Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chinese VC to Invest in Israeli Company IOPtima

Two venture capital funds, one from China and one from Taiwan, are investing $6 million in IOPtima at a company valuation of $20.7 million. Their investment is part of a $7.2 million financing round by the company, in which IOPtima's parent company Bio-Light Israeli Life Sciences Investments Ltd. is also participating with a $1.2 million investment.

The venture capital funds from China and Taiwan will jointly own 29%, and private minority shareholders will own 1%.

IOPtima has developed and begun to market in a number of countries a system for glaucoma operations without penetrating the internal part of the eye.

The proceeds from the financing round will be used mainly for the company's marketing efforts, and $1 million will be used to repay a past loan from Bio-Light.

The investment agreement includes a clause stating that if IOPtima does not generate $13.7 million revenue within three years and/or does not submit a request for marketing approval of one of its products within two years, the investors will be allocated more shares in the company at no additional cost. If the company does not obtain marketing approval in the US within five years, or does not accumulate $13.7 million in revenue within three years, the investors can make a forced sale and offer their holdings to a third party at a value of at least $37 million, subject to first refusal rights for Bio-Light.

"The agreement constitutes confirmation from an external independent source of the quality of IOPtima's technology and business potential," said Bio-Light CEO Suzana Nahum-Zilberberg, "The investment agreement is strategically important for IOPtima and Bio-Light, and is expected to contribute to IOPtima's penetration and sales in global markets, and to the approval process for the product and approval for marketing it in the US and commercializing it in this significant market."

A few months ago, Chinese investor Patrick Lau invested NIS 26 million in Bio-Light for 18.9% of the company. Other shareholders include Israel Makov, the current chairman, and Dilip Shanghvi, founder of Sun Pharmaceuticals, India’s largest pharmaceutical company, who own 12.7% and 14% of the company, respectively.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

ElMindA Raises $28m, Chinese Shanda Group To Participate In The Round

ElMindA Ltd., a pioneer in neuroscience-based technology for analyzing brain network functionality, announced the successful completion of a $28 million Series C financing round.

The global syndicate of investors in this round includes Chinese giant Shanda Group, The Kraft Group, Wexford Capital, WR Hambrecht & Co, Palisade Capital Management, OurCrowd and Healthcrest AG.

Proceeds will be used to continue advancement of ElMindA’s proprietary BNA™ (Brain Network Activation) system, which uses multi-channel EEG-ERP electrophysiology technology to provide a more accurate, objective assessment of brain functionality over time. ElMindA will also use the funds for commercial and clinical adoption following BNA’s 2014 FDA clearance in the U.S., and CE Mark approval in Europe for brain function assessment.

“We are thrilled to have attracted such a strong group of new and existing investors,” said Ronen Gadot, chief executive officer of ElMindA. “This support is a testament to the vast potential of BNA technology to advance our understanding of how the brain works, and to positively impact people’s lives. We plan to bring BNA to the forefront as a significant resource to monitor and manage the health of your brain throughout the course of your life.”

“As an investor who has followed the advancements of the company for several years, we look forward to supporting ElMindA as it further unlocks the potential of BNA to be the preeminent market leader by offering an objective platform for brain function assessment and management of brain disorders,” said Robert Kraft of the Kraft Group.

BNA is a non-invasive technology for measuring and analyzing brain function. It uses advanced signal processing and machine-learning algorithms of big populations’ data in order to identify patterns of neuronal networks activated during a specific brain function, such as memory or attention. The information can then be utilized for personalized clinical decision making. It has the potential to impact an estimated two billion people worldwide living with neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and ADHD, as well as those who have sustained traumatic brain injuries, like concussion.

“ElMindA has developed a truly disruptive technology that addresses a crucial unmet need,” said Tianqiao Chen of Shanda Group. “We’re excited to help develop and promote such a unique technology that can potentially catalyze new treatment options for those affected by brain dysfunction.”

“BNA’s exploration of brain function has already affected the lives of young people and their physicians in the U.S. seeking additional guidance for critical brain health decisions,” said Bill Hambrecht of WR Hambrecht & Co. “It has the potential to be of value to each and every one of us in our lifetime.”

BNA is currently available to healthcare providers at 15 locations in eight U.S. cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Ann Arbor, Hartford, and Palm Beach.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Youzu Interactive To Invest In Israeli Startup WakingApp

Israeli startup WakingApp, which provides tools for quick and easy creation of augmented and virtual reality content, has raised $4.3 million in Series C funding from Youzu Interactive (SZSE: 002174) as well as one of largest Internet and search companies in China.

Funds from the round will be used to expand the company’s AR/VR platform offerings and expanding its sales, marketing and business development in the US and China.

The two Chinese companies join existing investors Inimiti VC and Globis Capital in the round.

For Youzu, an entertainment company specializing in online game development and distribution, this is its first investment in an Israeli-based startup and represents an opportunity to move AR/VR content creation tools into the Chinese market.

WakingApp is based in Rosh Ha'ayin and founded in 2013.

The company has developed a groundbreaking AR/VR platform to enable any person even those with no prior programming experience to create advanced interactive augmented reality and virtual reality content that includes live data feeds, high-quality 3D imaging and animation, and games. Content can be created and distributed quickly and easily with the ENTiTi platform and is accessible online on smartphones, tablets and leading smart glasses without the need for additional devices.

“For some time now, we have been seeking to invest in AR/VR technology, as it is on the verge of influencing every aspect of our lives. It is an industry that is projecting 13,000% growth in three years and revenues of $150 billion in five years,” said Daniel Chen Fan, Investment Director of Youzu Interactive. “What impresses us about WakingApp is its ability to overcome a great user barrier by simplifying the way one creates AR/VR content, and we plan to bring this revolution to the Chinese market.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fosun Invests $25m In Israeli Medical Company Ornim Medical

Chinese conglomerate Fosun Pharma to invest $25 million in the Israeli company that develops a medical device that uses near infrared light and ultrasound waves to monitor hemoglobin oxygen saturation in the brain and microcirculation blood flow in tissue.

Previews investors in Ornim are OrbiMed and GE Medical.

In 2013 Fosun bought Israeli company Alma Lasers for $240 million.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Chinese Group Haisco Pharmaceutical To Invest $10 million in Israeli Company Endospan

Xizang Haisco Pharmaceutical Group Co., China second largest medical corporation invests $ 10 million in Endospan, an Israeli company that develops medical devices.

Post money valuation to the company is $100 million.

Existing shareholders in the company also invested in the round, including Accelmed (Mori Arkin's fund), Dr. Uri Geiger, Sequoia Capital Israel and VitaLife. To date the company raised $25 million, mainly from Accelmed and Sequoia.

Haisco Pharmaceuticals will get exclusive rights for distributing the products of Endospan in China.

Endospan transforms the treatment of aneurysms, dissections and other aortic lesions from high-risk, open- surgery to faster, simpler and less invasive procedures and from conventional, double-sided endovascular procedures, to lower invasiveness, percutaneous, single sided interventions.

Endospan was founded in 2009, based in Herzlyia, Israel and has 30 full-time employees.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Israel Chemicals to Invest $350m in Chinese phosphate JV

Israel Chemicals (TASE: ICL, NYSE: ICL) has announced that it has completed the formation of a joint venture company (YPH JV) with Chinese phosphate producer Yunnan Phosphate Chemicals Group Corporation Ltd. (YPC).

ICL says that the YPH JV, which includes a world-scale phosphate rock mine producing approximately 2.5 million tonnes of phosphate annually and a large-scale phosphate operation, is expected to be a leading player in China's phosphate sector, operating an integrated, world-scale phosphate platform across the value chain. It will include upstream mining, bulk fertilizers and downstream businesses in specialty fertilizers, as well as in specialty phosphates for the food and engineered materials markets.

ICL's announcement says, "The YPH JV represents a key milestone in ICL's "Next Step Forward" strategy by increasing ICL's phosphate platform by more than 50%, securing its long-term reserves and expanding its phosphate end-to-end business model focusing on Asia. The partnership is expected to transform ICL into the world's leading specialty phosphate player and to nearly double its global phosphate market share. The YPH JV is also expected to improve the cost competitiveness of ICL's phosphate operations by providing ICL with access to a low-cost phosphate rock operation with vast reserves, as well as with low-cost phosphoric acid. ICL also sees major potential for phosphates specialties in China, and through the YPH JV it will be well-positioned to capture this opportunity. The YPH JV further adds ammonia-based fertilizers to ICL's portfolio which will enable ICL to serve its customers with a broader suite of solutions."

