January 19, 2017 | Forbes has announced its second Under 30 Summit EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), which will take place in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, April 2-6, 2017, under the theme “Innovation, Exploration, and Inspiration.” Over 750 of the world’s most influential young entrepreneurs — 250 from the US, 250 from Europe and 250 from Israel – are expected to attend the invitation-only event. The event will feature product demos and keynotes, showcasing the most cutting-edge innovators and disruptors, and will provide mentorship from successful business leaders.
| January 19, 2017 | The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Institute was honored by Reuven Rivlin at the official residence of the President of the State of Israel for its $100 million initiative to provide scholarships to the next generation of STEM leaders in the United States and Israel. The American business leader and philanthropist Mortimer Zuckerman launched the Zuckerman Stem Leadership Program, to support future generations of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math in the United States and Israel and, over time, foster greater collaboration between two of the world’s most advanced scientific research centers. The program will give the highest-achieving American post-doctoral researchers and graduate students the ability to collaborate with leading researchers at Israel’s top research institutions – the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; Tel Aviv University; and the Weizmann Institute of Science – which are among the world’s most advanced.
January 19, 2017 | Leading Israeli adtech firm, Woobi, a startup with offices in London and Tel Aviv, has been awarded Best Video Distribution Platform at The Digiday Awards which recognizes the most outstanding and inspired work in branded digital video, video marketing and video advertising. The awards gala was held on January 17 at The Rubin Museum of Art in NYC. The other three finalists alongside Woobi in the category for “Best Video Distribution Platform” were Unruly, Playbuzz and EPIX. Woobi’s programmatic video solutions are designed to remove the barrier of entry for brand advertisers who are looking for new and engaging ways to reach their target audience. Woobi accommodates ads to each user’s own interaction patterns, and provides brands and advertisers access to hundreds of millions of users.
January 17, 2017 | Israeli mobile ad analytics company AppsFlyer has raised $56 million, increasing the total capital it has raised since it was founded to $84 million. The round was led by new investors Qumra Capital, as well as Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing (PCI), Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP) and Pitango Growth. AppsFlyer enables app developers (such as Gett) to economically analyze the effectiveness of their campaigns on mobile. The company does not sell or buy media; it measures the return on investment (ROI) for buying media. The current financing round follows substantial growth in the company, which asserts that its revenue has grown six times over during the past two years, but does not disclose how much that revenue is. AppsFlyer measures 250 billion actions using over 10,000 apps each month and its customers include Samsung, HBO, Waze, Playtika, Alibaba, Baidu, Trivago, Macy’s, and others. It is an official analytics partner of Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Adobe, Twitter, and more than 2,000 others. AppsFlyer was co-founded in 2011 by Reshef Mann, and Oren Kaniel.
January 17, 2017 |The Israel Venture Capital Research Center (IVC) is reporting that Israeli venture capital fundraising activity in 2016 reached a total of $1.4 billion, with 23 VC funds raising for the 2016 vintage year, including 12 first-time funds. Of the 2016 vintage funds, 14 made a first closing at an average 60 percent of their targets, and are expected to raise additional capital to be added to the 2016 vintage funds. It is expected that 2016 vintage fund raising will have totaled $1.6 billion, a record for the past decade, to surpass 2015 vintage year’s $1.5 billion raised by 19 funds. A seventh Israeli VC fund raising cycle started in 2015, and has already reached 79 percent of the total amount raised in the sixth cycle, which took place from 2011 to 2014. Moreover, the amount raised by Israeli VC funds in the past three years remained high.
January 16, 2017 | One of the largest TED events in the Middle East, “TEDxWhiteCity“, will be held on Wednesday January 25th at the Opera-Performing Arts Center in Tel Aviv. Guest lecturers include: 2016 Rio Olympics judo bronze medalist Ori Sasson , synthetic biology author Dr. Tom Ren, CEO and founder of Tridom, Yaron Schwartz, and many more. Some 1,500 participants are expected for the event. Gathering insights from the fields of technology, education and art, TEDxWhiteCity will focus on the spirit of innovation in Israel as the theme this year is “Destination: Unknown”.
