Wednesday, October 29, 2014

China's GoCapital to Invest $12m in Israeli Medical Device Company CNoga

Israel’s CNoga Medical, which develops non-invasive, touch free medical technology, has raised $12.5 million in financing from the Chinese investment fund GoCapital. The investment is the second investment made by GoCapital in Israeli start-up.

The new investment will be used to continue the development of its products.

Former CEO and founder of OPlus Technology, Dr. Yosef Segman, established CNoga Medical in 2004. The company works with international prominent technology companies such as Texas Instruments and PNY Inc., which dominates the US flash memory market.

CNoga Medical is focused on research and development into enhancing and developing its range of non-invasive technologies. The company’s main product is used to check the glucose levels in people who suffer from diabetes.

Its TensorTip Combo Glucometer (CoG) is a non – invasive, needle-free, portable device. CNoga’s patented algorithms and technology transform the current blood glucose test into a painless and easy procedure. CNoga also has a device for monitoring blood pressure. The TensorTip Vital Signs Monitor (VSM) takes advantage of CNoga Medical’s non-invasive technology to offer continuous readings of blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) and pulse rate (PPM) as well as blood pressure (diastolic and systolic), without needles or cuffs.

A detailed panel reveals the capillary pulse waveform and blood pressure variation. Results, past and present, are at your fingertips, stored as easy-to-read history entries in your VSM.

The company previously raised $8 million from private investors in Israel and abroad.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Israeli Company Credorax Raises $40 Million

Managing the arcane arts of processing transactions for online purchases is a complicated job. Once a shopper enters the numbers on their card, the expiration date on their credit card, and their zip code, a complicated machinery of transaction processors springs into action representing both buyer, seller, and processing network in a matter of seconds. Until now, most of the infrastructure to support those sales existed in silos, but Credorax, a small startup based outside of Boston in Southborough, Mass. is looking to change that.

The company has spent the past six years laying the groundwork to build an integrated, international architecture for online retailers to receive payments, no matter their location. The idea, according to company chief executive Benny Nachman is to give online retailers one service provider for any geography around the world.

And Credorax has raised nearly $130 million to support that vision. The last round, a $40 million investment including the new backer Columbus Nova Technology Partners and previous investor Blumberg Capital, followed a previous $40 million round raised last August from FTV Capital.

Companies like Credorax need so much capital, because they’re trying to compete in massive industries where a number of existing players have already plying their wares. Whenever a credit card purchase is made, there’s an agreement between two financial institutions that sit between a buyer and a seller. The issuing institution that gives the card to the buyer and vouches for them, and the acquiring institution that handles the transaction for the seller. Initially, when credit card networks get rolled out, these acquiring institutions, which basically function as banks, dealt with one country. But with the explosion of online retail, a shopper could be based in the U.S. and making purchases in the UK, or Spain, or China or India. For sellers, managing the process could be a hassle.

Since the company’s launch in 2008, Credorax has been working with national governments to comply with all relevant financial regulations, so that retailers can use the company as its acquiring bank no matter where in the world they are.

So far, Credorax is in 28 countries including Japan, where the company received its license just this quarter. The next step for Credorax will be to receive its US license, which should be happening before the end of the year, according to Nachman.

“The exchange of money, ideas, and services is becoming increasingly international, so countries and geographies become less important,” Nachman says. “I’m a pure play acquirer that deals with e-commerce and mobile commerce.”

By contrast, giant competitors like First Data have eight or nine platforms aimed for physical points of sale, and a hodge-podge of legacy systems in different countries around the world. Traditional brick and mortar vendors, or stores that only sell items in one country are not Credorax’s target, according to Nachman.
Credorax has 200 employees and offices in Malta, London, Tokyo, Tel Aviv in addition to its offices in Southborough.

“The e-commerce market is $1.2 trillion and 30% of this is cross-border,” says Nachman.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Baidu, Qihoo 360 and Ping An invest in Israeli VC fund Carmel

Carmel Ventures, a leading Israeli venture capital firm and a member of the Viola Group, today announced the final closing of its latest investment fund, Carmel Ventures IV (“Fund IV”), with total commitments of $194 million.

Fund IV, like its predecessor funds, will be invested in early-stage transformative technology companies in high growth sectors that include enterprise software, data center infrastructure, big data, cyber security, FinTech, digital media and consumer applications. Carmel began investing out of the new fund in January 2014 and has made investments in PlayBuzz, LuckyFish and three other promising early stage technology companies.