The YPH JV partners expect to invest about $340 million, on a 50/50 basis over the next five years, building specialty plants and tripling their white phosphoric acid (WPA) capacity. The parties have also agreed to produce and sell WPA in China exclusively through the JV within five years following closing.

In August, 2015, the YPH JV partners established a phosphate R&D platform in Kunming (Yunnan province) which will focus on developing phosphate-based technologies and providing strong technical support for the YPH JV's phosphate business, as well as the parties' respective businesses. Nearly a dozen projects have been initiated since the R&D unit was launched.

The YPH JV will be controlled by ICL, and its results, including assets and liabilities, will be consolidated into ICL's financial reports. ICL will lead the operations of the business and will merge its existing businesses in China into the YPH JV which will be fully integrated into ICL's global businesses and corporate governance and will become a fully operating business unit of ICL.

Ta Shenghua, chairman of Yunnan Yuntianhua, said, "We are very pleased to finalize our strategic relationship with ICL, a global phosphates industry leader. We look forward now to fully integrating Yunnan Yuntianhua's large-scale raw material reserves and infrastructure with ICL's expertise and technologies to create a powerful phosphates player that will conduct activities along the entire value chain - from mining to manufacturing downstream products. Together, Yunnan Yuntianhua and ICL will work to transform the phosphates industry in China and other Asian markets, as well as contribute to Chinese society and industry."

ICL CEO Stefan Borgas said, "Our YPH JV with Yunnan Yuntianhua provides ICL with access to major phosphate reserves and a strong platform from which to build the leading specialty phosphate business in fast-growing Chinese and Asian markets. It also strongly expresses ICL's dedication to meeting the essential needs of China's growing population because the JV will provide specialty fertilizers to China's large agricultural market, specialty phosphate products to many engineered materials markets as well as food additives for Asia's fast growing processed food industry. We look forward to continuing our great relationship with Yunnan Yuntianhua to serve these and other burgeoning Asian markets and to improve the profitability of both parent companies."

The closing occurred following the parties' satisfaction of the closing conditions, including all necessary approvals and ICL's payment of approximately $180 million in consideration of its share of the YPH JV. ICL's 15% investment in YTH (which was also a closing condition) has been preliminarily approved by the PRC Ministry of Commerce and is pending final approval by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

Following the closing of the YPH JV agreement, All of ICL's existing Specialty Phosphates business in China prior to March 25, 2015, will be folded into, and managed by, the YPH JV after a transition period.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Vertex Gets $857m from Temasek, will invest in US, Israel and China

Published on the Straits Times 3/10/2015

Armed with a war chest of US$600 million (S$857 million), Singapore's largest and oldest venture capital firm is going global.

The infusion of cash will allow Vertex Venture Holdings to invest in start-ups in the hot seats of innovation and technological disruption - United States, Israel and China - after having been mainly focused on Singapore and Asia.

Chief executive Chua Kee Lock identified healthcare as a new area of funding in addition to its ongoing interest in technology, media and Internet-based start-ups. The funds will be invested in firms ready to expand with proven products and revenue streams, he told The Straits Times.

Typically, each start-up in this growth phase would receive funding of $2 million or more.

Europe is the only region that has no Vertex presence but Mr Chua said he is looking to open an office there. Vertex's new war chest was the result of an investment from its parent company, Temasek Holdings. Mr Chua said the success Vertex has enjoyed in the past few years gave Temasek and Vertex chairman Teo Ming Kian confidence that it could go global.
The firm's research also showed that top venture capital companies like America's Andreessen Horowitz can make returns of about 30 per cent. There will also be sustained technological disruption in various industries due to a variety of factors, including lower cost of computing and communications, he added. "The challenge for us is, can we benchmark to the best?"
Vertex thinks it can as its return on investment for its last fund of US$250 million was about 30 per cent. This fund has invested about US$190 million in around 30 start-ups in Asia. The rest of the cash will be used for follow-on funding for its portfolio companies.
Vertex was an early investor in luxury e-commerce portal Reebonz and mobile taxi app GrabTaxi. It has publicly listed about four start-ups, including mobile game developer IGG, which was listed in Hong Kong in 2013.
It has also sold another six, including Chinese app distribution platform 91 Wireless, for undisclosed figures.
Mr Chua said with a global network, Vertex can have first dibs on potential billion-dollar start-ups because it will have insight on emerging and disruptive technology trends in the world. This information can be shared across its network, giving the firm an advantage in spotting the potential winners. "Now we'll be able to match our interest with our investments." Vertex's global foray has already begun to pay off.
It will reap a tidy profit when its portfolio company, medical device maker Twelve, which it funded about four months ago for an undisclosed figure, is acquired for US$458 million by medical technology and services company Medtronic. The acquisition was announced in August.
Its global strategy focuses on co-investments with its investment partners in the US, China and Israel.
Vertex has used part of its war chest to make substantial investments in venture funds set up by its partners.
Each fund is between US$120 million and US$200 million.
"We allow our partners to form their own funds, but we also invest in their funds. They get a chance to be their own bosses but they remain part of the Vertex family. This way, the partners can help each other," said Mr Chua.
To align the interests of everyone, a small percentage of the global profit each year will be shared by the 30-man investment team in the Vertex network. 
Mr Chua noted: "This way, the partner in Israel who helps one of us in Singapore will feel that he is contributing to the pot of bonus."

Friday, October 2, 2015

Israeli Cloud security startup Dome9 raises $8.3M

Dome9, a startup with cloud-based software for deploying and managing security configurations on cloud infrastructure, is announcing today an $8.3 million round of funding.

The new capital will enable the company to grow its sales and marketing efforts, and expand its product portfolio for purpose-built cloud security solutions. This new round of funding comes in the wake of the company's tremendous success of its popular cloud security service which currently protects more than 250 enterprise customers.

Dome9 SecOps cloud infrastructure security service protects IaaS deployments. Leveraging cloud-native technologies, Dome9 orchestrates security policies, visualizes security risks, and remediates threats to ensure secure application delivery in the cloud. Among the company's unique services is "Dome9 Clarity" that is trusted by hundreds of enterprises to concisely visualize security policies and maps threats across enterprise clouds over Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows Azure, IBM/SoftLayer, Google Cloud Platform, and many others.

The company has raised a total of $13 million in funding to date and this new round will primarily be used to accelerate its growth among enterprise cloud users. The Series B round is being led by ORR Partners and includes new Investors JAL Ventures, Pinnacle and Lazarus Israel Opportunity Fund. Existing investor Opus Capital Ventures also participated in the round.

The company announced the addition of several industry heavyweights to its board. Avery More, Founder and Managing Partner of ORR partners, seed investor and board member at SolarEdge (NASDAQ: SEDG) joins the company as Chairman of the Board. He is joined on the board by Joshua Levinberg, Founder and Managing Partner at JAL Ventures, and co-founder of Gilat Satellite Networks (NASDAQ: GILT). Experienced venture investor and Silicon Valley executive, Herb Madan also participated in the round and has joined Dome9's advisory board.

Additionally, the company added Robert (Bob) Darabant as Chief Revenue Officer. An industry veteran with over 20 years of IT security executive experience, Bob has been directly responsible for generating more than $1B in enterprise business as head of sales in companies like NetScreen and Sophos.

"Today's enterprises demand dynamic and active cloud infrastructure security in support of a scalable, high availability, and high performance cloud environment," says Zohar Alon, CEO & Co-Founder at Dome9. "We will continue to deliver to our customers the 'state-of-the-art' ability to identify threats, protect applications, and enforce security policies across public and private enterprise cloud environments."

"I am very glad to join the Dome9 team. The market reached a tipping point where large enterprises are moving substantial parts of their IT infrastructure to IaaS providers (like AWS). These enterprises must have the ability to manage the security and compliance issues involved," says Avery More, Founder and Managing Partner at ORR partners. "Dome9 has the 'best-of-breed' solution in the market for this need. We plan to use the proceeds of this round to dramatically scale our go-to-market execution."