January 16, 2017 | U.S. software provider Oracle Corp announced today that it was opening an accelerator program in Israel for startups developing cloud technologies or whose technologies are based in the cloud. Run by Oracle’s research and development team, the program provides six months of mentoring from technical and business experts, advanced technology, access to Oracle’s customers, and partners and investors. A pilot program was first launched in India and more centers will be announced soon. Oracle said this was a multi-million dollar program but did not disclose how much it would invest in each center. Oracle’s startup cloud accelerator program builds on its excellence center for Israeli startups, which was established in 2003 by Oracle Israel in cooperation with the government to support the growth of early stage startups. Thirty six companies were approved to take part in the excellence center, totaling more than $150 million in estimated exits.
January 16, 2017 | Fraugster, a German-Israeli anti-fraud company that has invented an Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to eliminate payment fraud, has raised $5 million in funding. The international venture capital fund Earlybird is the new lead investor in the company, alongside existing investors Speedinvest, Seedcamp and a large Swiss family office. This latest round of investment will be used to hire new staff to support the international growth of the company, which is used by online merchants and retailers. Fraugster was founded in 2014 by Max Laemmle, who previously co-founded payment gateway company Better Payment, and Chen Zamir, who has spent more than a decade in different analytics and risk management roles including five years at PayPal. The company already handles almost $15 billion in transaction volume for several thousand international merchants and payment service providers, such as Visa.
January 15, 2017 | Israeli company VisIC Technologies Ltd, a fabless developer of power conversion devices based on gallium nitride metal-insulator-semiconductor high-electron-mobility transistors, has closed a $11.6 million Series C round of financing led by new investor Birch Investment and existing investors. The company was founded in 2010 by Tamara Baksht and is based in Nes Ziona.
January 15, 2017 | Israeli company WalkMe, which offers on-screen site guidance and engagement analytics, has acquired Israeli startup Abbi, specialists in mobile A/B testing and app engagement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. WalkMe raised $50 million last year on a $400 million valuation. Abbi has raised around $1 million in funding. WalkMe has some 1,000 larger enterprises and thousands of small and medium businesses using its services, including MasterCard, PayPal, Pandora, BT, Unilever, Prudential, Panasonic, U.S. Postal Service, Sony, State Farm, Comcast, IBM, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Home Depot, HP, J.P. Morgan Chase, Verizon, and Toyota.
January 12, 2017 | Israeli digital health and mobile health solutions developer DarioHealth Corp. (formerly Labstyle Innovations) has raised $5.1 million in a private placement. DarioHealth closed on $3.1 million of the transaction while $2 million more of gross proceeds are subject to shareholder approval per Nasdaq rules. The company has developed a mobile blood glucose monitoring platform. The deal was led by OurCrowd Qure, a dedicated digital health fund that invested $2.5 million of the $5.1 million. Current investors of Jerusalem based DarioHealth also participated in the current round indicating the strong support and belief in the company’s strategy moving forward. OurCrowd Qure was granted two board seats, which will be selected and announced at a later date. Funding will be used to accelerate adoption across existing markets and into new geographies such as Germany in 2017.
January 12, 2017 |Israeli startup Transmit Security, which is developing programmable biometric authentication has come out of stealth and announced a $40 million self-funded round of financing. Based in Boston and Tel Aviv, the company has unveiled a platform that will disrupt the $10 billion authentication software market. The technology enables organizations to displace passwords and implement any form of identity verification, on any device, across all their customer/partner facing channels. The company is being financed by its founders, CEO Mickey Boodaei and president Rakesh K. Loonkar, who previously created online banking security pioneer Trusteer, which was acquired by IBM in 2013. Boodaei also cofounded Imperva, a billion dollar provider of cyber and data security products. The company’s research and development team is made up of former members of Unit 8200, the elite Israeli Intelligence Corps.
