineers will complement the deep security expertise and innovation inside the Palo Alto Networks research and development organization,” Palo Alto Networks wrote in a statement. Mark McLaughlin, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks said, “With Secdo’s EDR capabilities as part of our platform, we will accelerate our ability to detect and prevent successful cyber attacks across the cloud, endpoint, and network.” Secdo co-founder and CEO Shai Morag said the company “delighted to join the Palo Alto Networks team,” adding that Secdo, based in Ra’anana, was founded “to dramatically increase visibility for security operations teams to reduce the time it takes to detect and respond to an alert. The combined capabilities of Secdo and Palo Alto Networks will provide customers the capabilities they need to swiftly and accurately detect and respond to cyber attacks.” Palo Alto Networks previously acquired Isreali startup LightCyber in 2017 for $105 million and Cyvera, an Israel-based cyber firm for some $200 million in 2014. Earlier this year, the Santa Clara, California-based firm announced the opening of a new R&D center in Tel Aviv.

April 10, 2018 | US-based medical device company Medtronic is acquiring Israeli company VisionSense, which develops imaging and visualization tech for minimally invasive surgery, for $75 million, up to $50 million cash and a further $25 million in milestone payments, Globes first reported. VisionSense was founded in 1998 and raised $20 million over the years, according to the report. The company developed a 3D-HD camera that “optically maps the surgical field.”

April 10, 2018 | Beijing’s Zhongguancun Science Park (Z-Park), dubbed “China’s Silicon Valley,” is set to open a liaison office in Tel Aviv, Chinese news service Xinhua reported, in an effort to strengthen channels of communication and tap into business opportunities in both countries. The announcement was made this week during a meeting between Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Doron Sapir and Beijing Vice Mayor Yin Hejun leading a delegation included high-level executives of Z-Park. “Beijing and Tel Aviv, like China and Israel, are completely different in size, but share many common values: adopting technology and modernization, cherishing education, and striving to always improve our municipal systems,” Sapir was quoted by Xinhua as saying. Yin Hejun said, “We are thrilled to announce this liaison office in Tel Aviv, which is the center of the Israeli ecosystem, as another step in the cooperation between our cities, calling the Z-Park as “home to innovation and breakthrough technologies.” This will be Z-Park’s 11th liaison office across the world, according to the report. The tech hub is home to tech giants like Lenovo and caters to some 20,000 tech enterprises.

nutrinoApril 10, 2018 | Nutrition data startup Nutrino, a provider of nutrition-related data services and analytics technology, announced Monday that it has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round, bringing its total funding to $10 million. Nutrino was founded in 2014 by Jonathan Lipnik, now the company’s president and chairman of the board, and Yaron Hadad, its chief scientist. The latest funding round was led by Pereg Ventures, Nielsen Ventures, the venture arm of data analytics giant Nielsen, and Gandyr Group, who were joined by existing investors. The funding will be used to expand partnerships and help grow Nutrino’s food database and nutrition data insights platforms, which is said to be the largest in the world, and collates data from millions of access points and food items globally. With offices in San Francisco and Tel Aviv, Nutrino uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to better understand individual responses to particular foods through feedback from various data points. Its nutrition insights platform, which collects, processes, and analyzes food-related data is a tool used by food and beverage groups, digital health industries, fitness companies, and more. The data and insights collected help Nutrino define an individual’s FoodPrint, or digital signature, of how food affects a person’s body. Nutrino CEO Yael Glassman tells NoCamels that the funding will go toward commercial expansion as well as into expanding and scaling the database. “Our proprietary technology, FoodPrint, uncovers the previously invisible connections between people and their food,” said Glassman in a company statement. “Nutrino is where data meets nutrition, and as we’ve demonstrated in our work with multinational partners around nutrition and diabetes, the opportunity is vast.” Ziv Ben Barouch, Managing Partner of Pereg Ventures said, “Digital Health is predicted to be worth several hundreds of billions in the coming decade…with skyrocketing consumer demand for increased information about what they eat and growing health awareness, nutrition data is the largest untapped sector of this industry, and Nutrino is perfectly positioned to address this opportunity.” Nutrino says that with an estimated 415 million people living with diabetes worldwide, expected to reach 642 million by 2040, the company “can offer smart, data-based, individualized insights for personal nutrition” in order to “empower[s] better food decisions and shape[s] better outcomes for individuals and businesses.”