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Singapore Fund Singtel Innov8, JVP, Magma VC To Invest in Israeli Startup Teridion

Teridion, the Israeli based networking company that delivers the fastest internet experience announced general availability of its advanced Global Cloud Network to provide up to 20x performance improvement for end-user generated bi-directional Internet content.

The company’s solution is currently being used by more than 15 companies spanning some of the most bandwidth-demanding applications and services, such as hosting and file sharing, rich media and advertising.

Teridion also announced a total of $20 million in funding, having closed a $15 million Series B round of financing led by Singtel Innov8. Existing investors JVP and Magma also participated in the round. With the general availability of its flagship product and funding, the company will accelerate its go-to-market strategy and grow its team both in the US and internationally.

“The Internet is an incredibly powerful tool, but until now, we have struggled to take full advantage of its capabilities. It’s still common for us to fall victim to slow response times and volatile connections,” said Elad Rave, founder and CEO of Teridion. “We are breaking down these boundaries and providing users with a seamless Internet experience – no matter their location, device or application. It’s our goal for our SaaS customers to be able to generate additional customer loyalty, and the funding and general availability of our product are major steps in this direction.”

Meeting the Demands of Modern Applications and Services

Today’s applications and services need to deliver content to users at unprecedented speeds, without sacrificing quality or reliability. As these technologies continue to advance, the effectiveness of traditional content delivery and WAN optimization approaches are diminishing. Teridion solves this fundamental problem by providing a high performance, reliable Internet experience that addresses the low latency, highly dynamic applications brought to market everyday. Early customer deployments have shown up to 20x improvement in Internet performance, offering an opportunity for organizations to build applications without compromise. With Teridion, businesses achieve new levels of customer engagement and retention, ultimately driving up revenue.

“Enterprise businesses rely on the flexibility of the Egnyte platform to securely share files, collaborate and maintain control over important data, no matter the storage provider, cloud, application or device. We want our customers to be freed from worrying about Internet connectivity or their geographical location," said Kris Lahiri, vice president of operations and chief security officer at Egnyte. “Fast response times and always-on reliability are vital to IT professionals and business users alike, and Teridion helps us consistently deliver high performance across our solutions and services.”

Teridion is able to achieve this speed and reliability on SoftLayer infrastructure from IBM Cloud. Through the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program, IBM Cloud’s startup ecosystem, Teridion has received free mentoring, support and SoftLayer infrastructure via the program’s Catalyst option.

"By supporting startups like Teridion, IBM continues to reinforce its commitment to provide entrepreneurs with the mentoring and cloud technology they need to bring next generation technologies to market quickly,” said Sandy Carter, general manager for IBM Cloud’s ecosystem and developers. “Because IBM Cloud infrastructure is flexible, reliable and globally dispersed, it’s a great foundation for Teridion, which manages a large volume of traffic in order to deliver fast Internet response times to end users around the world.”

Designed for bi-directional, user-generated Internet content, Teridion features:

  • The Teridion Global Cloud Network – Bringing intelligent routing to the cloud. Proprietary algorithms and the Teridion Management System, in conjunction with Teridion Measurement Agents, provide a real-time congestion map of the Internet to find the best possible path, taking into account bandwidth, latency and geography. 
  • High performance, low latency – Up to 20x Internet performance improvements, enabling users to rethink what’s possible online.
  • Unparalleled flexibility – Teridion Cloud Routers are created on demand, providing scalability and enabling users to only pay for the resources consumed. The solution works with the largest cloud providers in the world to ensure the speed and reliability of traffic, without requiring customers to leave their cloud provider. 
  • Bolstered security – Teridion does not cache users’ data, and end-to-end SSL encryption with no termination secures data across the network. 
  • Simple onboarding – With no hardware or software to install, and quick and easy provisioning, a typical cloud customer can be connected to the network in under an hour.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Singapore cements status as MedTech hub as Isreali & Chinese incubators set up base

The entry of two new medical technology (medtech) incubators into Singapore is set to position the city state as a major Asia Pacific (APAC) medtech node.

Israel-based Trendlines has set up a Singapore arm, while Incubator in China, which is among the newest and largest medtech and pharmaceutical incubators currently in the startup space, has established a presence in the city-state via Venturecraft.

According to a Business Times report, these incubators will establish a base in the city-state to develop healthcare products for commercialisation in bigger markets, such as China and the US. The report quoted Dr Todd Dollinger and Steve Rhodes, co-chairmen and chief executives of Israel-based Trendiness,as stating, “Now is an opportune time for medtech.”

In a statement to the Business Times of Singapore, they explained, “In China, health spending as a share of GDP was 5.6 percent in 2013, well below the OECD average of 8.9 per cent, while that of the US is 16.4 percent. Clearly, China must increase spending while the US must bring down costs. Regardless, both countries need quality health products at economically appropriate prices. This presents a tremendous opportunity for medtech.”

Their establishment in Singapore is rooted amidst a push by biotechnology majors seeking to capitalise on growth in emerging markets. The city-state is a global trading hub, and a major re-exporter of pharmaceuticals, with pharmaceutical sales projected to grow 9.3 percent annually until 2019.

Besides Israeli and Chinese firms, existing middle market European and American pharmaceutical companies are expected to invest in Singapore’s pharmaceutical space as they seek a base to access the new markets being opened by economic growth in the Asia Pacific (APAC) and a highly educated workforce.

Focus on Trendlines

Founded in 2007, Trendlines invests in up to 10 startups every year and currently maintains more than 50 ventures in its portfolio. The Singapore edition of their incubator is slated for launch in Q1 2016 and will be looking to recruit staff with a background in business development, all of whom will undergo training in israel.

Despite the city-state’s alcove an agricultural market, its technology, research, hospital, logistics and food processing capabilities were factors that persuaded Trendlines to explore the potential presented by the city-state’s economy. The incubators specialises in developing, building and investing in medical and agricultural technology ventures.

The opening of a Singapore branch comes amidst midst plans to conduct an initial public offering on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in November 2015. According to the Israeli publication Haaretz, as of July 2015, Trendlines, operates three technology incubators for medical and agricultural startups.

The IPO in Singapore would value the company at between US$80 million and US$100 million. The Haaretz report that Trendlines withdrew from a planned IPO in Toronto in 2014 aimed at raising $20 million.

The IPO in Singapore would see it join four other Israeli firms traded on the Singapore Exchange, including the medical device maker QT Vascular and the computer-vision maker Artivision Technologies. These IPO plans could be linked to effort to persuade Israeli firms to list in Singapore.

With an Israeli team in excess of 30 engineers, scientists and business analysts screening and vetting approximately 500 medtech proposals every year, Trendlines is unique in its approach of taking a large initial equity position – often between 50-100 percent – and their role as activist investors.

Trendlines portfolio firms receive up to $1.1 million in funding; an Israeli government grant of about $558,000, a Trendlines’ cash investment of about $98,000 and a follow-up in-kind investment of US$400,000. To date, at least six of the companies its portfolio have exited via a trade sale or public listing

They do not function like traditional venture capitalists (VCs), with Dollinger explaining: “Venture capitalists are always looking at the clock. At Trendlines, we are not committed to exit our companies at a certain stage or invest at certain times.”

With high net worth individuals and corporates from Singapore investing in Trendlines, Dollinger and Rhodes concluded: “Singapore and Israel have a long history of R&D and government engagements. Singapore also has a strong interest in Israeli technology and entrepreneurial knowhow, and is both a wonderful ecosystem and a welcoming environment,” they added.

China-Singapore incubation

Incubator in China, amongst the newest and largest medtech and pharmaceutical incubators currently in the startup space, has established a Singapore presence via Venturecraft.

Venturecraft recently partnered and invested in the Chinese incubator, targeting to make it a comprehensive platform in the city-state for entrepreneurial ventures seeking to commercialise medtech products or drugs in the Greater China market. This comes amidst a growth in business formation and entrepreneurial activity within China.