January 11, 2017 | Israeli drip irrigation manufacturer Rivulis Irrigation announced today that it has acquired Greek irrigation company Eurodrip, the world’s fourth largest irrigation equipment company. The acquisition will make Rivulis into the world’s second largest irrigation company outside of India. No financial details about the detail were disclosed although the announcement did say that it was an all-share deal. Israeli private equity firm FIMI Opportunity Funds (FIMI), controlled by Ishay Davidi, will remain the controlling shareholder in Rivulis after completion of the deal. Based at Kibbutz Gvat near Afula in the Jezreel Valley, Rivulis was formerly Plastro and then the water division of John Deere, before it was acquired by FIMI.
January 11, 2017 | Israeli startup Corephotonics, which is developing dual camera technologies for smartphones, has completed a $15 million financing round. Since it was founded in 2012 by CEO Prof. David Mendlovic and VP R&D Dr. Gal Shabtay, the Tel Aviv based company has raised more than $50 million. Strategic investors participating in the financing round are Samsung Ventures; Foxconn, and Taiwan’s MediaTek. Two additional investment funds participated in this funding round, one from China and the other from Hong Kong. Corephotonics’ current investors include Magma VC, Samsung Ventures, Amiti Ventures, Chinese billionaire Li Ka-shing and Solina Chau’s Horizon Ventures, OurCrowd, SanDisk, Chinese telephony services provider CK Telecom, and additional private investors.
January 28, 2015 | Israeli flash storage company Kaminario announced today it has closed a $75 million financing round. This bringing the company’s total funding to $218 million since it was founded in 2008. The latest round was led by Waterwood Group with a mix of new and existing investors, including Sequoia, Pitango, Lazarus, Silicon Valley Bank and Globespan Capital Partners. The new capital will be used to accelerate go-to-market initiatives, expand Kaminario’s global presence, and fuel R&D. Last month Israeli company Zirra, which uses AI to evaluate startups, estimated that Kaminario was worth $811 million. This latest financing must surely mean it is now a unicorn worth more than $1 billion. Kaminario was founded by CEO Dani Golan, Ofir Dubovi and Moshe Selfin. The company is headquartered in Needham, Massachusetts and has its development center in Yokneam, near Haifa.
January 10, 2017 | The venture arms of Microsoft and Qualcomm Ventures have invested in Team8, an Israeli creator of cybersecurity startups, as big multinational companies get behind Israel’s burgeoning cyber industry in the face of growing threats. The Tel Aviv based company also announced a strategic partnership with Citigroup to help develop its products. Team8’s other investors are Cisco, AT&T, Accenture, Nokia, Singapore’s Temasek, Japan’s Mitsui, Bessemer Venture Partners, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Marker LLC. Cofounded by CEO Nadav Zafrir, Israel Grimberg and Liran Grinberg, all veterans of the Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Unit 8200 (the equivalent of America’s National Security Agency), Team8 does not invest in cybersecurity companies, but creates them. The Tel Aviv-based company launched in late 2014 with an $18 million financing round and raised a further $23 million last February. With the latest financing round, Team8 says it has now raised $92 million.
January 8, 2017 | Clal Biotechnology Industries Ltd. announced today that Neon Therapeutics had completed a $70 million financing round. Following the round, Clal Biotechnology will own 5% of US company Neon. The round was led by Partner Fund Management, together with Inbio, Wellington, Fidelity Ventures, and Nextech Invest. Previous investors Third Rock Ventures and Access Industries also took part. Neon has begun a trial of a vaccination against malaria. Clal Biotechnoloigy was founded in 1998 and is based out of Ramat Gan, Israel.
| January 5, 2017 | Israeli content recommendation company Taboola has announced the acquisition of Israeli web personalization and onsite optimization startup Commerce Sciences. No financial details about the deal were disclosed but Taboola said that Commerce Sciences staff will join Taboola’s Tel Aviv offices. Herzliya-based Commerce Sciences was founded in 2012 by CEO Aviv Revach, CTO Eyal Brosh and Omri Yacubovich, graduates of the IDF’s 8200 Intelligence Unit. The company is backed by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Genesis Partners, KGC Capital, and angel investors, including Backplane chairman and Palantir Technologies co-founder Joe Lonsdale. Taboola was founded in 2007 by CEO Adam Singolda and has a current valuation of around $1B.
