Showing posts with label fund raising. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fund raising. Show all posts

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Israeli company Regentis Biomaterials Raises $15M, round led by Chinese group Haisco

Israeli biomedical company Regentis Biomaterials announced today the closing their $15 million Series D funding round, led by Chinese pharmaceutical group Xizang Haisco Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd, a leading Chinese pharmaceutical group listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SHE:002653).

Also participated in the round existing investors: Medica Venture Partners, SCP Vitalife Partners, Italian asset manager Generali Investment, and the technology transfer company of the Technion, T3.

Regentis CEO and President is Dr. Alastair Clemow.

Regentis Biomaterials is developing hydrogels for tissue regeneration originally developed at the Technion University by Dr. Dror Seliktar. The company’s flagship product, GelrinC™, combines the stability and versatility of a synthetic material with the bio-functionality of a natural substance. Currently the treatment is under clinical trials for the treatment of articular cartilage lesions.

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.

Last year Haisco Group invested in two other Israeli medical device companies: $10 million were invested in October 2015 in Endospan and in July 2015 they invested $5 million in MST – Medical Surgery Technologies.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chinese fund GOEC to participate in Israeli cyber startup Kaymera $10mm investment round

Israeli cyber security startup Kaymera has raised $10 million in a round led by a Hong Kong / China venture fund GOEC with additional participation from Israeli angel investors Eddy Shalev and Yariv Gilat.

Using the newly raised capital, the company is expected to hire 10 new employees at their office in Herzliya as well as opening offices abroad.

Founded in 2013 and led by Co-Founder and CEO Avi Rosen, Kaymera has developed a mobile cyber defense system to provide enterprises with a multi-stacked approach that includes hardware enforced endpoint protection, encrypted data and behaviour analytics to monitor and mitigate mobile threats.

Kaymera’s flagship product is a secure operating system called Kaymera 360°, which is available for the Samsung Galaxy, LG, Nexus, HTC and OnePlus One. It touts a three-tiered defense that blocks malware penetration, overlays a sophisticated resource permission process based on each app’s risk assessment, and a third layer that analyzes app misbehavior and deploys countermeasures.

The company was co-founded by CEO Avi Rosen, Shalev Hulio, and Omri Lavie in 2014. Hulio and Lavie’s previous venture, NSO, also received angel support from Eddy Shalev.

Monday, February 1, 2016

2015: Funding for Israeli high-tech hits all-time high

Israeli tech companies raised $4.43 billion in 2015, 30% more than in 2014. The number of deals was also a record. 2015 was a record year for fund raising by Israel's high tech industry.

Israeli tech companies raised $4.43 billion last year in 708 deals, according to figures released by IVC Research Center and KPMG. The amount and the number of deals are both all-time highs. The amount raised is 30% above the previous high, recorded in 2014, when 690 deals totaled $3.42 billion. The average deal peaked as well, at $6.3 million in 2015, compared with the previous year's $5 million average round and a $4 million average in the past ten years.

The fourth quarter of 2015 was especially successful, in fact the best ever. Israeli start-ups raised an aggregate $1.2 billion in the quarter, 11% more than in the third quarter, and 10% more than in the fourth quarter of 2014.

VC-backed deals accounted for 72% of capital raised in 2015, with an outstanding $3.2 billion closed in 397 deals, or only 56% of deals. The past three years have seen consistent 30% annual growth in capital raising in VC-backed deals.

The compilers of the report comment, "It seems the increase in VC-backed capital raising is therefore mostly explained by the increase in the size of the average financing round where VC funds participated. The average VC-backed deal in 2015 reached nearly $8 million, an unprecedented record, well above the $5.9 million average in 2014, and much higher than the $4.4 million average VC-backed deal in 2013." Ofer Sela, partner at KPMG Somekh Chaikin's Technology Group, warns that the slowdown in investment in the rest of the world will catch up with Israel.

"In the last quarter of 2015, the trend Israel ran contrary to that of the rest of the world. While global markets were affected by the slowdown in the Chinese stock market, an unstable global economy and the interest rate hike in the US, Israel remained untouched by this global wariness. We expect the Israeli market to slow down if the bear market persists. The general current sentiment in the Israeli market is that 'winter is coming'," Sela said.

IVC Research Center CEO Koby Simana said, "As of the second quarter of 2014 and throughout the past year, we have repeatedly pointed to the uptrend in the number of large deals and their sizes. We’ve seen growth stage companies raising substantial capital to boost their growth rates and grab larger market shares. The trend was largely fueled by the influx of capital from foreign investors, and a shift in market trends may indeed cause a slowdown on that front.