Venturecraft’s services in China through this partnership would include the provision of access to clinical trials, distribution to hospitals and localised marketing strategies. Meanwhile, higher level work involves Venturecraft facilitating regulatory approvals and grants from the Chinese government.

“This is all part of continuing efforts to become a leading bridge in Asia for Singapore and global companies to foray into China,” said Isaac Ho, managing partner of HealthTech, the private investment firm behind Venturecraft.

More recent development on the part of Venturecraft involve it providing rent-free offices for startup ventures at its premises in Hangzhou – the hub for technology startups in China and the hometown of the Alibaba Group.

Ho explained that Incubator in China has significant social capital, given the presence of and participation in Incubator in China by leading mainland Chinese experts, in addition to government and private hospitals chiefs, IP and regulatory experts, distribution partners, R&D laboratories and government agencies.

Ho added that an IPO in what was termed “an appropriate market” was being explored by Venturecraft, saying, “Since Venturecraft operates as an evergreen structure, in the future when we have built enough portfolio and assets, we will explore a listing in order to unlock our shareholders’ value.”

This follows developments in the city-states medtech industry, whose prospects have been boosted by recent developments. EDB Investments (EDBI), the corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), announcing its investment in Massachusetts-based life science tools company Rapid Micro Biosystems.

In addition, seed accelerator JFDI has partnered the German Medical Innovations Incubator to ” pioneering medtech startup bootcamps and an accelerator in Germany; both are said to lead to technology transfer and job-creation opportunities here. With challenges posed by ageing demographics, there is tremendous scope for ventures to test and validate in the Singapore market, particularly in telemedicine.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Israel, China medical technology incubators set up shop in Singapore

THE Republic looks set to become a hothouse in Asia for medical technology, as two medtech incubators from Israel and China set up shop here to develop healthcare products for their commercialisation in bigger markets, such as China and the US.

"Now is an opportune time for medtech," said Todd Dollinger and Steve Rhodes, co-chairmen and chief executives of Israel-based Trendlines.

They told BT: "In China, health spending as a share of GDP was 5.6 per cent in 2013, well below the OECD average of 8.9 per cent, while that of the US is 16.4 per cent. Clearly, China must increase spending while the US must bring down costs. Regardless, both countries need quality health products at economically appropriate prices. This presents a tremendous opportunity for medtech."

Founded in 2007, Trendlines invents, discovers, invests in, and incubates medical and agricultural technologies, and is looking to list on Singapore Exchange in November, said Dr Dollinger and Mr Rhodes.

"Even though Singapore has almost no market for agriculture, its tech, research, hospital, logistics and food processing capabilities lend potential for such an incubator here," they said. Slated for launch in Q1 2016, it will hire at least six local staff with strengths in business development, who will first undergo training in Israel.

Currently, Trendlines' Israel-based team of over 30 engineers, scientists and business analysts screen about 500 medtech proposals yearly to identify promising early-stage technologies for incubation. That it partners these new technologies from early days is a "high risk" investment, said Mr Rhodes, but one that is mitigated by the incubator taking an initial large equity position (50-100 per cent) and being extremely involved in the operations of their portfolio companies.

"Even so, we're more flexible than a venture capital fund," said Dr Dollinger. "Venture capitalists are always looking at the clock. At Trendlines, we are not committed to exit our companies at a certain stage or invest at certain times."

Trendlines' portfolio companies - at least six of 60 have exited via a trade sale or public listing - receive up to US$1.1 million in funding, which comprises an Israeli government grant of about US$558,000, a Trendlines' cash investment of about US$98,000 and a follow-up in-kind investment of US$400,000.

Among its investors are many high net worth individuals and corporates from Singapore, said both men. "Singapore and Israel have a long history of R&D and government engagements. Singapore also has a strong interest in Israeli technology and entrepreneurial knowhow, and is both a wonderful ecosystem and a welcoming environment," they added.

Meanwhile, Incubator in China, one of China's newest and largest medtech and pharmaceutical incubators, now has a Singapore presence via homegrown tech incubator Venturecraft. Fresh from launching a S$4 million working capital fund earlier this year, Venturecraft recently partnered and invested in the Chinese incubator, making it a one-stop platform in Singapore for startups looking to commercialise their products or drugs in China.

Venturecraft's services include providing - in China - access to clinical trials, distribution to hospitals and localised marketing strategies; facilitating regulatory approvals and grants from the Chinese government, and even offering rent-free offices at its premises in Hangzhou.

"This is all part of continuing efforts to become a leading bridge in Asia for Singapore and global companies to foray into China," said Isaac Ho, managing partner of Singapore HealthTech, the private investment firm behind Venturecraft.

Mr Ho added that Incubator in China boasts many of China's top medical experts including government and private hospitals chiefs, as well as IP and regulatory experts, reputable distribution partners, R&D laboratories and government agencies.

Moreover, Venturecraft is exploring an initial public offer in "an appropriate market". Said Mr Ho: "Since Venturecraft operates as an evergreen structure, in the future when we have built enough portfolio and assets, we will explore a listing in order to unlock our shareholders' value."

Just last week, Singapore's medtech industry got a fillip from two other announcements. EDBI, the corporate investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board, said it has invested in Massachusetts-based life science tools company Rapid Micro Biosystems, while homegrown accelerator JFDI said it has partnered Germany's Medical Innovations Incubator to "power" pioneering medtech startup bootcamps and an accelerator in Germany; both are said to lead to technology transfer and job-creation opportunities here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Israeli Startup Takes First Place at Shengjing Global Innovation Awards 2015

Israel Proves Its Place in Global Startup Scene with Impressive Achievements DiaCardio wins 1st place Wayerz comes in 5th place  The competition, led in Israel by venture capital fund JVP, with Chinese consulting firm Shengjing360 ‎, featured 21 startups from countries including the US, ChinaIsraelEurope and Latin America

Impressive achievement for the Israeli representatives in the final round of the Shengjing Global Innovation Awards 2015, a global startup competition held in China featuring 21 startups from around the world: China (10), the US (5), Israel (3), Europe and Latin America (3) competed for $1.5 million in cash prizes.

In first place came DiaCardio, which developed a revolutionary software that radically changes the way echocardiograms are decoded, while Wayerz, which developed a platform for inter-bank charges (billing) while providing management, commands and control of inter-bank processes in real time, came in fifth place.

The winners were selected on the basis of rankings by 13 judges from around the world and real-time rankings of the startup companies by an audience of over 1000 people. ‎In addition to cash prizes totaling $1.5 million, the startups were given the chance to present their technological solutions to investors, as well as to leading technology groups from China and around the world, including Menlo Ventures. The winners were announced in a competition held in Beijing with an audience of over 1,000 people in the final event of the competition that was held in four geographical locations over a period of more than eight months.

The top 5 startups will share $1 million in cash prizes, each receiving $200,000‎. The startups which came in 6th to 10th place will each receive $100,000 in cash. All of the finalists will also embark on a road show and series of meetings with Chinese internet giants Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, JD.com, and Xiaomi over the next few days. The Shengjing Group is also contemplating investment in some of the startup companies through a dedicated investment fund which was set up for the competition.

The competition was initiated by Chinese consulting firm Shengjing360. The finals in Beijing are part of the five-day Zhongguancun International Entrepreneur Festival, attracting entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world. The festival is sponsored by the Chinese government, which considers innovation as an important growth engine. ‎

Israel was represented in the competition by Israel's ambassador to China, Matan Vilnai, JVP partner Yoav Tzruya, and Dr. Orna Berry, Corporate Vice President Growth and Innovation EMC Centers of Excellence EMEA and the US. The Israeli delegation received an impressive welcome, and the three were asked to be key speakers at the event. ‎Yoav Tzruya and Dr. Orna Berry even served as judges in the competition.‎

‎Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) led the competition in Israel, in collaboration with top Israeli academic institutions, leading technology companies and service providers, which assisted in the process and selection of the finalists. They included ‎EMC, Deutsche Telecom, HFN, PwC, IDC Executive Education and Yissum.‎

The Israeli competition was launched in February 2015. Nine startups, out of the 180 ventures from across the Israeli high tech spectrum, reached the semi-finals. Three Israeli startups were then chosen to represent Israel in the global finals in Beijing.