January 4, 2017 | US media and analytics company SocialCode has acquired Israeli startup MentAd. Based in Tel Aviv, MentAd has developed a predictive marketing technology platform to deliver additional scale and performance to social, mobile and video advertising for leading brands. The company was founded in 2011 by Yuval Baror and Daniel Romano and has raised $4.7 million to date from OurCrowd, Blumberg Capital, Titanium, and Edison Partners. No financial details about the acquisition were disclosed.
January 4, 2017 | Israeli startup Flytrex, which is developing a drone delivery solution, has raised $3 million, “TechCrunch” reports. The round was led by Swiss-based Armada VC, owned by Daniel Aegerter, as well as private angel investors Daniel Gutenberg and Joey Low with the participation of several unnamed private angel investors. Flytrex’s platform is designed for delivery companies or large retailers desiring to implement drone delivery. The platform provides a cloud solution for the tracking and management of delivery drones. The company is also developing drone hardware tailored for point-to-point or point-to-area delivery. Based in Tel Aviv, Flytrex was founded by CEO Yariv Bash and Amit Regev. Learn more about the company in our recent story.
January 4, 2017 | Israeli cancer apoptosis company ARTSaVIT LTD. announced today that it has completed a $6.3 million Series A round of financing led by Arkin Bio Ventures and Pontifax, with participation of Merck Ventures, Carmel Innovation and Carmel – Haifa University Economic Corporation Ltd. ARTSaVIT was co-founded by Carmel, the economic corporation of the University of Haifa, Carmel Innovations Fund and Professor Sarit Larisch from the University of Haifa, Israel. Prof. Larisch has identified and characterized ARTS, a protein which regulates the levels of several important anti-apoptotic proteins by promoting their degradation. Apoptosis, is a highly regulated process of natural cell death. Faulty regulation of apoptosis, is implicated in many human diseases, including cancer. Moreover, resistance to apoptosis is a hallmark of most human cancers. ARTSaVIT will move from its facilities at Carmel, University of Haifa, to the state-of- the-art facilities at the Merck Ventures Israel BioIncubator, which will support the development of the start-up with its infrastructure and a wide range of incubation facilities and services.
January 3, 2017 | Israel’s Electra Consumer Products, which makes air conditioners and electrical appliances and is a unit of Elco Holdings, has agreed to buy upstart mobile phone operator Golan Telecom for 350 million shekels ($91 million), ending months of speculation over Golan’s future. Electra also said it had signed a 10-year network sharing agreement with Cellcom, Israel’s largest mobile operator, and that Cellcom will lend it 130 million shekels to help finance the purchase of Golan. Electra shares jumped 10 percent on news of the deal, which will see it pay at least 210 million shekels a year plus value-added taxes for the network-sharing agreement. The final sum will depend on the number of Golan subscribers and their usage, Cellcom said in a separate statement. Golan was launched in 2012 after the Israeli government issued new licences to boost competition in a sector that had been dominated by three players. Golan has taken about 10 percent of Israel’s mobile market by offering rock-bottom prices, hurting Cellcom and main rivals Partner Communications and Pelephone, a unit of Bezeq Israel Telecom , which are now barely profitable. Cellcom tried to buy Golan in 2015 for about $300 million but was blocked by regulators.