Fund IV was raised with equity commitments from global institutional investors that include a significant number of return investors as well as selected new investors. In addition, several leading Asian strategic investors have joined the new fund including Baidu, Ping-An, and Qihoo360 amongst others.

“We are delighted to be making our first investment in an Israeli Venture fund with Carmel Ventures,” said Daniel Tu, Group Chief Innovation Officer at Ping An Group of China. “Carmel offers us reliable access to Israeli innovation and we look forward to partnering with them.”

Today, Carmel Ventures manages over $800 million of investor capital and is invested in 35 active companies.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Forbes: Israeli App Clean One Of Six Companies That Are ReimaginingExisting Tech Trends

Published on

As a close observer of entrepreneurship and the tech industry overall, I am well aware that this business is not immune to fads and trends just like other markets. Whether it’s the multitude of social networks that led to the dominance of Facebook, or the tsunami of simple games that were released following the explosion of Candy Crush, the tech industry is not immune to borrowing good ideas.

In fact, if the vast war of legal battles between tech giants like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft is any indication, tech companies small and large are clearly influenced by each other and are constantly on the look out for inspiration in their competitors.
Sometimes that can seem like copying, but other times it leads to genuine innovation as entrepreneurs take existing concepts and either remix them to create something new, or go against the trend in such a way to create a whole new experience.
I love these companies that stand out for either reimagining a trend or discarding it entirely. So here is a list of six companies that are taking tech trends along a different path.
LIFE IN HI-FI – Bringing Hashtags Into The Spotlight
The hashtag has quickly become a standard part of tech vocabulary. Like the @ symbol, it started out years ago with a much simpler purpose – usually serving as a convenient button for telephone menus. Now, thanks to the inventiveness of Twitter users, the hashtag is a useful catch-all symbol that lets social web users quickly identify and categorize their content. Of course, on most networks, the hashtag is a secondary device used only to quickly tag something with a specific identity.
HI-FI 2.0, a newly launched app, is taking a very different approach, bringing the hashtag to the center of the action and building an entire platform around interest-based channels. Whether it’s photos, GIFs, or videos, everything starts with a hashtag, giving all of the content on the platform an easy to identify category. It changes the nature of browsing from content and focuses it around the things people love most.
Clean – Applying Tinder’s Quick Decision Swiping UI To The Mess Of Photos On Your Phone
While Tinder has grabbed considerable attention for its remarkably simple UI that lets users swipe through potential dates based on their photo alone, not everyone is in love with the idea of judging someone based purely on a photo. However, there is no doubt that the UI makes the app incredibly simple to use, and takes away much of hesitation users have about making decisions.
Clean, a newly released free app, is taking the same idea and applying it to the process of cleaning up your iPhones photo gallery. When you open the app, your photos are presented one by one and you just need to swipe up or down to keep or delete the photos respectively. With so many people’s phones cluttered with unwanted photos, it’s nice to see an app that applies the idea of quick decision making to a ‘cleaner’ idea than dating.
Chatpetz – Interactive Toys, Without The Complex Connectivity
Going through old stories on Kickstarter and Indiegogo reveals a number of campaigns for interactive and connected toys. Most of these devices rely on web, wifi, or Bluetooth connections to work with smartphones or other devices. They provide great experiences, but can be too complicated for kids to use.
That’s why I found the approach of a new interactive toy campaign so interesting. ChatPetz are furry interactive toys that can interact with each other, but also with devices like smartphones and with almost any media such as video or TV. They use an established technology to identify sound from almost any device with a speaker, and leave it the brain in the toy to do the hard work. The company has also just launched an Indiegogo campaign to build a content creation platform so that almost anyone could be interactive programs for the toys.
Pixit – Taking The Web’s Sideshow To Center Stage
Animated GIFs are one of the oldest technologies on the web. With the rise of Flash and now HTML5 video, it seemed as though these little video clips had reached the limit of their usefulness. But thanks to the sea of “BuzzFeedy-like” posts featuring list upon list of GIFs, they are taking on a whole new life.
With Pixit, GIFs are being elevated even further, serving as the centerpiece of the app. Pixit is essentially a light chat client that lets users quickly and easily add animated GIFs to the conversation. Just typing a word brings up a list of recommendations, and it’s as easy as typing to add a GIF to the conversation. You have been warned, the app is addicting.
Credit: Aurimas Adomavicius; Flickr
MAPS.ME – This Map-App’s Silver Lining Is The Fact That It Doesn’t Need The Cloud
Today, it seems like everything is moving to the cloud. Map apps such as Google Maps, Waze, or Apple’s own offering, were amongst the first services to rely on data stored in the cloud, pulling down detailed maps and presenting them in a neat package on your phone. Of course, none of these apps provide a solution for those moments when you don’t have an Internet connection.
MAPS.ME is taking a very different approach. The app lets you download detailed maps with all of the key point of interest info to your phone. It’s stored locally, letting you see your location and find points of interest without any need to connect to the cloud. This is great when you don’t have a data connection, such as when you’re traveling abroad or on a remote hiking trail. Additionally, with the incredible power of modern smartphones, locally stored maps can often load significantly faster than those on the cloud.
Medivizor – Forget Tracking, When It Comes To Health Information Is Key
Fitbit. Fuelband. Apple Health Kit. Theses are just the latest names in the long list of devices and services intended to help users track their health and fitness and collect data that may one day help doctors make decisions about our health. But today, they provide only low resolution info that is more of thumbnail than a complete picture. However, there is still a serious need for patients to access in-depth information about the conditions that doctors have already diagnosed.
That’s where Medivizor, an online health service, is stepping in. Medivizor helps users understand and access medical information about serious or chronic diseases while providing the necessary context about where it came from. The unique platform combines patent-pending personalization technology with easy-to-understand synopses of complex medical material, and mixes in the wisdom of the crowd. It helps users find all the most important information that is specifically relevant and personalized for their medical situation.
It always seems like the safe bet to follow the trends as most people assume that will lead them to success. However, if these companies are any example, it might be that trends are just another sign on the path to real innovation, the only question is which direction to take. What about you, do you know companies that are spinning tech trends in new directions? Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chinese Smartphone Brands Take 64% of Domestic Market by Q2 2014