The participation of Israeli startups in the event garnered great interest from the audience, in particular from dozens of the Chinese media outlets covering it. ‎

DiaCardio was represented in the competition by Hila Goldman-Aslan, and the company's chairman, Arnon Toussia-Cohen. DiaCardio is a software company which radically changes the manner in which cardiograms (ultrasound exams of the heart) are decoded, using unique algorithms it has developed. These algorithms decode the main parameters of the heart's functioning in a quick, accurate and automated manner. The software integrates easily with all eco-cardiograph machines and has received FDA approval and CE marking.

Hila Goldman-Aslan: "We are thrilled and proud to have won first place. It was a fascinating and empowering experience. The competition proves that Israel is home to promising technological initiatives. The competition opens up investment opportunities by Chinese investors, and we believe that winning it will advance the recognition of the ground-breaking technology that we have developed at DiaCardio."

According to JVP partner Yoav Tzruya, who accompanied the competition from its very beginning and served as a judge in the finals: "‎Innovation is still one of the Israeli economy's main competitive advantages, and we are pleased to see Israeli ventures receive such global recognition. The competition presented a unique opportunity for Israeli startup companies to penetrate the Chinese market as well as other international markets. In light of the latest macroeconomic developments, it is clear that technological innovation is key to continued solid growth and a country's ability to differentiate itself. Great powers, such as China, allocate extensive resources to create and leverage innovation. ‎Israel should harness the startup culture and innovative ventures to gain a major foothold in this market. ‎We were pleased to collaborate with Shengjing, an innovation pioneer in China, as well as with multinationals such as EMC and Deutsche Telekom, and academia in the form of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in order to select the ventures that represent Israeli innovation in various fields." ‎

Deutsche Telekom To Invest €100M In Israeli Startups

According to a report in “TheMarker”, the German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom will invest € 100 million in Israeli high-tech in the coming years. The company will invest through its venture capital arm, and the investment process will be led by Guy Horowitz, the former CEO of Deutsche Telekom in Israel. In addition, Amit Keren has been appointed to the position of business developer for Deutsche Telekom in Israel.

Deutsche Telekom is headquartered in Bonn, Germany and is headed by CEO and Chairman Timotheus Hotteges.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The startup scene in Israel is going bonkers, and the Chinese are swooping in

This summer, it’s raining unicorns — tech startups valued at more than $1 billion — and as a result the Israeli tech scene is going absolutely crazy.

Business Insider just spent a week in Israel meeting with over a dozen tech companies and VCs. They all told us: Everyone is dreaming of becoming the next unicorn. Instead of selling their startups for $1 million to $30 million, founders are turning down multimillion acquisition offers, wanting to build big companies.

2015 is a record-breaker for VC funding. For the first half in 2015, 342 companies have attracted $2.1 billion, up from 334 companies nabbing $1.6 billion in the first half of 2014.

The private-equity bankers have arrived in droves, including Blackstone, SilverLake, KKR, Apax Partners, TPG, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley, and they're writing huge checks.

Chinese investors are swarming the country, joining Israeli VC funds as limited partners as well as doing a lot of huge, direct investments into startups, too. "If we're going to do $4 billion in venture in 2015, the estimate I heard is that at least $500 million of that will be Chinese money, and that’s direct investment not including the LP stuff," Israeli powerhouse VC Jon Medved told Business Insider. "And I think that’s probably underestimated.” Medved, founder of investment startup OurCrowd, is widely known as one of the fathers of Israel’s tech-startup scene.

Chinese investors are “at all the parties” a startup founder told us. The joke here is that Israeli border control needs to open up a special customs line “just for Chinese investors with bags of money that they can just get in the country for free,” Medved quipped. This hot economy has led to ... Big, well-funded Israeli companies starting to acquire other Israeli companies for big sums of money, too. The first crop of Israeli serial entrepreneurs, such as Avigdor Willens, who sold Annapurna to Amazon earlier this year for a reported $350 million to $375 million. Willens sold his first company, Galileo, for $2.7 billion in stock back in 2000 to Marvell Technologies.

It started when Google dropped a billion on Waze

When Google bought Waze for $1 billion in 2013, it was a milestone event for the country, says Medved. “Billion-dollar companies are now all over the place.

Waze was the first and most important,” he told us. Waze cofounder Uri Levine explained to Business Insider, “This was the first time a billion-dollar app, and a consumer app, came out of Israel,” and it set “a new beacon for Israel” telling entrepreneurs to aim higher than a quick exit.

The next year, Japan's Rakuten (the eBay of Japan) acquired Israeli messaging app Viber for $900 million, and unicorn fever in the country began. Over and over, startup founders told us they had no interest in selling their successful companies — some of which were doing millions of dollars in revenue, and some of which were doing hundreds of millions in revenue. They wanted to grow their companies past $1 billion to many billions.

“Israel entrepreneurs are obsessed with building unicorns,” Hillel Fuld, CMO of Israeli startup Zula told us.

Billion-dollar startups include:

Taboola (who raised $117 million in February, $157 million total);

IronSource (who raised $105 million in two rounds from private-equity funds run by JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley);

Outbrain (who filed confidential SEC documents for an IPO at a reported $1 billion valuation);

Conduit, who said it was the first Israeli internet unicorn;

MobileEye: IPO’d in 2014, $12 billion market cap today

CyberArk: IPO’d in 2014, market cap of about $2 billion

Wix: IPO’d in 2013, market cap of about $900 million

And there are some half-unicorns, like Varonis Systems, which IPO’d in 2014 and has a market cap of nearly $600 million — nothing to sneeze at.

Asian money everywhere 

"The Asia stuff is very dramatic, very real and very new," says Medved. "China is the big story. But Japan, for example — there had never been a visit of a Japanese prime minister to Israel before, in all the years of Israel’s existence.

What did they have to come here for? This year, the Japanese prime minister shows up for four days, all tech.”

Meanwhile, Korea’s Samsung Ventures has now made "eight investments here over the last year," says Medved. Plus, "there are now Israeli companies going to list on the Singapore exchange."

Israel will also be hosting the Indian prime minister for the first time.

In February, Indian company Infosys (now run by SAP’s former US CTO Vishal Sikka) bought Israeli company Panaya for $200 million. India has plans to build a research and development center here.

Still, China overshadows them all. Investments are pouring in from Baidu, Fosun, Alibaba, Tencent, RenRen, and others.

Famous Chinese angel investor (and billionaire) Li Ka Shing and his Horizon Ventures fund are all over the country. Horizon was an early investor in Waze. And he’s invested in about 29 Israeli startups, including Waze founder Levine’s latest baby, FeeX, (raised $9 million).

If there's a downside to all of this, it's that Israel is starting to experience a severe talent shortage. They are now poaching each other's employees and trying to keep employees from leaving by offering better and better Valley-like perks.

IronSource, for example, flies its 550 employees to one exotic off-site meeting every year. The whole company just got back from Greece. "Once a year, we party," CEO Tomer Bar Zeev told us. "That builds culture. It's one of the best investments we can make, investing in the company." If that fails, Chinese billionaire Li Ka Shing has an answer.

He also donated $130 million to Israel’s Technion, the Israeli Institute of Technology (like the MIT of Israel), one of the largest ever donations received by an Israeli university.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sol Chip Completed a $5 million Series B Round, Led by Hong Kong Investor

Israeli start-up company Sol Chip completed Series B funding round of $5 million. Hong Kong based Dowell Property Holdings Limited led the round and invested $4 million.

Sol Chip, originated from Misgav incubator operated by The Trendlines Group, is a worldwide leading energy harvesting company that offers a unique maintenance-free Everlasting Solar Battery and IoT communication platforms.

Sol Chip’s IoT platform provides low power communication module coupled with self-sustaining energy harvesting technology. Due to Sol Chip’s breakthrough energy efficient design, Sol Chip’s IoT platform reduces overall system operation costs by over 60% compared to any other alternatives in the market these days.

Sol Chip’s technology provides a power and communication solutions for disruptive fields such as Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable tech. The Light Battery provides a 24/7 solution of the solar technology and the electronics - all in one sealed package including high voltage capabilities.

