July 23, 2017 | Israeli fashion startup Syte.ai has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round led by NHN Ventures. This new funding will allow the company to market and grow in the US. Founded in 2015 in Tel Aviv by Helge Voss, Idan Pinto, CEO Ofer Fryman and Lihi Pinto Fryman, Syte.ai uses deep-learning technology to make images shoppable. So far, the visual search engine has raised $10.1 million.
July 23, 2017 | The Blackstone Investment Fund is in negotiations to acquire 40 percent of Israeli mobile surveillance company NSO Group for $400 million, which would put NSO’s valuation at $1 billion, acoording to a Calcalist report. NSO’s spokesman Zamir Dahbash tells NoCamels that the company can’t confirm the story. Founded in 2009 by Omri Lavi, Niv Carmi, and Shilo Julio, NSO is known for developing the “Pegasus” malware programs that were said to be responsible for a sophisticated smartphone attack against UAE human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor. It has raised $1.6 million in seed funding. Blackstone (along with the Clear Sky Fund, which will acquire 10 percent of NSO) will purchase the shares from Francisco Partners, who acquired the startup in 2014 for $130 million.
July 23, 2017 | Accelerator Frankfurt, a German startup hub that helps startups with investment and business development, completed its second wave with seven companies – two of which are Israeli: Adjesty, a startup that uses cloud-based machine learning to detect and stop undesirable ads; and AeroPlan, a company that provides travel and medical assistance from service providers. They recently pitched their businesses to 200 investors and potential stakeholders along with five international companies. Accelerator Frankfurt provides an acceleration program that condenses two years into four months full of mentoring, coaching, office space, and professional services. It focuses on fields like cyber-security, Blockchain, InsureTech, and FinTech. [photo: Thomas Babut]
July 23, 2017 | Camtek, an Israeli company that manufactures inspection systems to improve manufacturing of semiconductors, circuit substrates, and printed circuit boards, has signed an agreement with an affiliate of the Shanghai-based private equity fund Principle Capital. Under the agreement, Camtek will sell its printed circuit board (PCB) business for $35 million, shifting to focus solely on semiconductor inspection. The PCB business will remain intact, and is expected to continue to run its R&D operations in Israel. Founded in 1987 by Iris Hirsch, Camtek has been listed on the NASDAQ since 2000, and on the TASE since 2005.
July 20, 2017 | DataRails, an Israeli startup that is upgrading Excel into a smart organizational tool for businesses, has completed a $6 million series A funding round, led by Vertex Ventures. Founded in 2015 by Didi Gurfinkel, Eyal Cohen, and Oded Har-Tal, DataRails is a cloud platform that allows businesses to more efficiently manage, organize, and share data on Excel. The company plans to use the investment to improve product development, develop a worldwide customer portfolio, and establish offices in New York. The latest round brings DataRails’ total funding up to $7 million.
July 20, 2017 | Israeli startup and high-tech companies raised $1.3 billion in the second quarter of 2017 – the second largest amount in five years, according to a report by IVC Research Center and ZAG S&W International Law Firm. Similarly, the average financing round hit $8 million which is second only to the exceptional second quarter of 2016, when the average was $8.8 million. These record-setting numbers were attained because deals above $20 million rose in 2017’s second quarter with 21 deals accounting for 55 percent of the total amount. The life sciences sector is responsible for raising the most capital during the first half of 2017, with a whopping $622 million. Venture capital-based deals attracted more capital than usual, up 12 percent from the quarterly three-year average.
July 20, 2017 | The British Council and British Embassy in Israel have announced the achievements of the multi-million-pound program BIRAX (Britain-Israel Research Academic Exchange), which develops scientific collaboration between Israel and the UK. Launched by the prime ministers of the UK and Israel in 2011, BIRAX has brought together more than 1,000 scientists from 120 institutions, and resulted in breakthrough research published in 30 leading scientific publications. The report on the five-year program shows that the fund has invested £7 million in 15 joint research projects in the field of regenerative medicine.