Marijuana Plant. PixabayApril 10, 2018 | Israeli pharmacies are set to begin selling medical cannabis products on April 20, or 4/20 which in cannabis culture refers to the consumption of cannabis. Twenty pharmacies will participate in the pilot program in the first stage of the roll-out, CTech by Calcalist reported. The program is part of a push to reform the regulation of medical cannabis led by the Israeli Health Ministry and approved in 2016. Patients with a medical cannabis license will soon be able to purchase products prescribed by their doctors at the local pharmacy instead of the few tightly regulated dispensaries.

April 10, 2018 | Nike announced that it has acquired Tel Aviv-based computer vision firm Invertex for an undisclosed amount. Nike said in a statement that it made the deal “to strengthen its digital technology platforms.” The Israeli team “will focus on building groundbreaking innovations to help Nike serve millions of members around the globe.” Nike Chief Digital Officer Adam Sussman said, “The acquisition of Invertex will deepen our bench of digital talent and further our capabilities in computer vision and artificial intelligence as we create the most compelling Nike consumer experience at every touch point.” Invertex CEO David Bleicher said, “Nike’s connection to and understanding of their consumer is unsurpassed and we look forward to joining their team to help drive the Consumer Direct Offense.” Invertex, founded in 2014, combines AI and 3D tech for “scan-to-fit guided shopping experiences platforms that perfectly match people and products.” In 2017, Invertex had raised $2 million in a seed funding led by OurCrowd.

armisApril 9, 2018 | Israeli IoT security platform Armis announced Monday it has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round. The round was led by Israel-based VC fund Red Dot Capital Partners and California-based VC Bain Capital Ventures. Sequoia Capital and Tenaya Capital also participated in the round as returning investors Armis will use the investment “to meet demand for advanced security technologies that allow enterprises to secure IoT-related digital transformation efforts, expand sales, and marketing, and further develop its device knowledge base and security platform,” a statement said. Total funding for the company is now at $47 million. Founded in 2015 by Nadir Izrael, Tomer Schwartz, and Yevgeny Dibrov, Armis eliminates the enterprise IoT security blind spot, letting enterprises embrace IoT as part of their digital transformation and develop full visibility and control over the IoT devices that operate within their networks, critical to running their business. Armis’ security solution analyzes and classifies these devices in order to identify risks or potential cyber attacks. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv.

April 8, 2018 | Israeli sock startup, ElastiMed, announced earlier this month that it selected as one of 57 companies worldwide (and one of four Israeli startups) to earn a $1.6 million grant from the Horizon 2020 program as a part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot. The grant was awarded over two years and will be used “to further product development, clinical studies, production scale-up, marketing and expanding the company’s current intellectual property,” ElastiMed said in a statement. The northern Israel-based startup has developed a wearable medical device that helps improve circulation in the legs for treating venous and lymphatic diseases. ElastiMed’s sock uses battery-operated technology to activate electric pulses that compress and massage the legs to stimulate circulation. The pulses mimic contractions in the calf muscles that in turn increase blood flow. ElastiMed Founder and CEO Omer Zelka said the grant “is another step forward in ElastiMed’s quest to bring its product to market and provide users with a compression therapy solution that they can use comfortably.” The other three Israeli companies awarded grants were Vectorious Medical Technologies, which developed a miniature implant for left-atrial monitoring to detect heart failure and recently raised $9.5 million in a Series B funding round, Yokneam-based Israeli startup PixCell, which develops, manufactures, and markets portable medical diagnostic products for simple blood sampling and analysis, and Jerusalem’s Triox Nano, which is developing a “targeted drug delivery system via synergistic combination of intelligent DNA molecular machines and gated mesoporous nanoparticles.”

April 8, 2018 | Porsche Digital GmbH, a subsidiary that identifies trends and invests in startups for Porsche AG, has purchased a “minority stake” in Israeli startup Anagog, according to a statement from the German sports car manufacturer. Anagog’s AI-powered software allows companies to understand and predict customer behavior in certain situations. With the investment, “Porsche is continuing to drive digital transformation and as a result, can now develop and offer context-based and personalized services,” the statement said. Founded in 2010, Anagog’s technology can be integrated into smartphone apps and is already used in about 100 different apps around the world.