The company's Autonomous IoT Power & Communication Module enables maintenance free monitoring and control of IoT systems. Through its patented technology, Sol Chip integrates all the required components in a single power & communication module — to harvest and supply sustainable solar/light energy to low-power applications and to provide autonomous communication.

Dowell Property Holdings Limited is an investment holding company traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with a market cap of more than $100. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lenovo, Shengjing to Invest in Canaan Partners Israel

Izhar Shay, founder of Canaan Partners Israel closed recently the fundraising for the newly formed Israel based venture capital fund Canaan Partners Israel. Shay raised a total of $60 million from investors in Asia, Europe and the US.

Chinese computer giant Lenovo invested $10 million in the new fund. Chinese venture fund Shengjing also invested $8 million. Other investors are Canaan Partners and George Conrades, Chairman of Akamai.

The new fund will invest in early stage Israeli start-ups from the mobile, enterprise software, web applications and social networking. Canaan Partners Israel already invested $2 million in Rollout.io, an Israeli start-up company which developed a system to identify and fix bugs in mobile apps.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

China's Sino Biopharmaceutical to Invest In Israeli Medical Company LifeBond

LifeBond, a leader in the development of bio-surgical medical devices for tissue repair, announced today it has closed a $27M Series D preferred equity investment. Participants in the round include Pitango Venture Capital, Adams Street Partners, Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd., and all existing investors.

LifeSeal™ is designed to minimize post-operative complications such as staple-line leakage in GI and bariatric surgeries. Anastomotic (point of surgical connection) leakage after a colorectal resection is associated with significant mortality and morbidity, with anastomotic leakage occurring in as many as 15-19% of patients.

LifeSeal™ was developed to address the unmet surgical need for a sealant that provides a protective layer that can reduce anastomotic leakage.

“LifeSeal is a novel product that addresses an urgent unmet need that industry has not been able to solve for, until now. The product has the potential to greatly reduce surgical leaks, which are associated with potential infections and other serious complications, risking the lives of hundreds of thousands every year,” said Ittai Harel, chairman of the board of LifeBond and a general partner at Pitango.

Mr. Harel continued, “The Company has in recent years made great advances, with compelling pilot clinical results, commercialization prep, and an expanding surgical product line offering, as evidenced by the strong support from the investment community. We are pleased to continue and support, and be part of, the evolution and development of LifeBond.”

“I would like to thank our investors, from Israel, Europe, the Far East, and the US for their strong support, commitment and trust in LifeBond’s technology, strategy and management,” Said LifeBond CEO, Mr. Gideon Sturlesi. Mr. Sturlesi continued, “Today the success of these many years of hard work is apparent and has clearly been endorsed both by the medical as well as financial community. The technology can be applied to create a nearly endless pipeline of products. And based on the feedback and enthusiasm of leading surgeons worldwide, we have industry confirmation that our technology and products have the potential to effectively fill a large unmet need. Moving forward we plan to methodically continue implementing our existing strategy with the goal of bringing our products to market as soon as possible.”

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Chinese Internet Tycoon Xu Xiaoping to Invest In Israeli Start Up Percepto

Chinese internet tycoon Xu Xiaoping participated in the recent $1 million investment round in the Israeli computer vision drone technology startup Percepto. Other investors in the funds are R&R Ventures, Ronald Lauder venture fund and Mark Cuban, NBA's Dallas Mavericks. Existing investor in Percepto, Israeli based The Elevator, also invested in this round.

Percepto develops a camera that can be mounted on an existing drone. The user can then download apps to a mobile phone that can interact with the camera in different ways. The company has already built apps for the device, including one that can automatically follow and film a particular object. But the idea is to let other developers join in. The company plans to open source its machine vision platform, enabling developers not just to build their own apps, but improve upon the vision software itself—the heart of the technology that allows drones to operate on their own.

Those could include collision avoidance, urban navigation, gesture control, or other applications that the company hasn’t even thought of yet.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Shanghai Jiuchuan Buys Israeli Telemedicine Co. SHL For $130 mm

SHL Telemedicine Ltd., headquartered in Tel Aviv, a leading provider and developer of advanced personal telemedicine solutions, and Shanghai Jiuchuan Investment (Group) Co., Ltd., a Shanghai based private investment firm, announced today that Shanghai Jiuchuan will acquire the entire share capital of SHL by way of a reverse triangular merger following which SHL would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Shanghai Jiuchuan.

After consummation of the merger, expected to happen in October, a delisting of SHL from the SIX Swiss Exchange will take place.

SHL Telemedicine is engaged in developing and marketing personal telemedicine systems and the provision of medical call center services, with a focus on cardiovascular and related diseases, to end users and to the healthcare community. SHL Telemedicine offers its services and personal telemedicine devices to subscribers utilizing telephonic and Internet communication technology.

The Company operates in Israel, Germany, India and the United States in one business segment, Telemedicine services. SHL is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has an ADR program listed over-the counter.

Shanghai Jiuchuan Investment (Group) Co., Ltd. is a Shanghai based private investment firm having also holdings in a company principally engaged in development in the medical science and technology field.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Israeli Startup invi raises $2 million led by former CTOs of SINA and Tencent

Israeli text message enhancement co. Invi has raised $2 million USD in new funding in a round of investment led by Seven Seas Ventures.

The funds will be used to help the company support the app’s rapid growth and further development.

Led by Jeff Xiong, former chief technology officer of Tencent, and Jack Xu, the former co-president and chief technology officer of SINA Corporation, the funding commitment took place through Xu and Xiong’s investment group, Seven Seas Ventures. Streamline Ventures, InnoValley, F50 and Pre-Angel completed the round of funding.

“Mobile messaging has a huge impact on people’s daily lives, and we are very excited to work with invi team to bring further innovation to this space”, said Xu. “invi is the first smartphone messaging application that enables seamless multitasking and sharing. This experience should be standard for all mobile messaging apps in the near future,” said Xiong.

“We are honored to have Jack and Jeff join us, bringing exceptional experience in the messaging domain to continue to make invi the best SMS replacement on the market,” said Iddo Tal, founder and CEO of invi.

Xu and Xiong are both leaders in the global messaging space, bringing invaluable knowledge and expertise to the invi team of advisors. Xu’s time at SINA Corporation centered on Weibo, the most influential social media in China with over 200 million active users. Prior to SINA, Xu was the vice president at Cisco and eBay. While Xiong was at Tencent, he managed the product and engineering of the messaging app WeChat, which has over 550 million active users.

“People spend a lot of time trying to find a messaging app that suits their needs. In the last 10 days alone, we’ve received over 5,000 messages from users with positive feedback and requests,” said Tal. “We try to respond to each and every one of these requests to improve their experience. We’ve learned a lot and it’s amazing to see how eager people are to upgrade their SMS experience.”

invi is led by four co-founders: Iddo Tal, Noam Etzion-Rosenberg, Adrien Aubel and Nir Meidan.

In 2013, invi secured a $3 million in funding from Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures, Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s A-Grade Investments, Atlantic Bridge, Alpha Investment, UpWest Labs, and Silicon Valley angels from Google, Nokia, Yahoo, Groupon, Spotify, SRI, Comcast, Chegg and others. invi’s investment round follows its recent feature on Google Play as one of the best apps to replace your native SMS app.

With many exciting features already available, invi is actively updating its service with the integration of new mini-apps and enabling rich media engagement for its users.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mictosoft Buys Israeli Company Adallom for $320 million

An amazing exit: Cloud access security broker Adallom is sold to Microsoft for $320 million. 

In April Adallom secured  $30m round C investment including a strategic investment by newly launched Hewlett Packard Ventures, new stakeholder Rembrandt Venture Partners, and previous investors Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures.

Adallom has raised a total of $49.5 million since its inception in 2012.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Facebook Buys Israeli Startup Pebbles Interfaces

Another acquisition for Facebook in Israel: the social network has signed this morning an agreement to acquire Israeli based start-up Pebbles Interfaces. Facebook will integrate the body gesture recognition and control technology in virtual reality glasses Oculus Rift.

Pebbles Interfaces was founded in 2010 by Emil Alon Nadav Grossinger and Doron Levit.