Android’s near-monopoly in China continues with daily active users of the system advanced by 16% quarter-on-quarter in 2014 Q1 and 10% quarter-on-quarter growth in Q2, according to the Baidu Mobile Distribution Report. The slowdown in the growth rate may however mean that the demographic dividend which triggered Android’s great expansion in recent years is tailing off.

With the rise of domestic smartphone manufacturers, 64% of Chinese smartphone users chose domestic brands as of Q2 2014, up from 58% in Q4 2013. Amongst the benefactors of this growth like Huawei and Lenovo, the two up-and-coming mobile makers Xiaomi and OPPO are the major driving forces for this surge, with their market shares climbing 3% and 2% during the six-month period respectively, according to the report.

Chinese users are keen to use the latest versions of Android, with v.4.2 or above becoming the mainstream systems for Android users in China, the report noted. 50% of Android-powered smartphones feature screens with 720p resolution or above.

Driven by the popularity of smartphones and improvement of network coverage, China’s mobile app users surged 27% in H1 this year, with each user estimated to download or update 2.9 apps per day. Some 94% of app downloads are completed in a Wi-Fi environment.

In terms of user demographics, white collar and other urban working groups still constitute the majority of users, but the percentage of student and rural users are increasing. Video and music are the favorite app category for both groups. Search, social networking, news and shopping apps witnessed the most robust growth in H1 2014.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Alibaba Unveils Mobile Open Strategy Baichuan Program to Boost Innovation

Chinese Internet giant Alibaba rolled out Baichuan Program today to boost startup innovations. Under the program, Alibaba will offer various infrastructure supports to mobile developers with a view to construct a mobile ecosystem that connects cloud and mobile services.

In terms of technical supports, Alibaba will provide cloud, data storage and security services, helping projects to lower development and maintenance costs. Business operation, investment and working space resources will also be given to startups. In addition, the e-commerce company will open its data to app developers, helping them to understand the users so as to build custom services.

It is worth nothing that companies under the program will be able to capitalize on Alibaba’s e-commerce capabilities and being integrated to Alibaba’s trading and payment systems.

According to Alibaba spokesman, Meilimei, a beauty app under the program, has activated more than 7 million users by leveraging the resources offered by Alibaba. Maternal social shopping app Mamazhidemai witnessed a 50% leap in user retention rate after using its user base profile data.