April 8, 2018 | Israeli entrepreneurs are set to host a hackathon next month for the benefit of Holocaust survivors in Israel and across the world. The 36-hour event, slated for May 10 and 11, is hosted by TLV Starters, the organization behind the book “Startup Guide Tel Aviv.” The group said the event, dubbed “Spark Hackathon,” is aimed at harnessing “the power of [the] ‘Startup Nation’ to make an impact and create applicable and feasible solutions for the benefit of Holocaust-related issues.” Holocaust survivors, the group says, face a number of daily challenges, including financial, psychological, health, social, and others.” In Israel, some 50,000 Holocaust survivors live below the poverty line, relying on donations and aid organizations to survive. In the US, a third of the remaining 100,000 survivors live in poverty with a majority living on less than $23,000 a year. Noting a “very concerning wave of Holocaust and related denial of historical events,” TLV Starters says the Israeli high-tech sector “holds incredible resources of manpower and know-how” and “can do so much more to support this unique Israeli and Jewish challenge.” The hackathon will aim to “find and create feasible solutions for challenges in education, remembrance, and quality of life of Holocaust survivors,” as well as establish a platform that will enable collaboration and partnerships between companies and organizations.” TLV Starters, founded by Erez Gavish and Natan Leibzon, promises thousands of shekels in prizes for the winner. The initiative is led Gavish, Leibzon, Anat Greemland and Alon Rapaport and has the support of leading Israeli venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, as well as the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel, Tel Aviv University, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and tech giant Microsoft. Israel marks Holocaust Memorial Day, or Yom Hashoah, on April 12 this year.

selinaApril 8, 2018 | Central American co-working and traveling hospitality service Selina has raised $95 million in a funding round, Tech Crunch reported last week.  The money was raised by Israeli-born WeWork founder Adam Neumann and Dubai investor company Abraaj Group. Selina combines a hotel, co-working space, curated tours, fitness classes, homegrown meals, and volunteering into one hostel. “Instead of just renting out a room in an Airbnb or paying for a hotel room in a boutique hotel, or some co-working space, Selina aims to be a more streamlined way to get that mixture of a community experience, a boutique hotel feel, and the ease of getting a consistent experience across multiple different properties,” Tech Crunch says. The company has 22 locations throughout Central America including Mexico and Panama. It plans to open a new location in Miami this year. The company was founded by Israelis Rafael Museri and Daniel Rudasevski in Panama and has offices in Panama, London, and New York.

April 7, 2018 | The UN Population Fund has announced that Save A Child’s Heart (SACH), the international non-profit organization based in Wolfson Medical Center in the central Israel city of Holon, has won the 2018 UN Population Award, according to a statement. Since its founding in 1996, Save a Child’s Heart has provided pediatric cardiac care and lifesaving cardiac surgery for 4,400 children from 55 countries including Africa, South America, and the Middle East. The UN Award was established by the UN General Assembly in 1981 to recognize outstanding achievements in population and health. The Committee for the United Nations Population Award make the selections each year honoring an individual or institution for outstanding contributions to issues of population and reproductive health and to their solutions. The committee is chaired by Ghana, and includes Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Benin, Gambia, Haiti, Iran, Israel, Paraguay and Poland. Other winners recognized this year include Sir Prince Ramsey, a doctor who has improved health care for thousands of people in disadvantaged communities of Antigua and Barbuda and The Guttmacher Institute, a leading research and policy organization that advances sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States and globally.

 

April 5, 2018 | Israeli content recommendation giant Taboola has signed a deal with Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE Corporation to incorporate a new feature that shows Taboola’s recommended links on some of its phones, the companies said Wednesday. “The module will initially include only links to news and lifestyle stories from existing publishing partners, although the company may eventually expand to include paid links from content marketers,” Taboola Chief Executive Adam Singolda said, according to the Wall Street Journal. No word on which exact publishers will be included in the links. Singolda says Taboola pre-installed on ZTE will be a “publisher-friendly Android version of Apple News, the iPhone app developed by Apple Inc. that comes pre-installed on the company’s mobile devices,” but that it won’t be “a stand-alone app.” The Israeli-founded content discovery platform serves over 360 billion recommendations to over 1 billion unique visitors every month on sites like USA Today, Business Insider, and The Weather Channel. Publishers pay Taboola to include their links as recommendations to refer readers to their websites, and Taboola gets a cut of the ad revenue generated on their site. By installing Taboola on its phones, ZTE will get a piece of that ad revenue share.

Sirin Labs logoApril 5, 2018 | Sirin Labs, the Israeli-founded startup, has announced that FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturing company Foxconn, will manufacture its Finney, a blockchain-secured open-source smartphone. The Finney smartphone will help owners store and use digital coins like bitcoin. The agreement will merge the company’s cold wallet hardware, software, integration, and the Sirin OS with FIH Mobile’s development of main components like camera, display, and radio, Sirin Labs said in a statement. NoCamels reported in March that Chinese multinational telecommunications company Huawei was in talks with Sirin Labs to license its SirinOS operating system. Sirin Labs confirmed that the meeting happened, but have not made any announcements regarding it.