January 3, 2017 | Israeli startup HealthWatch, which has developed smart garments that monitor the wearer for ECG and other vital signs and send the information in real time by smartphone, announced that it had raised $20 million from Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceuticals. The Chinese company will pay $15 million for a 23% stake in HealthWatch and pay another $5 million for the rights to sell the company’s Master Caution device in China. Master Caution comprises an embedded processor to collect, store and process data together with an accelerometer, infra-red sensor and Bluetooth capability. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Europe’s CE mark, the device monitors ECGs as well as activity, respiration and skin temperature. Its sensors are interwoven into garments so that they appear as design elements rather than a monitoring device. The startup was founded by Yoram Romem and Amos Shattner, and had previously raised one round of capital. HealthWatch will use the proceeds to add a further 20 staff to its current payroll of 18. Read more about the company in our recent story.
January 3, 2017 | Israeli flu vaccine developer BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has announced that Angels High Tech Investments Ltd. has agreed to invest NIS 10.9 million (approximately $2.83 million) in the company in exchange for 33.8 million ordinary BiondVax shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (equivalent to 844,000 Nasadq listed ADS) at the December 29, 2016 Tel Aviv closing market price. Following the transaction, Angels Investments will hold 19.99% of all issued and outstanding share capital of BiondVax. Angels High Tech Investments is a company fully owned by Marius Nacht, co-founder and chairman of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.. Angels High Tech Investments’ healthcare and life science portfolio is managed by aMoon Partners which is co-led by Dr. Yair Schindel and Marius Nacht. BiondVax is a clinical phase biopharmaceutical company developing a universal flu vaccine. The vaccine is designed to provide multi-season protection against most seasonal and pandemic human influenza virus strains. BiondVax’s proprietary technology utilizes a unique combination of conserved and common peptides from influenza virus proteins, activating both arms of the immune system for a cross-protecting and long-lasting effect.
December 29, 2016 | The CEO of Apple’s Israel activities, Aharon Aharon, has been appointed to lead Israel’s Innovation Authority. He will be in charge of strengthening and leading Israeli innovation. The post was formerly known as the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Economy Ministry. The Authority is in charge of the nation’s innovation policies and aims to help foster resources and conditions to promote the nation’s technological ecosystem. Aharon has served since 2011 as CEO of Apple Israel, and previously served in the IDF’s elite Intelligence Unit 8200. He holds two degrees from the Technion, in computer and electrical engineering. He began his career at IBM, and then moved on to work in a number of private sector posts, including at Zoran Corporation and Seabridge. Aharon was also involved in setting up two startups that were later sold in exit deals. He was instrumental in the establishment of Israel’s Apple activities. Avi Hasson, Israel’s Chief Scientist and chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, will be leaving his post in the coming months after heading the office for six years.
December 28, 2016 | Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei reportedly will acquire Israeli database security and compliance solutions startup Hexatier. The deal is worth $42 million according to reports by Israeli financial daily Calcalist. Originally GreenSQL, the company rebranded itself earlier this year to Hexatier. The company focuses on database security, dynamic data masking, activity monitoring, and “discovery of sensitive data.” Additionally, their software lets system managers create rule dependent restrictions for access based on a number of factors like IP address, seniority, and geography (among other things). Hexatier was founded in 2009 by CEO Amir Sadeh, Director of Sales Hadar Eshel, and CTO David Maman. They have 40 employees split between offices in Tel Aviv, Boston, and California.
December 28, 2016 | DIR Technologies, which is developing quality control devices for the pharmaceutical industry, will receive a $10 million investment from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer under a strategic cooperation agreement. DIR’s products inform users whether a small bottle or package of drugs is properly sealed when it leaves the factory. The usual method of checking this is to sample several bottles or packages and manually examine the effectiveness of their sealing. Scanning a sample, however, does not detect all defective products. A means of scanning without human contact for each and every item is therefore needed. Last April, DIR signed a five-year agreement with Pfizer to apply its method to several of Pfizer’s production lines. It appears that the pilot was a success, leading to the current investment. Founded in 2009, DIR launched its products in 2013. In the future, it hopes to apply its technology to testing non-pharmaceutical products that require complete sealing, such as food and toiletries.