With Baichuan Program, there’s no need to hire a CTO, said Wang Xiruo, VP of Alibaba Group, a good project manager and a good idea are sufficient to build an excellent app. Wang added that Baichuan’s supports will accelerate the development cycle and lower cost for developers.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tencent Leads US$100M Investment in Chinese Medical Service, an online medical service provider, announced today over US$100 million funding which is led by Tencent.

Weiyi, a pair of mobile apps for connecting patients and doctors, will be integrated into Tencent’s mobile messaging apps, WeChat and Mobile QQ, according to the announcement. Guahao means patient appointment scheduling in Chinese. That’s where the company started off in 2010. has introduced more than 900 hospitals in 23 Chinese provincial level regions. Users are able to find all the hospitals and doctors on the site, schedule appointments, read medical tips provided by doctors, or rate hospitals/doctors.

The site has more than 37 million verified users and 120,000 registered doctors, according to the company.

Weiyi is a newly established service that will expand existing offerings to mobile payments, medical record keeping, and more features for interactions between doctors and users. Weiyi will be officially launched later this week.

Medical and healthcare has become another vertical industry, apart from transportation, mobile commerce/payments, and the like, where Chinese Internet giants have begun fighting. Alibaba Group announced a Future Hospital plan earlier this year that would add features similar to what Guahao has and will offer onto Alipay Wallet, the flagship mobile app of the Chinese e-commerce giant.

Before Guahao, Tencent has invested US$70 million in Dingxiangyuan (DXY), a Chinese online medical service which is focused on medical & health information and hospital & doctor data.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Alibaba invests $50 million in TV remote app maker Peel

(Reuters) - Peel, the maker of an app that acts as a "smart remote" for TVs, said it secured an additional $50 million in funding from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd

The Peel Smart Remote app, launched in 2012, turns Android and iOS smartphones and tablets into remote controls that work on TVs, PCs, air-conditioners and other smart appliances.

The California-based startup says it has more than 90 million users in 200 countries.

Alibaba, whose recent initial public offering in the United States was the biggest in history, invested an initial $5 million in Peel in 2013.

Peel charges TV networks to promote their shows on the app, which displays TV show listings and times.

Peel Chief Executive Thiru Arunachalam told technology blog Re/code that the company would generate about $8 million in revenue this year and forecast revenue of $20 million for 2015.

He added that the company was facing no pressure from Alibaba to integrate any e-commerce elements into its app.

Peel has raised nearly $95 million in venture capital to date from investors including Redpoint Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Harrison Metal and Translink Capital.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Baidu acquires Brazil's largest group buying website

Chinese search giant Baidu has acquired group buying firm Peixe Urbano for an undisclosed sum as part of a strategy to widen its footprint in Brazil.

Peixe Urbano was launched in 2009 as a Brazilian equivalent of Groupon. It experienced rapid growth until a decline in the group buying model prompted a major retrenchment in 2012.

Despite its recent woes, Peixe Urbano refocused its business model from offers that would only be available for a day to campaigns that last for longer period of time. Baidu hopes to leverage on the platform, which has 25 million users, to create partnerships with service providers that would further develop its search engine locally.

Another area of interest to Baidu is Peixe Urbano's mobile user base. The Brazilian firm has been focusing on that part of the business through partnerships such as the tie-in with Foursquare, announced earlier this year.

Baidu wants at least half of the global Internet population to be using its products by 2019 and is focusing heavily in Brazil: the company believes that over 43 million Brazilians will be online within the next three years and has the country as one of its priority markets for growth.

The Chinese Internet giant entered the Brazilian market in late 2013 and launched its search engine in July. It plans to invest more than $60m in Brazil over the next three years and also launch its seventh research and development center in the country.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Xiaomi is well on track to sell 60 million smartphones in 2014

If you’re anxiously awaiting Xiaomi’s sales figures as the year comes to a close, Lei Jun will happily tease you.

This morning, the CEO sent out a post on Weibo claiming that device shipments to Xiaomi’s warehouse increased 20 percent from the second to third quarter of this year. Xiaomi tells Tech in Asia that “device shipments” refers to assembled smartphones sent to the company’s warehouses in Beijing. For traditional smartphone brands like Samsung or HTC, those devices might collect dust in storage facilities or in retail outlets.