July 20, 2017 | Qumra Capital, an Israeli capital growth fund, has raised $115 million for a new fund called Qumra Capital II. Founded in 2012 by Boaz Dinte, Sivan Shamri, and Erez Shachar, Qumra Capital provides venture funding for late-stage technology companies that are seeking to boost sales and marketing. The funds were derived from Qumra I investors, and they will be used to provide investments in Israeli companies to come. So far, Qumra Capital has raised $215 million.
July 19, 2017 | Israeli venture capital firm Pitango Venture Capital is set to profit significantly from Symantec’s $250 million acquisition of Israeli mobile security startup Skycure. One of Israel’s leading venture capital firms, Pitango has a 31 percent stake in Skycure and has been an investor in the company since its seed stage. Pitango was founded by Rami Kalish, Aharon Dovrat, Chemi Peres and Habib Hazzan. It has raised $1.97 billion since its inception in 1993. The acquired startup, Skycure, is an Israeli company that protects against mobile cyber-attacks; it was acquired by Symantec earlier this month.
July 18, 2017 | Algomizer, an Israeli startup that creates online marketing tools for small to midsize companies to advertise efficiently, has raised more than $11 million. Founded in 2013 by Aviv Berkovich, the company began to be traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in 2014. Forbes recently ranked Berkovich as one of Israel’s most promising young people. The influx of funds from various investors will be used to acquire a private Internet advertising company.
July 18, 2017 | Israel’s Therapix Biosciences, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of medicinal marijuana, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with CURE Pharmaceutical to enter a research collaboration with Assuta Medical Center, Israel’s largest private medical services center. The companies will collaborate to advance, research, develop and commercialize potential therapeutic products in the fields of personalized medicine and cannabinoids. Therapix Biosciences is a publicly traded company founded in 2004 and is headed by CEO Elran Haber.
July 17, 2017 | The multinational cyber security company Symantec is acquiring Israeli startup, Skycure, which predicts and protects against mobile cyber-attacks without jeopardizing user privacy. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Using crowd intelligence and machine learning, the startup’s technology defends against malware, network-based threats, and external and internal attacks. Founded in 2012 by Unit 8200 veterans Adi Sharabani and Yair Amit, the startup has raised $27.5 million in three funding rounds to date.
July 17, 2017 | Rapid Medical, an Israeli company that develops neurovascular interventional devices, raised $9 million in a Series B financing round. Founded in 2008 by CEO Ronen Eckhouse and Chairman of the Board Shimon Eckhouse, Rapid Medical is seeking to further commercialize TIGERTRIEVER Revascularization Device and the COMANECI Adjustable Remodeling Mesh, products which provide prevention and minimally invasive stroke treatment. Israel’s BRM and China’s Shanghai-Israel Investment Fund led the round, while Winnovation and Gefen Capital participated. [Photo: Courtesy]
July 17, 2017 | Vroom, an Israeli online platform for automobile retail, announced a $76 million series F funding round led by T. Rowe Price Associates, L Catterton, General Catalyst Partners and PICO Venture Partners. Since its founding in 2013, Vroom has raised $295 million. It is currently led by CEO Paul Hennessey, with R&D operations in Israel. [photo by Emilio Labrador]
July 16, 2017 | Israeli robotics company Intuition Robotics has raised $14 million in a Series A round led by Toyota Research Institute. Founded in 2015 by Itai Mendelsohn, Dor Skuler, and Roy Amir, Intuition Robotics has developed a robot companion that uses artificial intelligence to improve the lives of the aging population. Named ElliQ, the small tabletop robot can suggest content to watch, give reminders about appointments, and set up chats with friends, among other functions. In total, the company has raised $22 million in three funding rounds.
July 16, 2017| Genoox, an Israeli genetic data analysis startup, has raised $6 million from Inimiti Capital Partners and Glilot Capital Partners. Founded in 2014 by CEO Amir Trabelsi and CTO Moshe Einhorn, Genoox created software that uses machine learning to analyze genetics and predict diagnoses. The software thus accelerates data interpretation, allowing clinicians to develop actionable insights more quickly. The company already has a strong presence in Israel and the UK; the funding will be used to expand in the US.