December 27, 2016 | Israeli startup Timing, an optimization, prediction and navigation system for service providers, has raised $1 million from Terra Venture Partners. Based in Yokneam, Timing was founded in 2015 by Ilan Fridman and Maayan Darki. Timing’s main goal is to change the way consumers utilize field services. Starting from handling the organizations’ work flow, to the way field service employee organize their days and appointments, and making the consumers feel that their time is important too. Timing currently has four employees and is planning to recruit more developers during 2017.
December 25, 2016 | Israeli data integration company Xplenty announced a $4 million financing round from Bain Capital Ventures, True Ventures and Rembrandt Venture Partners. Bill Lehmann from Bain Capital Ventures has joined the company’s board of directors. Existing Xplenty investors Magma Venture Partners and Waarde Capital also participated in the round. The funds will help Xplenty grow globally and develop new platform capabilities. Xplenty has offices in Tel Aviv and San Francisco. Xplenty also announced the acquisition of Driven, which develops big data application infrastructure, delivering platforms that help enterprises create, deploy, run and manage data applications at scale. Driven is also the team behind Cascading, a popular technology for data applications – with more than 150,000 user downloads each month. No financial details about the acquisition were disclosed.
December 22, 2016 | Following a historic meeting earlier this month in Kazakhstan between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayevsi, a new research and development (R&D) agreement between the two nations was signed. The Kazakh economy is the second-largest amongst Euro-Asian countries, after Russia. During Netanyahu’s visit to Kazakhstan, a business forum took place in the presence of the Israeli Prime Minister and the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Mr. Bakytzhan Sagintayev. The forum was attended by leaders from 70 Israeli companies in the agriculture, water, health, HLS, energy and financial sectors, who accompanied Netanyahu on the official visit.
One of the most interesting contracts between the two countries is between Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) and Fintech Group Israel, which signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to commence collaboration in promoting the development of financial technologies (fintech) ecosystem in Kazakhstan and the region. The MOU identifies key areas of mutual cooperation towards building the “Digital Bridge“ between the two countries, which will create a direct connection between Astana and Israeli technology cluster and help enrich local human capital. Both parties expressed willingness to work together in order to brand AIFC as a leading fintech hub leveraging on the experience and know-how of their new Israeli partners.
December 21, 2016 | Israeli machine learning startup Dynamic Yield has raised $22 million in Series C financing round led by Vertex and ClalTech, with participation from Baidu and Global Founders Capital. Existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Marker LLP and Innovation Endeavors also participated. Dynamic Yield’s advanced machine learning engine builds actionable customer segments in real time, enabling marketers to increase revenue via personalization, recommendations, automatic optimization & 1:1 messaging. Dynamic Yield, founded in 2012 by CEO Liad Agmon and CTO Omri Mendellevich has offices in Tel Aviv, New York and Berlin. The company has raised $37 million to date, including the latest financing.
December 19, 2016 | Israeli augmented reality startup Lumus Ltd., has raised another $30 million in financing. Lumus previously announced it had raised $15 million bringing the total raised in this round to $45 million. Quanta Computer, one of the biggest Taiwanese laptop makers, led the round, with additional participation from HTC and other strategic investors. Shanda Group and Crystal-Optech also participated. Founded in 2000 by Yaakov Amitai and based in Rehovot, Lumus develops high-end transparent near-to-eye displays for augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and smart eyewear. Lumus develops and sells transparent displays to companies working on developing consumer and enterprise AR solutions.
December 19, 2016 |Israeli Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Dragonera has raised $3 million in a seed round led by serial entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg’s venture capital fund Singulariteam. The Tel Aviv based company, which was founded this summer, also announced the launch of its artificial intelligence driven software development platform. The company says its platform can automate up to 70% of early development of new products by leveraging micro-services, and pre-existing pieces of code. The proceeds will be used to accelerate its product’s release in various markets around the world.