But since Xiaomi sells its phones directly to consumers, and gages demand based on results from its weekly online sales, there’s a strong correlation between “shipments” and “sales.” If we do a little back-of-the-envelope math, recall that Xiaomi sold 26 million phones in the first half of 2014, and 11 million phones in the first quarter of 2014.

That means that it sold 15 million phones in the second quarter. Assuming that everything that got shipped got sold (again, not an entirely unsafe assumption), that means Xiaomi sold 18 million phones during the three-month period running through September. Xiaomi aims to sell a total of 60 million devices for the year 2014.

It’s likely at about 44 million now, so the company should hit its goal as Singles Day and Christmas are around the corner.

Xiaomi president Lin Bin recently told Nikkei Asian Review that he and Lei expect to sell 100 million phones in 2015.

In August 2013 Xiaomi invested in Israeli startup company Pebbles Interfaces.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Israeli Startup Scene Thriving Despite Conflict

Investments in Israeli startups climbed to near record highs in the third quarter, even as the country was in the throes of the worst violence it has seen in years.

Venture investments in Israel-based companies have not only increased in number of deals – with a near 40% rise this quarter over last- but more than tripled the total amount invested in Q1 of 2014. And this doesn’t account for the hundreds of venture-backed Israeli startups headquartered in New York or the Silicon Valley.

“Basically it did not create any disruption,” says Chemi Peres, managing partner at Pitango Venture Capital, of the recent violence. “The high-tech industry continued to be vibrant, and we never delayed a product or missed a milestone,” Peres attests, adding that the single time he has feared for the safety of a team was in 2001, when one of Pitango’s New York-based companies survived the World Trade Center attacks.

While it seems plausible that regional instability would hinder deals or deter investors, “the bottom line is that it comes with the turf,” says Hillel Fuld, Israeli entrepreneur and startup mentor. “Even when it’s quote-unquote peaceful here there’s always violence – we’re surrounded by enemies – but there are more entrepreneurs per capita in Israel than in any other country, and the innovation is really off the charts.”

“This appetite for innovation and breaking the rules a little bit is appealing to U.S. companies” says Bruce Haymes, SVP of Business Development at Nielsen, suggesting that Israel’s instability may not be a negative factor at all. The global information and measurement company launched Israeli incubator Nielsen Innovate just over a year ago as its first step into the world of venture capital, beating out many Israel-based multinationals for a partnership with the Israeli government.

“In our facility they converted our safe room into a conference room and teams worked out of the safe room for periods of time,” says Haymes. “People adapt and they continue to work.”

If outside investors are still weary, Israeli VCs are raising new funds to sustain the ecosystem without international assistance. Magma Venture Partners just closed a $150 million fund to invest in early-stage Israeli companies, which according to managing partner Modi Rosen was raised during the three months of war with very little difficulty.

Although the press tends to separate the Israeli discussion into two separate dialogues – the Israel of innovation and the Israel of war – the two are intimately linked. “There’s a war but at the same time the innovation that led to the success in the military campaign is just technology,” explains Michael Eisenberg of Israel-based venture firm Aleph.

From the Israeli army’s use of SMS messages – warning civilians in Gaza to evacuate prior to air strikes, to the apps launched during the height of the war to alert smartphone users to falling rockets or attempted kidnappings – it is clear that many Israelis turned to tech to combat increasing violence.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip do not have the same access to technology. Lacking an Iron Dome security system, over two thousand Palestinians were killed and thousands more wounded in comparison to the 68 Israeli deaths recorded in the seven-week span.

The majority of Israeli entrepreneurs receive their technical training in the military, which serves as a psuedo-accelerator to develop young Israelis into adept entrepreneurs with technical skills and practical experience. Carmel Ventures partner Daniel Cohen says that a lot of the entrepreneurs they back come out of the military, but adds that recently they’re starting to see many more 2nd and 3rd generation founders.

The connection between military training and startup success, however, means that a large group of Israel’s population is excluded from the burgeoning civilian tech scene. These are the 1.7 million Israeli Arabs, nearly 20% of the population, many of whom are highly skilled and highly educated.
To address this gap, Pitango’s Chemi Peres has helped launched Al Bawader, an investment fund with backing from the Israeli government, as well as startup incubator Takwin Labs, both dedicated to backing Israeli Arab entrepreneurs that are targeting the Arabic-speaking population.