July 16, 2017 | A program launched by the Israeli Innovation Authority will invest$20 million in high-risk research and development projects conducted by Israeli companies that have an annual turnover of over $100 million. The initiative will offer grants of up to 50 percent of the costs of R&D projects that have a high chance of failure, termed ‘crazy R&D’ by IIA growth division acting director Sagi Dagan. In doing so, the IIA hopes to facilitate the development of technologies for the future that will give the companies a competitive edge. Companies that are eligible for the R&D grants include Check Point Technologies ltd., Mobileye, and Wix.com.
July 16, 2017 | Waycare, an Israeli startup that uses deep learning technology to create safer roads, has teamed up with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada to launch a pilot program that helps prevent crashes and improve traffic. Waycare has raised $515,000 since its founding in 2015 and is led by CEO Noam Maital.
July 13, 2017 | Israeli cloud workload management startup Spotinst has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round led by Intel Capital and Vertex Ventures. The funding will help Spotinst grow and get closer to its vision of becoming “a cloud of clouds.” The company was founded in 2015 by CEO Amiram Shachar, Chief Architect Liran Polak, and CTO Aharon Twizer. This financing round brings the company’s total equity funding to $17.6 million.
July 13, 2017 | Israeli cybersecurity startup Deep Instinct has completed a $32 million Series B funding round led by CNTP. Founded in 2014 by Guy Caspi and Eli David, Deep Instinct uses deep learning for cybersecurity. The company’s solution protects against zero-day threats and APT attacks with high accuracy, and is able to identify malware from any data source in real-time. The World Economic Forum recently named Deep Instinct a ‘Technology Pioneer,’ and NVIDIA’s 2017 Inception Awards labeled it ‘Most Disruptive Startup.’
July 13, 2017 | OwnBackup, an Israeli cloud-to-cloud backup and restore vendor, has raised $7.5 million in a Series B funding round led by New York-based private equity and venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners. The new funding will help the company expand and speed product innovation. OwnBackup has now raised more than $11 million since its founding in 2012 by Ariel Berkman and Eran Cohen.
July 13, 2017 | Gong.io, an Israeli startup that uses natural language processing and machine learning to better sales and customer service, has raised $20 million. To date, Gong.io has raised $26 million. Investors Norwest Venture partners, Shlomo Kramer, Wing Venture Capital, and NextWorld Capital contributed to the round. Gong.io was founded in 2015 by Eilon Reshef and Amit Bendov. The new funds will benefit sales development and talent procurement.
July 13, 2017 | The Israeli Ministry of Finance and the Israeli Securities Authority have issued a tender to find managers for four new high-tech funds. Set to be listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), the funds will have a minimum of $113 million in investments. The state has agreed to protect investors’ losses and allow pension savers to participate, with the goal of promoting investments within Israel.
July 13, 2017 | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have signed an agreement to create the Israeli-India Innovation Initiative Fund. The fund will be a platform for diverse technological cooperation between the two countries, leveraging the technological strengths of both nations. Each country will allocate $4 million annually over a five-year period for the fund’s activities. The fund will be run by the Israel Innovation Authority and the parallel executive agency under the auspices of the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology.
July 12, 2017 | WeWork raised $760 million, which puts the company’s valuation at $20 billion, according to Forbes. Founded in 2010 by Miguel McKelvey and Adam Neumann, WeWork is a co-working space company that will use the latest Series G financing round to expand its locations. Currently, WeWork offers office space in 15 countries and 49 cities. Thus far, the company has raised $1.7 billion from investors such as Alef, J.P. Morgan, Benchmark, and Goldman Sachs.
July 10, 2017 | Israeli high-tech exits in the first half of 2017 reached a five-year low, both in terms of deal number and in total amount. In 57 deals worth a total of $1.95 billion, the average exit deal for 2017 so far is $34 million, compared to 2016’s exit average of $87 million. A likely explanation is the taxation and regulatory changes in the US and China, which alter the amount businesses can spend outside of the country.