December 18, 2016 |DayTwo, a leader in actionable health solutions based on gut microbiome, is pleased to announce its ongoing collaboration with the Mayo Clinic to bring the DayTwo Personalized Nutrition Solution to early adopters in the US. DayTwo provides actionable health solutions based on gut microbiome aimed at improving health and preventing disease, utilizing the DayTwo Microbiome Platform. Its first product, the DayTwo Personalized Nutrition Solution, is based on groundbreaking research from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, led by Prof. Eran Segal and Dr. Eran Elinav. The research showed there was no “one size fits all” approach to nutrition, and different people responded differently to the same food. Hence, nutrition guidelines aimed at balancing blood sugar levels must be personally tailored. Founded in 2015 by CEO Lihi Segal and Yuval Ofek, DayTwo is the brainchild of Segal and Elinav. The startup has already received funding from billionaire Marius Nacht, the co-founder of successful Israeli cyber-security firm Check Point. His investment is estimated at a couple of million dollars.
| December 15, 2016 | Israeli Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Knowmail has closed $3.5 million financing round lead by CE Ventures, with participation from existing investors AfterDox, Plus Ventures, 2B Angels, INE Ventures, and various unnamed private investors. The company plans to use the proceeds to continue building out Knowmail’s functionality ahead of a launch in early 2017. Knowmail was founded in 2014 by Haim Senior, Oded Avital and Avi Mandelberg. The company is a SaaS that acts as a personal assistant by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help employees communicate and collaborate more effectively by better management of emails and other messages.
| December 15, 2016 | Israeli cyber security company Intezer has raised $2 million in a seed round co-led by Samsung NEXT and Alon Cohen founder and former CEO of CyberArk Software Inc. and FilesX. Several additional angel investors also participated in the round. Intezer has developed a virtual “security camera” for the digital space of the enterprise. Intezer was founded in 2015 by Itai Tevet, CEO and former head of CERT – the Computer Emergency Response Team of Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Roy Halevi, CTO and former cyber security architect for the IDF, and Alon Cohen, Founding Investor, founder and former CEO of CyberArk. Intezer is planning to double the size of its team over the coming year.
| December 15, 2016 | Israeli fintech company BlueVine has closed a $49 million Series D financing round led by existing investors, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, 83North, Citi Ventures, Rakuten FinTech Fund and Silicon Valley Bank. BlueVine is an online provider of everyday financing to small businesses. Since launching in March 2014, BlueVine’s cloud-based financing solutions have helped thousands of small businesses obtain quick, easy access to the funds they need to purchase inventory, cover expenses and expand operations. The company was founded by CEO Eyal Lifshitz and CTO Nir Klar in 2013 and now has 93 employees in its Tel Aviv and Palo Alto offices (about half in each). With this latest financing round, BlueVine has raised $107.5 million to date including $40 million in January 2016.
| December 14, 2016 | Israeli cyber intelligence company EverCompliant has closed a $9.5 million Series A financing round. The round was led by Arbor Ventures and included existing investors Carmel Ventures, StarFarm Ventures and Nyca Partners. With this investment, Melissa Guzy of Arbor Ventures has joined the Board of Directors of EverCompliant. The Tel Aviv based company pioneers transaction laundering detection and prevention. Founded by CEO Ron Teicher, CTO Noam Rabinovich, and VP R&D Raz Abramov, EverCompliant raised $3.5 million in May 2015.
| December 13, 2016 | After a 33-year career, Intel Israel General Manager Maxine Fassberg announced today that she has decided to step down from the post. Yaniv Garty, currently Group General Manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions at Intel Platform Engineering, has been appointed to replace her. Fassberg’s long career at Intel began in 1983 at the Intel Electronics plant in Jerusalem, as a lithography engineer. She managed the plant in Kiryat Gat (Fab 18) in 2000-2004, and was appointed manager of the new Intel Kiryat Gat plant (Fab 28) in 2006. She was appointed Intel Israel General Manager in June 2007. Garty will officially take up the post of General Manager on January 15, 2017.