“As a small country that mostly focuses on science and technology, we cannot allow ourselves to leave these minorities out of the circle,” says Peres, advocating for Israel to one, leverage inclusivity to raise national productivity, and two, focus on global markets, in order to retain its place at the forefront of global innovation.

Arabic speakers are believed to be the fourth largest language group of Internet users, following English, Chinese, and Spanish language groups, and the 300 million people in the Middle East have an average age of 25. The numbers alone signify a potentially massive opportunity for investors and founders alike.

But many of Israel’s most active VCs are choosing to take a more passive approach, maintaining the position that they will invest in Arab entrepreneurs if the business opportunity is good but will not seek them out.

“A lot of people are skeptical about the Middle East and don’t think it’s time to invest,” says Peres, “but my answer to them is this: 25 years ago it was not realistic to invest in China, 15 years ago it was not realistic to invest in Turkey, and 10 years ago Africa did not look so promising. We decided to be forerunners and invest.”

Source: Techcrunch

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Two weeks after Xiaomi launches a smart blood pressure monitor, Baiduunveils one of its own

Is this the next frontier in the battle for the internet of things? Chinese web giant Baidu has just announced a smartphone-connected home blood pressure monitor dubbed Mumu BP 2. The Bluetooth-connected device comes just two weeks after smartphone maker Xiaomi released its own sphygmomanometer in partnership with iHealth Labs. Read more: Two weeks after Xiaomi launches a smart blood pressure monitor, Baidu unveils one of its own.

Like Xiaomi and iHealth’s partnership, Mumu and Baidu joined up to create a co-branded device, according to DoNews. Guangzhou-based Mumu also makes an under-the-arm portable blood pressure monitor.

Whereas Xiaomi’s version requires a corded phone dock, Mumu is completely wireless and runs on a rechargeable battery. With the aim of being as simple as possible, it only has two buttons: power and Bluetooth connection. Everything else is controlled by the app. Users can monitor the data in real time and record it on Baidu Cloud, including systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate. To accomodate for older phones – likely those used by elderly users – the device and app are compatible with the older Bluetooth 2.1 and the newer 4.0.

So why are China’s big tech companies suddenly showing an interest in blood pressure? The internet of things and the medical field are quickly converging. As an entry point, sphygmomanometers make sense. They are relatively simple to make, require little expertise to use, and they reach a low common denominator; a World Health Organization report published one year ago shows hypertension affects over 40 percent of Chinese adults aged 45 or older.

The Mumu BP 2 is now available for pre-order in China for US$65 and will ship on November 8.

Xiaomi’s blood pressure monitor is on sale now for just half that price.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Reduxio Raises $15M Series B, Seagate Joins its Board

Israeli based Reduxio Systems, the next-generation hyper-efficient hybrid storage innovator, announced today that it has closed a $15 million Series B funding, led by Seagate Technology plc, a world leader in storage solutions, and joined by existing investors Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Carmel Ventures and Intel Capital.

This comes just one year after last year's round of $12 million.

The funds will accelerate Reduxio's product development and support its go-to-market plan. In conjunction with this investment, Seagate will obtain a seat on the Reduxio Board of Directors. "We are very excited to close this funding round," said Mark Weiner, Chief Executive Officer, Reduxio Systems.

"We are thrilled to have Seagate as an investor. Seagate has the know-how and the passion that has allowed them to continue to be the leader in the storage industry. Seagate's investment validates our innovative architecture and our execution to date, and will help us to bring our products to customers earlier."

"This investment underscores our continued commitment to further strengthen our position as a storage solutions leader from components to systems to services," said Rocky Pimentel, President of Global Markets and Customers at Seagate. "Reduxio has built an architecture that can truly leverage the capabilities of hard disk drives, solid state storage, and future non-volatile technologies together in a single system. We believe that systems that successfully integrate multiple media types can deliver compelling price/performance and reliability benefits and will have a unique position in the market."

"Reduxio was created with the vision that the rapidly evolving enterprise storage space needs a new disruptive architecture." said Kobi Rozengarten, Chairman of Reduxio and General Partner at JVP. "In just two years, Reduxio's team has proven its ability to provide the most advanced solutions to this rapidly growing space."