July 10, 2017 | Nearly a quarter of the technology startups that the Wall Street Journal references in its must-watch tech list are Israeli. Three of the six listed Israeli companies operate in the cyber security realm, a field that the “Startup Nation” dominates, second only to the United States. The entire list only includes a total of four cyber security startups, confirming Israel’s supremacy in the field. These companies have raised significant funds; Cybereason $100 million, Illusive Networks with $30 million, and Argus Cyber Security with $30 million thus far. The remaining three Israeli startups occupy places in the ride-sharing, fintech, and social media industries with Via, Lemonade, and Life On Air respectively. Via has raised $137 million while Lemonade has raised $60 million.
July 9, 2017 | Israeli cyber security startup Fireglass has been acquired by the international firm, Symantec Corp. The exact amount is undisclosed, although there are suggestions that the deal is worth $250 million, according to Globes. Fireglass eliminates malware, ransomware and phishing threats by isolating the user devices from content and access points that could be harmful. Founded in 2014 by Guy Guzner and Dan Amiga, the startup has previously raised $20 million in one funding round.
July 9, 2017 | According to Globes, Israeli startups raised more than $400 million in June. In the first half of 2017, the companies have raised almost $2 billion which is just below last year’s record total. Cybereason, an Israel cyber security company, raised the most last month with a $100 million financing round. Many other startups have similarly closed impressive rounds such as the image recognition company Trax raising $64 million and Eloxx Pharmaceuticals raising $6 million.
July 6, 2017 | Ethernity Networks, an Israeli data network processing technology developer, raised $19.2 million on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM). The IPO’s only bookrunner was Arden Partners. Ethernity develops a technology that accelerates the network data processing used in Carrier Ethernet applications including mobile, security and data center markets, and telecom. Founded by David Levi in 2004, Ethernity is used globally with over 400,000 systems installed.
July 6, 2017 | DBmaestro, an Israeli DevOps company, concluded a $4.5 million Series B funding round led by Vertex Ventures. The investment will help the company to launch its next-generation database automation solutions and extend its global sales and marketing reach. DBmaestro was founded in 2008 by CEO Yariv Tabac and has raised more than $7.5 million total.
July 6, 2017 | Israeli medical device company, Theranica Bio-electronics, has completed a $6 million Series A funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. The funding will support the regulatory process and mass manufacturing of their wireless and electronic technologies to treat migraines. CEO Alon Ironi founded the company in 2016 with hopes of combining neuromodulation therapy with modern wireless technology.
July 6, 2017 | The Israeli cancer diagnostic company MobileODT recently completed a $6.85 million funding round led by the OrbiMed Advisors LLC venture capital fund. This brings their total funding up to $13 million since their inception in 2012. Founded by Ariel Beery and David Levitz, MobileODT uses mobile phones to detect cancer; their first product is an FDA cleared internet-connected mobile colposcope that detects cervical cancer. The product has already screened more than 16 000 women in over 25 countries.
July 6, 2017 | UVeye, an Israeli vehicle inspection system startup, raised $4.5 million in the seed round. Ahaka Capital led the round with SeedIL, an angel network, participating. Founded in 2014 by CEO Amir Hever, the company builds automatic vehicle inspection systems using computer vision and machine learning. The technology is useful for the security and automotive industries. The seed money will be used to launch the capability to detect threats overlooked in human eye inspections.
July 4, 2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the 11th best university in the world for Mathematics, according to the new “Global Ranking of Academic Subjects” for 2017, released by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. The ranking surveyed more than 4000 universities across 52 subjects, worldwide. In total, the Hebrew University was ranked in the top 100 worldwide in 10 different subjects; took first place in Israel in 18 subjects (sometimes tied with another institution); and was listed in 32 of the 52 subjects surveyed. The university was founded in 1918 by intellectual leaders including Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud.
July 4, 2017 | Israeli startup Unbotify has just won first place in the CYBERSTORM Startup Competition hosted by YL Ventures as part of Cyber Week 2017. Founded in 2015 by Yaron Oliker and Alon Dayan, Unbotify uses behavioral biometrics and machine learning to accurately identify fraudulent bots. As their prize, they received flight tickets and entrance passes to the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas, which is fully sponsored by YL Ventures. Previously, Unbotify raised $1.5 million in seed funding.