"However, there’s still room for Israeli high-tech companies to find both organic and non-organic growth, and materialize their full potential. We’ve seen in the past year a 25 percent hike in the number of Israeli growth stage companies, and the numbers keep growing. At the same time, there’s an increase in the capital dedicated to growth investments by late stage and growth focused VC funds, which are expected to continue investing even if the market slows, or even capitalize on the slight decline in valuations that a possible slowdown may cause."

Israeli venture capital funds accelerated their activity in 2015, investing $653 million, which compares with $568 million in 2014. Their share in the total amount of capital raised, however, continues to fall, reaching a low of 15% in 2015, compared with 17% in 2014 and a 30% average share in the past ten years.

Israeli VC funds placed a total of $236 million in first investments, which accounted for 36% of their total placements, up from 30% in 2014 and 2013. In the breakdown by sector, in 2015, 181 software companies led all capital raising with $1.3 billion or 29% percent of the total capital. They were followed closely by Internet companies, with 172 deals raising just under $1.3 billion. The life science sector followed, with 22% of the total capital raised in 2015.

Published by Globes, Israel business news on January 25, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Chinese fund CEIIF to Invest in Israel Cyber Company ImVision

Chinese venture capital fund, CreditEase Israel Innovation Fund (CEIIF) participated in a $4mm investment round in the Israeli cyber security company ImVision Technologies. Also participated in the round Israeli venture capital Pitango.

mVision is a cyber security startup company that operates in NFV/SDN environments. The company quickly became a market leader for anomaly detection and isolation. This was based on unique Correlative Behavioral Analysis algorithms that specializes in service awareness across the entire network.

The company was established in 2014 by Sharon Mantin, Yossi Barshishat and Dr. Eli Plotnik and has 14 employees. The company will use the funds to scale up development of their products. ImVision raised to-date $500,000 in seeds funds.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hong Kong VC Arbor Ventures to Invests in Israeli Startup TravelersBox

Israel's TravelersBox, which allows travellers to convert leftover foreign currency into digital currency, said on Thursday it raised $10 million led by Arbor Ventures.

Based in Hong Kong, Arbor Ventures focuses on the intersection of big data, financial services and digital commerce.

Also participated in the round existing investors such as Pitango Venture Capital, IPE Ventures, Pereg Ventures, iAngels and Global Blue.

The company has raised $15.5 million to date. TravelersBox operates kiosks in airports throughout the world and has facilitated several million transactions to date. Travellers can convert foreign change and bills that can be deposited into a PayPal account, turned into gift cards for retailers or used to make charitable donations.

The new funds will enable TravelersBox to grow, specifically in Asia as its next deployments are expected to be in Japan, India and New Zealand. The company plans to deploy an additional 300 kiosks this year.

It also aims to accelerate product development, including an application that will enable consumers to convert their change into digital currency in their home country when shopping at airport-based retail outlets throughout the world.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Chinese VC to Invest in Pi-Cardia US$10m Round

Pi-Cardia Ltd., the Rehovot, Israel based company, annonced today that it has completed a $10 million financing including participation by a new strategic investor. Also participating in the round, are Italian funds Innogest and Fondo Atlante Ventures, Chinese fund VI-Ventures and existing investors in the company, including Clal Biotechnology Industries and Anatomy Medical Technologies Fund.

Pi-Cardia, founded in 2009, developed the Leaflex™ Catheter System - a novel non-implant based technology for treating patients with aortic valve stenosis. The Leaflex™ is a low-profile trans-femoral catheter incorporating unique Nitinol elements, which are optimized for delivering mechanical energy to create substantial fractures in valve calcification. These fractures help restore leaflet mobility and improve valve hemodynamics using a short and simple procedure without the need to implant a new valve.

The design of the Leaflex™ was based on the company's extensive research in the last few years on calcium growth patterns in hundreds of human aortic valves. Pi-Cardia's Leaflex™ technology and mechanism of action are fundamentally different from those of balloon-based (BAV) devices, in that instead of simply dilating the valve, which might lend itself to the short-term recoil seen in patients treated with BAV, the Leaflex™ creates multiple targeted fractures at optimal locations of valve calcification thereby restoring leaflet mobility. This unique fracturing method, while preserving the native valve integrity, may facilitate valve replacement therapies, as well as pave the way for providing durable treatment without implanting a new valve.

Pi-Cardia aims to expand the treatment options in the rapidly growing multi-billion dollar market currently dominated by surgical or trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (SAVR/TAVR). "As much as TAVR improves and becomes a routine procedure in lower surgical risk patients, it is still a relatively complex and expensive implantation procedure, which restricts its use to specific centers and specific cases" says Erez Golan, Pi-Cardia's Founder and CEO. "In today's budget sensitive environment, waiting lists for TAVR are common even in the most developed countries, let alone in emerging markets, where TAVR may not be a viable option for a while." 