Pebbles has about 50 employees in Israel. Following the acquisition, Pebbles Interfaces will be joining the hardware engineering and computer vision teams at Oculus to help advance virtual reality, tracking, and human-computer interactions.

Based in Israel, Pebbles Interfaces has spent the past five years developing technology that uses custom optics, sensor systems and algorithms to detect and track hand movement. Over time, technology breakthroughs in sensors will unlock new human interaction methods in VR and revolutionize the way people communicate in virtual worlds.

Up to now the company raised about $20 million from Israeli venture fund Giza Israel, Robert Bosch Investment Fund, SanDisk, iNetworks as well as XiaoMi and Shunwei from China. XiaoMi is the most notable Chinese mobile and consumer product developer and Shunwei is Lei Jun venture arm.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

SinoPharm, Hefei Life Science & Technology Park To Invest $50 million in Israeli Co. Oramed

Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ORMP), an Israeli clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of oral drug delivery systems, announced that it has signed a non-binding LoI for an investment and license agreement in China with Sinopharm Capital Management Co. Ltd. and Hefei Life Science & Technology Park Investments and Development Co., Ltd. potentially valued at $50 million plus royalty payments.

Oramed will receive $500,000 in exchange for exclusively negotiating with Sinopharm/Hefei for 60 days, while the final terms of the agreement are negotiated and finalized.

The transaction which additionally includes 10% royalties on sales, will allow Sinopharm/Hefei to purchase a roughly 10% stake in Oramed Pharmaceuticals and acquire rights for oral insulin in China.

The terms are to be broken down as follows: Oramed will sell Sinopharm/Hefei 1,155,367 shares of common stock for approximately $12,000,000. In addition, Oramed’s wholly owned subsidiary, Oramed Ltd, will license to Sinopharm/Hefei the exclusive rights to ORMD-0801, oral insulin capsule in China, for a total amount of $38,000,000, of which $18,000,000 will be paid upon the signing of the license agreement and the remaining $20,000,000 will be paid following the completion, and release of results, of Oramed’s current Phase IIb trial in the United States.

Sinopharm China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation is the largest medical and healthcare group in China which is directly managed by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, with the core businesses of distribution, logistics, retail, scientific research and manufacture of healthcare related products.

Sinopharm owns 11 wholly owned or holding subsidiaries, and 6 listed companies. The sales revenue of Sinopharm exceeded $39 billion in 2014. Sinopharm Capital Management Co. Ltd. is a professional asset management company within Sinopharm.

Hefei Hefei Life Science & Technology Park Investments and Development Co. focuses on industrial investment and incubation services; high-tech product R&D; technology transfer and related consulting services. HLST has state of the art insulin production facilities in Hefei, China.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

China's Haisco Pharmaceutical To Invest in Israeli Medical Device Company MST

MST - Medical Surgery Technologies Ltd., a leader in the field of image-guided surgical systems, has announced the closing of its Series C investment round.

The $12.5 million investment was led by Haisco Pharmaceutical Group (“Haisco”), a leading Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturer, and was joined by existing MST investors: Triventures, SCP Vitalife Partners, Agate MaC Medical Investments, OurCrowd and Jacobs Investment Company.

MST markets the FDA-cleared and CE-approved AutoLap, the only image-guided laparoscope positioning system targeting the multi-billion dollar minimally invasive surgery market. Based on MST’s proprietary image analytic technology platform, AutoLap® offers surgeons full and natural control of the surgical procedure with minimal user interaction. Healthcare providers benefit from cost-effective, cutting-edge surgical technology to perform more procedures more efficiently.

As part of the investment, Haisco will serve as exclusive distributor of AutoLap® in China.

According to Motti Frimer, MST’s CEO, the investment is primarily earmarked for expanding marketing and sales of AutoLap® in the U.S. Europe and China. “AutoLap has been very well received by surgeons and healthcare providers. We look forward to collaborating with Haisco in bringing image-guided laparoscopic surgery to more centers over the coming year,” stated Frimer. 

“We are delighted to enter the Israeli market with a significant investment in MST,” said Haisco’s CEO, Wang Junmin. “We see great potential for AutoLap in China and look forward to applying our know-how and experience in bringing this exciting surgical technology to the China market to the benefit of patients, surgeons and hospitals alike.” 

Haisco Pharmaceutical Group, founded in 2000, is a publicly listed company focusing on marketing and sales of internally-developed therapeutic drugs. Haisco ranks third in size in China’s chemical pharmaceutical industry. The company’s products are sold to more than 3,000 hospitals throughout China with annual sales of over US$800 million.

MST – Medical Surgery Technologies Ltd. is a privately-held Israeli company founded in 2005 with the mission of bringing image guidance technology to the surgical suite. MST’s team includes professionals with extensive expertise in the development and commercialization of advanced medical systems integrating hardware, software and robotics.

Monday, July 6, 2015

SGX Woos Israeli Startups For IPOs

Singapore bourse a potential hotbed for such listings as some Israeli medical and telecom startups explore Catalist presence

THE Singapore Exchange (SGX) could turn into a hotbed for bite-sized Israeli tech startups hungry for capital and better visibility as they look towards Asia to expand their business propositions.

SGX officials are understood to have made several visits to Israel in recent months to court Israeli listing hopefuls.

"Israel has a reputation for technology startups and biotechnology sectors - two sectors that investors in Singapore already have a deep understanding and appreciation of," SGX head of SME development and listings Mohamed Nasser Ismail told The Business Times.

Even so, an Israeli IPO frenzy on this side of the shore is a long shot - Israeli firms are still hung up on Nasdaq, leaving their own Tel Aviv Stock Exchange feeling neglected.

Moreover, Sarine Technologies is the only Israeli firm on SGX with no new entrant from the land of great innovators over a decade since. But now, there are signs that SGX's groundwork could mark a new inflection point in the coming months.

For one, Trendlines, an Israeli investment firm that specialises in startups in medical devices and agricultural technology, is exploring a listing on Singapore's junior board Catalist.

Todd Dollinger, chairman and chief executive of Trendlines, said in a recent interview with BT: "We started this conversation (listing and other business plans) about late last year and discovered an interesting atmopsheric condition - everyone such as SGX, bankers and lawyers wanted to talk to us. 

"In part because of what we do and in part because it was Israel."

Last year, Trendlines, which has incubated some 60 companies, ditched its plan at the last minute to list and raise US$15-US$20 million in Canada's stock exchange after some buyers pulled out. "They (buyers) couldn't get beyond natural resources, which is their culture," said Mr Dollinger.

Others could follow Trendlines' chosen path to SGX, thanks in part to CLAL Finance, Israel's largest underwriting firm which has been busy helping Israeli firms find a footing on Singapore's Catalist. 

According to CLAL managing director and head of Asian capital markets Manor Zemer, there are at least a handful of Israeli tech startups in the medical and telecommunications space that are mulling over a Catalist listing that could pan out in the next 12 months.

"We are working very closely with the SGX team and have arranged two seminars in Israel with SGX members to introduce this opportunity to Israeli companies," he said.

But SGX faces acute competition for the Israeli play. Long a preferred listing destination for Israeli firms, the tech-heavy Nasdaq boasts having more than 80 Israeli companies; next to China, they form the second largest firms listed on Nasdaq outside of the US. London hosted 18 IPOs of Israeli corporates in 2014 which was a banner year for Israeli listings - some two dozen firms had reportedly raised US$2.1 billion by going public.

The good news for SGX is that not all firms are fixated on big exchanges, more so the smallish ones that fear being dwarfed by listed giants in their quest for investor attention.

"The cap (market capitalisation) that we expect to go public at is not right for Nasdaq. We want to be in a market where people are going to pay attention to us. To be below US$250 million-US$500 million on Nasdaq is pretty invisible," said Mr Dollinger.

Hong Kong throws up similar challenges whereas London - possibly a natural choice - may not be the perfect option for companies with business interests and connections in Asia. 

Burgeoning cross-border mergers and acquisitions of Israel firms by Asian corporates and more specifically China - think Alibaba, XIO Group and more recently, Fosun International - have set the deal scene ablaze with excitement as firms prowl for some sort of innovation in a tiny nation renowned for its technological prowess. 