| December 13, 2016 | Israeli startup BreezoMeter, a leading global air quality analytics provider, announced today the closing of $3 million round in series A fundraising. Funding was led by Phi Square Holdings, with Entrée Capital, Launchpad Digital Health and SeediL also participated in the financing. BreezoMeter will use the funding to expand its air quality data access globally. The company also plans to launch an new line of products with the goal of providing real-time knowledge about air quality to everyone at all times. BreezoMeter was recently selected by Unreasonable Group and Barclays to join the Unreasonable Impact program for future green economy leaders, due to the projected 500 jobs the company will add to the emerging green economy within the next five years. Breezometer is also working on a project to help the city of Paris, France with its air pollution problem.
| December 12, 2016 | During a stop on Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Economic Development Mission to Israel, economic development leaders took part in the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and Israel’s CyberSpark, a non-profit private organization focused on the promotion of the unique cybersecurity ecosystem in and around Be’er-Sheva, Israel, which includes a combination of academic, industry, and government resources. The MOU was signed in Tel Aviv on Sunday in a meeting attended by CyberSpark’s leadership team and executives from many of the leading cybersecurity firms in the country. The signing of the cooperation agreement solidified ties between two regions known for their global leadership in the field of cybersecurity.
| December 11, 2016 | Israeli startup Life On Air Inc. has raised $52 million for its live video chat app Houseparty. The financing round was led by Sequoia Capital with the participation of previous investors Aleph VC, Comcast Ventures and Greylock Partners. The company has raised $70 million to date. Houseparty is an immensely popular app, launched in early 2016, which allows large groups to participate in live chat if they are members in the chat group. Thus participants can know exactly who they are chatting with. Houseparty has been one of the most downloaded apps this year from Apple’s iStore. Houseparty is a second app for Life on Air, whose first product was live-streaming smartphone video app Meerkat, which failed after being frozen out by Twitter. Life on Air is headquartered in San Francisco with its development office in Tel Aviv. The company was founded in 2016 by CEO Ben Rubin, CTO Itai Danino, COO, Roi Tirosh and Head of Product Uri Haramati.
| December 11, 2016 | Content discovery platform Taboola announced this week that it will open a big data center at the Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) adjacent to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba in 2017. Taboola delivers personalized recommendations to over one billion users every month, on many of the web’s most innovative and highly-visited websites. In 2016, it signed agreements with MSN and AOL. It currently has 550 employees and is looking to grow to 800 in 2017. The company expects to have 20 employees working at the new Beersheba center by the end of 2017. Taboola has major centers in Tel Aviv and New York and offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Bangkok. Taboola was founded in 2007 by CEO Adam Singolda and has a current valuation of around $1B.
| December 8, 2016 | OurCrowd, a leading equity crowdfunding platform, will host their 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit on Feb. 16, 2017, in Jerusalem. The company claims it is the world’s largest equity crowdfunding event and the biggest investor event in Israel. Registrations have already doubled from this time last year, with up to 5,000 people from the global tech investment community expected to attend and more than 100 startups making news are slated to participate. Attendees will span some 60 countries, and will include investors, venture and corporate partners, entrepreneurs, 30 global delegations, industry leaders and members of the press. The 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit theme, “The Future Is Here,” will showcase how 2016’s highlighted cutting-edge technologies are being implemented in businesses now and remaking entire industries.
| December 7, 2016 | Israeli video optimization startup Beamr imaging Ltd. has raised $4 million from Verizon Ventures, the company reports. Previous investors in the Tel Aviv-based video and image encoding and processing company with commercially deployed content adaptive optimization technology include Eric Schmidt’s fund Innovation Endeavors, Marker LLC, and Disruptive. Beamr raised $15 million in March and $9.5 million in a financing round in 2014. Beamr was founded in 2009 by CEO Sharon Carmel.