Reduxio Systems Reduxio™ is building the next-generation enterprise hybrid storage arrays that provides breakthrough cost and capacity savings for customers. Reduxio's revolutionary new storage operating system implements active tiering across multiple tiers, NoDup™ in-line deduplication and compression, and BackDating™ for infinite data recovery.

Reduxio's multi-tier infinite storage systems are specifically designed for today's storage environments focusing on cloud, virtualization and structured data sets. Reduxio's operating system and next generation smart placement algorithms will redefine price/performance and functionality for enterprise storage buyers.

Reduxio was founded by leaders from IBM, EMC, NetApp and Dell, and is backed by Seagate Technology, JVP, Carmel Ventures and Intel Capital.

Why China Will Leapfrog the World in Internet of Things

An interesting article by Dave Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks published on

The U.S. led the world in the PC revolution. Europe was where cell phones took off. So where will the wellspring of innovation and customer adoption take place for the Internet of Things? 


With its recent IPO, Alibaba is a ramping up a strategy for the Internet of Things. Seeing the success of Nest and Dropcam in the US, all of the major Chinese web properties— SINA, Baidu, Tencent —are looking at ways to use connected devices as a way to increase market share and advertising revenue. SINA started the trend last year with Wi-Fi weather stations. We are also seeing a battle among these Chinese Internet giants trying to provide IoT services to third-party manufacturers, similar to Amazon’s Web Services, both on their own and with U.S. partners.

Here are three reasons why China is going to take over and lead the world in the Internet of Things:

1. China is firmly ensconced as the manufacturing center of the world and the services and capabilities offered by Chinese manufacturers continue to expand. Fifteen years ago, Chinese manufacturers primarily sat at the far end of the supply chain. Products were designed in the U.S. or Europe and shipped to Taiwanese companies, who in turn figured out ways to manufacture them efficiently before shipping them over to their counterparts in China for cheap, volume manufacturing.

Now, Chinese companies manage industrial design, design-for-manufacturing, and actual manufacturing. People often miss this, but U.S. companies don’t go to China just for cheap labor and engineering. Increasingly, they go for expertise.

2. Chinese manufacturers are rapidly building their own retail brands. Look at Yifang Digital Technology. No, it’s not a household name, but there is a very good chance you’ve seen their products or know someone who owns one of them. Yifang’s Nextbook is the fifth largest selling tablet in the U.S. and eighth worldwide. The company’s products can be seen on the shelves of Target, Walmart and other large retailers.

Very soon, you’ll see the company’s NexTurn home control platform on store shelves in the U.S. at prices that will challenge some of the incumbents. Google’s acquisition of Nest and Nest’s acquisition of Dropcam woke Asian manufacturers up to the possibilities of IoT.

These two factors — the increasing sophistication of the manufacturing base in China and the willingness of retailers to promote or adopt new brands from China — will have far-ranging impacts in the electronics industry. Whenever you talk to veterans of this industry, they say the same thing: It’s too late for anyone else to get into the market. The big brands already have it sealed up. But look at what happened years ago in PCs. Dell snuck in after the established brands had allegedly locked up the market.

In cell phones, Apple and Google swept aside stalwarts like Nokia and Motorola.

In TVs, Vizio, a company with only about 100 employees and no brand recognition, went from being an obscure brand available on shopping networks to the largest seller of TVs in the U.S. in a few short years.

Change is more common than you think.

But the third factor is arguably the most important.

3. China, and the other fast-growing OECD economies, need IoT. In the U.S., smart thermostats are fun, interesting gadgets. In India or China, they will be mandatory. Over 1.4 billion people still aren’t connected to the grid. And where the grid exists, it is often rickety and dirty. Approximately 35% of the power in India gets , and power in many regions still comes from diesel generators.

Traffic jams in cities like Harbin and Shanghai are notorious, and more people are moving into cities every day. China builds 2.5 cities the size of Chicago every year. By 2025, the country will have 221 cities with over one million people.

Technology that can help people fine-tune appliances like air conditioners to cut emissions and energy consumption will be absolutely essential. Sensor networks in streetlights and smartphone apps that provide up-to-date traffic information will be the first line of defense against gridlock.

IoT will also be employed to increase crop yields and monitor irrigation. Many predict that by 2050 worldwide food output will have to be doubled, but we will have to double it without increasing arable land, water rights or fertilizer use. Without technology, it will be impossible.