July 4, 2017 | Spotinst, an Israeli cloud cost management startup founded in 2015, has raised $15 million from Intel Capital and Vertex Venture Capital in a Series A financing round. Previously, the company raised $2 million from PICO Ventures. The company, founded by CEO Amirm Shachar, chief architect Lirn Polak, and CTO Aharon Twizer, is looking to expand its services and locations. Spotinst saves customers’ computing costs by providing an optimal management platform for optimization.
July 4, 2017 | Israeli startup OlfaGuard is the winner of last week’s Tel Aviv TechCrunch Pitch-Off competition, and is headed to either San Francisco or Berlin where they will get a table at TechCrunch Disrupt. OlfaGuard has created an “electronic nose” that can accurately sniff out pathogens such as E.coli or Salmonella in food production settings. The company was founded in 2016 by CEO Pierre Salameh and has raised $400,000 pre-seed.
July 2, 2017 | Autotalks, the leader in Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communication chipsets, completed a $40 million Series D round of financing. CEO, Hagai Zyss, hopes this financing will allow Autotalks to prepare and expand its operations for mass production, as well as develop communication solutions for connected and autonomous cars. The company was founded in 2008 and has raised more than $45 million.
July 2, 2017 | Israeli cyber-security orchestration and awareness startup Cyber Observer has raised $3 million in a funding round led by UK company Talis Capital, and included existing investors such as Swarth Group. Cyber Observer was founded in 2011 by Shimon Becker, Moti Ram, and Oded Mass. The funding will help the company meet growing international demand and expand R&D to increase product development.
June 29, 2017 | Eight US and Israeli companies will receive $7 million from Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD), a 40-year-old Israel-US foundation that has to date invested approximately $340 million in technological projects. The Board of Governors approved the funding on June 14, thus enabling joint technological product development on projects ranging from cancer screening systems to laser technologies. With additional private sector funding, the value of the projects is roughly $18.5 million. The eight chosen projects are: Atvio and Secant Group, C4 Systems and Churchill Navigation, Check-Cap and GE Healthcare, Isorad and Synrad, Melodea and ICL Performance Products, Nutrino Health and Welltok, OpSys Technologies and sdPhotonics, and Pill Tracker and Target Health.
June 29, 2017 | Israeli equity crowdfunding platform, OurCrowd, has formed a strategic partnership with LetsVenture, India’s largest marketplace for startup funding. This partnership will allow OurCrowd to offer deals to Indian investors managed by LetsVenture, as well as providing a platform for Indian startups to gain access to global investors and to business development opportunities. The companies will also collaborate on an “India Fund,” in which they will invest in Israeli, Indian and global startups. OurCrowd was founded in 2013 by CEO, Jon Medved, and has invested $450 million in 120 startups.
June 27, 2017 | Awz HLS Fund, a Canadian venture capital firm focused on security and intelligence technologies, has invested $5.25 million in Israeli startup Octopus Systems. Founded in 2013 by Tal Bar Or and Baruch Tagori, Octopus has developed a cloud-based security platform that identifies, prevents, and neutralizes physical and cyber-attacks from within and outside an organization. The company integrates and analyzes data from an organization’s technology to provide real-time alerts and tools for immediate response. To date, Octopus has raised a total of $10.25 million.
June 27, 2017 | Israeli retail tech startup Trax has raised $64 million in its fourth financing round. Warburg Pincus was the lead investor, providing $50 million. To date, the company has raised $167 million. Last week, Trax partnered with Nielsen International to market a product line together. Trax founders Yoel Bar-El and Dror Feldheim hope to use the money raised to acquire a competitor and fund the Nielsen partnership. Founded in 2010, Trax developed technology to create business intelligence and improve retail performance.
June 27, 2017 | Mitoconix Bio, a budding Israeli biopharmaceutical startup focused on therapies for neurological diseases, has secured $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Remiges Ventures. Founded in 2016 at the FutuRx biotechnology incubator, Mitoconix Bio has developed a unique method of slowing neuro-degenerative diseases using drugs which improve mitochondrial functioning. The company has an exclusive license for the technology behind its lead drug, which was developed by founder Daria Mochly-Rosen at Stanford University. The funding will be used to advance Mitoconix’s treatment of Huntington’s disease.