"Besides the typical case of an eighty-five-year-old patient with a tri-leaflet aortic valve, whom I will simply have more options to offer, there are also some common anatomies such as bicuspid aortic valves, where TAVR delivers suboptimal results," says Dr. Ganesh Manoharan, Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. "We believe that if a simpler, lower-cost alternative existed, which could offer patients a reasonable period of time without symptoms, such a technique could have an important role alongside TAVR."

In 2015, Pi-Cardia successfully completed enrolling the first set of patients in its FIM study in Europe, demonstrating safety and feasibility of the procedure. The funds raised would allow the company to complete the development of a second generation device, and to continue the clinical studies for showing its safety and performance, towards CE-Mark.

Hengtong GEOC To Invest In Israeli Medical Company Insightec

Israeli medical company InSightec, which has developed a platform for non-invasive therapy for the treatment of early detected cancerous tumors and functional diseases of the nervous system using ultrasound, raised US$22m.

The current investment round is the fourth investment round in the company.

The investors were Boston MedTech Advisors, Elbit Imaging, GE Healthcare, York Capital and Chinese VC fund Hengtong GEOC.

To date, the raised US$254mm, most of the amount of Elbit Medical.

Hengtong GEOC, based in Shanghai, China, is a Sino-Israel fund established in 2013 aiming to invest in Israeli startups and help them to penetrate into Chinese market.

InSightec is the pioneer and global leader in MR guided focused ultrasound technology. Founded in 1999 by GE Healthcare (then GE Medical Systems) and Elbit Medical Imaging its mission is to transform its MR guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) into a clinically viable technology.

Insightec technology currently found in 120 leading medical centers around the world, can be likened to focusing sunlight through a lens: only the center, where all the waves converge, created enough heat to destroy the tumor, while minimizing damage to adjacent organs damage prevention. Its purpose is to replace surgical procedure Non-invasive treatment that allows the patient to return to his speed.

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, 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.

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, 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, an Israeli start-up company which developed a system to identify and fix bugs in mobile apps.

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 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

Monday, May 18, 2015

Baidu Invests in Israeli Content-Recommendation Company Taboola

Baidu, the maker of China’s largest search engine, has made a strategic investment in Israeli content recommendation startup Taboola. The companies declined to name the exact amount of the deal, but according to person familiar with the matter, Baidu invested $20 million to $30 million, expanding Taboola’s latest round.

Taboola serves up the links in the “Around The Web” and “Recommended For You” sections you see at the bottom of articles on sites such as The Atlantic, Business Insider, and Mail Online.

Baidu’s stake is a follow-on to the $117 million Series E round led by Fidelity Management that Taboola (which competes with Outbrain) announced in February at a reported valuation of almost $1 billion. At that time, chief executive officer Singolda said that the company’s top priorities include expanding into more international markets.

The potential synergies between Taboola and Baidu are obvious. Baidu can use Taboola’s tech to build its knowledge graph, while the deal represents a way for Taboola to break into the growing Chinese market, which now has an Internet penetration rate of 47.9%.

Baidu claims that it currently holds a 75% share of China’s combined PC and mobile search market and that it powers tens of billions of search queries every day.

Taboola, which was founded in 2007, says that it now delivers more than 200 billion monthly content recommendations to 550 million users. While Taboola’s research initially revolved figuring out how to deliver relevant content for users on desktop sites, the company is now trying to figure out how to map data from other sources, including mobile devices, social media sites, and apps. This aligns closely with Baidu’s current business strategy.

Working with Taboola can help Baidu in its aggressive push to get more revenue from its mobile products. “We’re definitely a mobile company first now and everything we do begins with mobile and takes priority over our PC products,” Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo said. “We’re not ignoring PC, but in just eight quarters, we built a mobile business that is the same size as our PC business, which took 15 years to build.”

Unlike the U.S. and Europe, where sponsored links are standard fare for major sites, there are few companies in China that provide the same kind of services as Taboola. Taboola’s other moves into Asia include a strategic partnership with Yahoo! Japan, which it inked last year. The company now powers content recommendations across the Yahoo! Japan News site network.

In a prepared statement, Taboola founder and chief executive officer Adam Singolda said “we believe that discovery has massive growth potential in both existing and untapped markets around the world, and we plan to grow this new category even further with Baidu to help change the way people in China discover content they may like and never knew existed.”