According to Israel's National Economic Council, China-Israeli tech deals vaulted to US$300 million last year, up from US$50 million in 2013. And in the first four months of 2015, the figure reportedly stood at US$117 million.

"These acquisitions have led to a significant movement of capital from Asia to Israel lately...so many Israeli firms are now looking at Asia for fund raising rather than as a manufacturing base which was not an option two years ago," said Mr Manor.

In that context, Singapore is deemed a respectable market - apart from being a worthy base to raise capital, it also provides business connectivities, owing to its preferred-gateway-to-Asia status. SGX is a "sweet spot" for firms looking at a valuation of anything between US$50 million-US$250 million, said Mr Manor.

Increasingly too, Mr Manor said investors in Singapore appear to have the stomach for riskier and high growth investments, hence are eager to diversify from traditional safe bets such as real estate investment trusts. IPOs aside, delegations comprising officials from other Singapore agencies have also apparently visited Tel Aviv to eye deals, startups and joint ventures.

In March this year, Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd, a state-backed fund in Singapore and investment arm of Infocomm Development Authority, said it was in talks with several Israeli tech startups to make direct investments.

 In November 2014, Temasek Holdings agreed to be a lead investor together with India's Tata Group, in Tel Aviv University's US$23.5 million research incubator fund.

A market observer who has spotted the trend says: "Israelis are coming and our government and regulators are stepping on the gas pedal to throw them the red carpet treatment. "This trend is now but a ripple but it may morph into a big wave."

Source: The Business Times

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sichuan Hebang Group Buys Israeli Agri Company Stockton Group For $90m

On June 29 an agreement was signed in Beijing the sale of 51 percent of the Israeli Stockton Group to the Chinese-based Hebang Group in return for a $90 million investment in the company.

The Hebang Group is a public Chinese company, traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and is active in a variety of industrial activities, including the agrochemical industry. This is the Hebang Group’s first investment outside of China.

Stockton, a global crop protection company and a leader in the development of botanical based biopesticides founded 20 years ago by Peter Tirosh and managed by Ziv Tirosh, developed its first environmentally-friendly biofungicide, Timorex Gold. The product is successfully sold in nearly 20 countries to treat a large number of crops, such as rice, coffee, grapes, tomatoes, bananas and a wide variety of other fruits and vegetables.

Hebang’s goal with this investment in Stockton is to “support Stockton’s growth as a global leader in environmentally-friendly biofungicides.” Stockton recently received a license to sell Timorex Gold in the United States.

The investment from Hebang will allow Stockton to accelerate its penetration into this and additional markets, as well as to advance the development of other environmentally-friendly products through ongoing cooperation with research and academic institutes in Israel and around the world. Ziv Tirosh, Stockton’s CEO, noted that the company is currently in the process of receiving regulatory approval in China, and the partnership with Hebang will assist with penetration into the Asia.

According to the agreement, Stockton will continue to operate as an Israeli company with no change to its management, while the controlling shareholder of Hebang, Mr. He Zhenggang, will serve as the company’s chairman following the investment.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Chinese Investor To Invest 2m In Israeli Company HBL

Hadasit Bio Holdings Ltd. has announced a $2 million investment from Chinese investors. The investors will receive one quarter of the company's shares in the placement, which reflected a company value of $6 million, after money.

Hadasit Bio is a holding company for companies founded on the basis of technology developed by the Hadassah Medical Center. The company currently has holdings in a number of companies, most of which are at various stages of clinical trials. Hadasit Bio's most prominent investments are in Cell Cure Neurosciences, which is in Phase I/IIa clinical trials for the use of stem cells in the treatment of age-related blindness; Enlivex, which is preparing for a Phase IIb or Phase III trial of its treatment for Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD), a disease that attacks bone marrow implants, and which recently received an investment from a group led by Shai Novick; D-Pharm, which is developing drugs for treatment of stroke; and KAHR Medical, whose product treats autoimmune diseases and cancer, and which has obtained an investment from Sanofi. KAHR is also at the pre-clinical trials phase.

Hadasit Bio's market cap as of today was $4 million, meaning that the new investment is being made at a 50% premium on the market price.

In return for the investment, Hadasit Bio promised that it would do its best to make sure that the investor received the right to produce and market in China the products of Hadasit Bio's portfolio companies, and to establish a company development center in China, if an additional investment is made.

Since all the companies in the group are legally independent, and some have additional investors, Hadasit does not have control over the grant of licenses on the portfolio companies' products, and can only make its best efforts, as the agreement specifies.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fosun Buys Israeli Insurance Company Phoenix For $489mm

Delek Group Ltd. agreed to sell its controlling stake in Phoenix Holdings Ltd., Israel’s fourth-largest insurance provider by market value, to China’s Fosun International Ltd.

The Netanya, Israel-based holding company announced on Sunday it would sell its entire 52 percent stake to a unit of the Shanghai-based conglomerate, according to an e-mailed statement. The purchase price is about $461.6 million plus interest accrued before the deal’s closing date, with other adjustments possible, Fosun said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The maximum payable may be about $489 million, it said.

“It is an important strategic deal for the group and will add 1.8 billion shekels in cash to the company’s coffers,” Asaf Bartfeld, Delek Group chief executive officer, said in an e-mailed statement. “We are in a great starting position to implement our plans and undertake strategic investments in the international energy market, which will be synergistic and complementary to our activities.”

Delek needs to sell its stake in Phoenix to comply with a law passed in December 2013 that prohibits Israeli companies from owning financial services corporations as well as industrial businesses. Sunday’s deal adds to the company’s agreements to sell other units including Delek Europe BV and Barak Capital Ltd. The Phoenix sale is subject to regulatory approval. An accord last year to sell its stake in Phoenix to U.S. company Kushner Funding LLC fell through.

“The sale is part of Delek’s strategy to focus on gas and was expected,” Noam Pincu, an analyst at Tel Aviv-based Psagot Investment House Ltd., said by phone. It “may enable Delek to revive its plan to list shares in London in the medium term.”

Acquisition Spree

Fosun, backed by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang, has been on an acquisition spree, buying insurers, energy companies and properties overseas in Australia, Italy and New York. The company will invest in more insurers in Europe and the U.S. in the coming two years, Guo, a self-proclaimed student of Warren Buffett, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York in April.

The transaction adds to growing interest from Chinese investors in Israeli companies. Last week xio Group, a closely-held Chinese investment firm with more than $3 billion in available capital, agreed to buy Israel’s Lumenis Ltd. for about $510 million in cash. Bright Food Group Co. acquired dairy producer Tnuva Food Industries Ltd. earlier this year in a deal that valued it at more than $2 billion and Alma Lasers Ltd. was bought by Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. for $222 million in 2013.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hong Kong Based XIO Group Acquires Israeli Company Lumenis in $510M Deal

Israeli based company Lumenis (NASDAQ: LMNS) has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by XIO Group for $14.00 per share in cash, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $510 million.

"This acquisition is a strong recognition and vote of confidence in Lumenis' achievements and its employees, and I am excited about the future prospects of Lumenis," said Tzipi Ozer-Armon, Chief Executive Officer.

"Over the past 3 years we have managed to transform Lumenis into a strong, growing and profitable company. We have refocused our strategy, introduced new products, and tripled our EBITDA. Furthermore, we have created a very bright and promising future for Lumenis by building a robust pipeline of innovative products, a strong sales team in each region, and by enhancing our global brand recognition. I am confident that we will continue to thrive and reach new heights together with XIO Group."

"We are excited about the announced transaction and the value created for Lumenis' shareholders," said Harel Beit-On, Chairman of the Board of Directors. "Over the last years, we had an opportunity to lead Lumenis through a strategic transformation into a valuable growing business with global appeal. We respect and appreciate the efforts of Lumenis management and employees and wish the company continued success."

The two largest shareholders of Lumenis, Viola Group and Ofer Hi-Tech, which collectively own approximately 59% of the shares of Lumenis, have entered into a customary voting agreement with XIO Group.

Based in Hong Kong, XIO Group is a global multi-billion dollar alternative investments and research firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The company has a significant amount of committed capital in place for global transactions. The Group seeks to leverage its unique global network to provide growth for portfolio companies.