April 4, 2018 | Israeli cloud networking firm Meta Networks has raised $10 million in a seed funding round, the company announced Tuesday in a statement. The round was led by Israeli VC firm Vertex Ventures and VC fund BRM Group. With the round,  it has also launched its flagship network and security platform Meta NaaS (Network-as-a-Service.) The flexible platform is designed to provide on-security capabilities for enterprises and their employees, while reducing the possibility of a security breach. Founded in 2016, Meta Networks connects people, applications, clouds, and sites within a perimeter defined by software.

 

April 4, 2018 | Europe’s co-working and co-living space company rent24 announced late last month that it would be opening its first location in Tel Aviv this coming summer, with a site that will offer offices, conference rooms, an event hall, a lounge, and a 400 square meter roof terrace with a wide view of the city from an office tower on Eliezer Kaplan street. The Berlin-founded company, with 24 locations in 4 countries worldwide, is a rival to Israeli-co-founded giant WeWork, which has six locations in Tel Aviv alone (and 10 total in Israel). Robert Bukvic, founder and CEO of rent24, said in a statement that the expansion into Israel was an important step for the company,“The Israeli start-up scene is booming. As one of the most important economic centers in the Middle East, Tel Aviv is a logical hub for us. From here, we want to roll out the rent24 concept to all of Israel and offer a creative and inspiring working environment to both freelancers and companies, from start-ups to corporations.” Users of rent24’s services are able to use the companies facilities in all 24 of its locations worldwide. The company also offers additional services like coliving and an on-site gym. “Our aim is to create the ideal environment for a productive working day – we want our members to enjoy going to work each day,” said Bukvic.

asosApril 4, 2018 | UK online fashion retailer ASOS has signed a cooperation deal with Israeli fashion startup Zeekit, the companies announced in a statement this week. The online fashion giant will use Zeekit’s technology to dress models with simulated images of fashion items in a deal reported to amount to over NIS 2 million ($560,000) per year, according to Globes. Zeekit’s virtual dressing room feature was integrated into the ASOS clothing app; it allows the company to use an image of a garment and fit it on to models of different body shapes and sizes. The collaboration is expected to shorten the time needed to put a new fashion product on the site. Founded in 2000, ASOS is now one of the biggest e-commerce sites in the world, selling over 80,000 items to customers around the world through distribution centers in the UK, US, China, and some European countries.

googleApril 3, 2018 | US tech giant Google has selected Tel Aviv, Israel as the site for a new startup accelerator focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The accelerator, launched in early March, is part of Google’s Launchpad program, which helps startups build and scale products by “matching them with the best of Google, including people, networks, and advanced technologies.” This is the first time Google has taken the program outside the United States. Roy Glasberg, founder and general manager of the Google Global Acceleration programs and the Google AI Studio, told the Jerusalem Post that “part of the drive to set up the Tel Aviv accelerator is the company’s effort to move from a mobile-first mentality to AI-first.” He said that while “Silicon Valley is the leading, most mature tech ecosystem in the world…after five years of traveling the world, I came back to Israel, which is our best sandbox for experimentation.” Google’s Israel accelerator is currently working with BrainQ, a Jerusalem-based startup that aims to cure stroke and spinal cord injuries through brain-computer interface (BCI.) Aside from its own accelerator, Google also works with more than 150 local startups through different Israeli accelerators.

Samsung logoApril 3, 2018 | Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, the venture capital firm specializing in seed investments and early-stage startups and an affiliate of electronics manufacturer Samsung Electronics, announced it had invested $4.6 million in Israeli AI audio search company Audioblast, Forbes reported last week. The South Korean giant said it made the investment through their VC firm last year. It will integrate Audioblast’s tech into many Samsung devices. Industry insiders told India’s Economic Times that “the decision apparently reflects Samsung Electronics’ bid to bolster its capabilities in the AI segment” while Forbes says it’s a “‘sound’ move from Samsung, who is seeing Amazon’s Echo devices, with Alexa inside, dominating the smart speaker market” and that it “could also help Samsung compete against the Google voice assistant.” Founded in 2015, Audioburst provides customized audio content to users through analyzing their preferences and listening patterns.

apesterApril 2, 2018 | Israeli startup Apester has partnered with media publisher Time Inc. for the second year in a row to poll readers about who they think should be in the TIME 100 list highlighting the most influential people in the world, Time Inc announced on its site.The Tel Aviv-based startup provides publishers with tools to  create, embed, and share interactive content in posts and articles. Time polls its readers using a new Apester story format launched in February. This format is a gallery of slides with interactive buttons where people can click their choice. According to Times of Israel, Apester says its story format “is only available to news and commercial websites. Voting for Time’s poll began on March  28 and will end on April 17 at midnight Eastern Standard Time. Time will announce who made their Time 100 list in five categories (pioneers, artists, leaders, titans, and icons) on April 19.