While IoT will be adopted in Asia, Latin America, and Africa somewhat quickly, adoption in China will probably be more rapid. A domestic industry for IoT products is already evolving after all. Just as important, local officials are encouraging adoption through new building codes and other incentives.

Earlier this year, we launched an effort backed by some of China’s largest VCs and the International Finance Corporation (the venture arm of the World Bank) to build a cloud for IoT in China. Based on the experience, the IFC wants to bring some of the ideas to other markets.

The pervasiveness of mobile phones will play an instrumental role as well. Smartphones will become a universal remote control for managing everything in your life. Smart thermostats in a few years won’t be glitzy items with LCD screens; they will be small, unobtrusive chips, and the screen for controlling them will be in your pocket.

Admittedly, IoT has just begun, and, if you judged the future by the amount of marketing being generated, you could easily conclude that this market will be dominated by U.S. conglomerates with household brand names. Just prepare to be surprised.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

MedAware Raises $1 Million to Bring Big Data Analytics to Medical Prescription Market

RA'ANANA, Israel, October 2, 2014 -- MedAware, a developer of big data analytics for the medical prescription market, announced today that it has completed a $1 million Series A financing round led by equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd. Together with GE Ventures, it is the two firms' first co-investment since entering into a strategic partnership in November 2013, and GE's first software investment in Israel's growing healthcare industry. The money raised will be used to drive initial sales to healthcare providers, insurance companies and large pharmacy chains.

Today, prescription errors result in morbidity, mortality and wasteful healthcare costs, harming hundreds of thousands of people annually in the United States alone. To combat the prevalence of those errors, MedAware has developed an innovative software-based solution that combines the power of big data analytics and machine learning to save lives and reduce medical costs.

"Three years ago I came across a tragic case of a nine-year-old Israeli boy who died because his primary-care physician accidentally prescribed the wrong drug," said MedAware Co-founder and CEO Gidi Stein. "The ease with which a little boy died because of a mistaken click of a button was horrifying to me as a physician and as a parent. We have founded MedAware in order to try and prevent such cases."

Current solutions such as electronic medical records and computerized physician order entry systems search for prescription errors based on manually predefined rules. These systems miss errors that do not fall into their known rules, and also suffer from high false-alarm rates. By contrast, MedAware uses big-data analytics and machine-learning algorithms to automatically learn how different clinical scenarios are managed by physicians in real world situations.

"MedAware embodies many of the same technologies we've seen accompany the emergence of the Industrial Internet," added Jason Sibley, Director of Healthcare Ventures at GE Ventures. "From big data and analytics to machine learning and digital communications, the company aligns perfectly with GE's vision for a healthcare industry driven by technology and built for improving lives, and we look forward to working together to help transform the medical prescription market."

"We are excited about the potential for MedAware to solve the huge problem of prescription error via their impressive big data technology," said Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd. "The fact that our partner, General Electric, has joined together with us in this investment is further validation of this tremendous opportunity."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

China's MRK Group to Invest Up To $100m In Israeli Wearable Startup Imagine

Calcalist reported today that MRK Science &Technology Development (Group) Co. Ltd. from Nanjing, China will invest $5 million in Israeli wearable computer startup Imagine.

The investment by MRK Group can go up to $100 million.

Imagine Mobile Augmented Reality was established by Prop. Gabby Sarusi and the CEO Daniel Grinberg. Grinberg is an expert in designing complex software solutions, including virtual intelligence, computer vision and embedded systems, focusing on structure and application analysis. Professor Sarusi is a Professor at the electro optics dept. at Ben-Gurion University with more than 20 years' experience in the electro optics industry.

Imagine develops augmented reality (AR) glasses that combine unique technology with human, urban and natural surroundings for a whole new concept and experience. Imagine developed the Theia Glasses which are see-thru, augmented reality smart glasses that enable the user to see virtual objects in full size and integrated to the real surroundings as seen by the user. The glasses enable true stereoscopic 3-dimensional (3D) effect fixed to real life, creating a real and virtual integrated scenario.

The glasses running a unique operation system, which can run on a variety of platforms like Android, Linux, Windows and others. The operating system includes logical and algorithmic abilities to fix the virtual objects to the reality. The system is hands-free format, and enables communication via voice commands, touch panel and gesture control. System on the glasses including tracking, cameras, audio, communication devices and others. All the components are built-in on the glasses.