IVC Research CenterApril 2, 2018 | Israeli startups raised about $330 million during March 2018 and over $1 billion in the first quarter of 2018, according to Globes. The Israeli daily’s calculations were based on companies’ announcements of completed funding rounds over the course of January-March. Israeli startups also raised an estimated $260 million in January 2018 and $500 million in February 2018, bringing the first quarter’s total to just below $1.1 billion. The number is up from the $1.03 billion in the first quarter of 2017, according to an IVC-ZAG Israeli High-Tech Capital Raising Survey. March’s number came from the $100 million raised by social trading company eToro, which made up almost one third of the entire figure. Other funding rounds in March include $30 million raised by cybersecurity company BioCatch, $30 million raised by AI medical diagnostics firm Medial EarlySign, and $29 million raised by fintech company Capitolis. Also, medical monitoring firm Continuse Biometrics raised $20 million, and Luminate Security, an SaaS security platform raised $14 million. Some companies prefer not to publicize the investments they receive, therefore the figures for March 2018 and the first quarter of 2018 could actually be more than what is reported here.

April 2, 2018 | Google web mapping service Google Maps announced last week that it was launching its platform in 39 additional languages, including Hebrew, Globes reported. The service had been supported in Hebrew within Israel, by displaying the names of locations within the country in Hebrew. Now the entire service is available in Hebrew, including  major locations around the world. The languages added to Google Maps yesterday including Danish, Persian, and Turkish.

 

softwheel logoApril 2, 2018 | Global manufacturing company Linamar, the second largest Canadian manufacturer of auto parts traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, announced it has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Israeli startup SoftWheel, according to a statement.  “The cooperation exemplifies the vision of smart urban transportation that SoftWheel’s technology represents,” the statement said. Linamar will set up a production line for SoftWheel products in North America. The production line will produce current and future product designs and increase SoftWheel production capacity to accelerate its entrance into the global market. Founded in 2011, the Tel Aviv-based SoftWheel has developed a unique suspension technology with the suspension mounted within the wheel itself. Their products have been adopted by a variety of transportation sectors including wheelchairs and bicycles. Linamar already has 59 factories and six product development centers in 15 countries around the world, manufacturing parts for the global automotive industry at large.

masschallengeApril 1, 2018 | MassChallenge, one of the largest startup accelerators in the world, has announced that 55 early-stage startups will join its 2018 program in Israel. The startups are from a number of different industries including medtech, visual technology, and future mobility. At least 18 of the companies participating in the program are based outside Israel, including six startups from India in the fields of cybersecurity, aerospace, IOT, healthcare, and agriculture, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) said in a statement. Companies from Poland, Kenya, the UK, and the US are also taking part. More than 520 startups from 32 countries applied to join the 2018 class of MassChallenge Israel. Startups were evaluated on their ability to demonstrate impact and potential by a judging panel that included more than 170 of the world’s top executives, entrepreneurs, and investors, MassChallenge said. The accelerator will last four months and run from late April through early August 2018. It culminates with the MassChallenge Israel awards, where the top startups will be invited to the MassChallenge Israel trek, an all-expenses-paid roadshow to the US East Coast. Select startups will also share a portion of an equity-free cash prize of NIS 500,000 ($143,000.) MassChallenge launched a partnership with the Deshpande Foundation and Nasscom in January 2018 as part of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to India. The partnership would grant a $5,000 scholarship to up to 10 Indian teams accepted into the Jerusalem-based MassChallenge Israel accelerator.

April 1, 2018 | Contguard, an Israeli startup that provides global monitoring for goods in transit and business intelligence, announced that it raised an undisclosed sum from Palo Alto-headquartered Citi Ventures, the venture arm of Citi, and early-stage Canadian VC firm Canaan Ventures. Contguard said the new funds “will enable it to accelerate development of its technology to help the international trade industry gather insights into product shipments and to develop partnerships with banks and insurers,” Reuters reported.

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