While Taboola is headquartered in New York, its research and development team is based in Tel Aviv. This makes it the third company with Israeli operations that Baidu has invested in so far (the others are music app maker Tonara and video tech developer Pixellot), following a trend that sees major Chinese tech companies pouring serious yuan into the country’s startup scene.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

April 2015 - Fund Raising and Exits in the Start Up Nation

·         American PE fund Francisco Partners buys Clicks Software for $433m;
·         Blackberry buys WatchDox ( for $150m;
·         Check Point (NASDAQ:CHKP) buys Lacoon Networks for $100m
·         Music Messenger ( raised $30m from Roman Abramovich, David Guetta and others;
·         Via ( raises $27m;
·         Tapingo ( raised $22.4m from Qualcomm Ventures, DCM Ventures, Carmel Ventures and Khosla Ventures;
·         Apple buys LinX for $20m;
·         Loop Commerce raised $16m from varies private investors;
·         Triplay ( raised $11m in a round led by Kenges Rakishev;
·         Windward raised $10.8m from Horizon Ventures;
·         Wix buys for $10m;
·         Zebra Medical ( raised $8m from Khosla Ventures, and Deep Fork Capital;
·         Baidu invested $5m in Tonara (;
·         InfinityAR ( raised $5m from Sun Corporation, Singulariteam and Platinum Partners;
·         EyeYon raises $3.6m from TriVentures, Pontifax and JDA;
·         Carmel Ventures led a $3.5m investment round in Yeloha (;
·         Folloze ( raised $3.3m from NEA, Cervin Ventures and TriplePoint Ventures;
·         GameEffective ( raised $3m from Verint, 2B Angeles and Shaked Ventures;

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Israeli Startups Raise Impressive $994 Million In First Quarter Of 2015

According to a report released by IVC Research Center, 166 Israeli startup companies raised a whopping $994 million from venture capital firms in the first quarter of 2015, the second-best result in the last decade.

Even more telling, this figure was 48 percent higher than the $673 million raised by 160 companies in the first quarter of 2014. However, it is still 10 percent below the record high $1.1 billion invested in 184 companies in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The average company financing round averaged at $6 million, equal to the previous quarter’s average, but well above the $4.2 million average raised in the first quarter of 2014. The IVC report also shows that in the first quarter of 2015, 91 VC-backed deals accounted for $832 million – 84 percent of the total capital invested.

The average VC-backed deal peaked at $9.1 million, compared to $7.7 million and $6.1 million in the fourth and first quarter of last year, respectively.

And the figures show foreign investment is still leading, proving how high up on international investors’ lists Israeli startups have become. Indeed, the vast majority of investment in Israeli startups is foreign: Israeli venture capital firms invested only $180 million in local startups and high-tech companies, or 18 percent of all investments, in the first quarter this year.

Best-ever quarter for Israeli internet startups

The research also shows Internet companies are still leading the pack in terms of deal flow: The sector experienced its best quarter ever with $343 million raised by 44 companies, a 35 percent slice of the funding pie.

The life sciences and software sectors followed, accounting for 22 percent and 19 percent of total capital raised, respectively.

“The increase in high-tech capital raising is not coincidental, but directly reflects the trend toward growth company investments and higher valuations of mid- and late-stage companies,” Koby Simana, CEO of IVC Research Center, said in a statement. He further commented that “up to a year ago, we were accustomed to seeing average financing rounds of $3 million to $4 million in the internet sector. In recent quarters though, we’ve been observing a distinct rise in the average internet financing round. This trend is even more evident among growth-stage internet companies for which the average deal jumped from $6 million about a year ago to $16.3 million in the first quarter of 2015.”

Partly responsible for the high investments in the first quarter of 2015 were content marketing startup Taboola, which raised $117 million in February; and mobile app search company Quixey, which raised $60 million in a funding round led by Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba. But IVC’s analysis shows that “those were not unique events, They fit in well with the activity surrounding the internet sector and the rise in the number of early-stage investments. These parallel trends mostly feed each other as the increase in growth-stage internet companies attracts more entrepreneurs and investors into the sector.” Simana predicts that these success stories “will drive the volume of growth deals as well as contribute to increase seed-stage investments, which up until last quarter, were on the decline.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Maritime Data Startup Windward Raises $10.8M To Track The Oceans

Windward, which provides maritime data and analytics, has raised $10.8 million in funding led by Horizons Ventures, with participation from returning investor Aleph.

This brings the company’s total raised so far to $15.8 million.

The startup’s products currently include MARINT, which tracks vessel traffic using commercial satellites and alerts law enforcement and intelligence agencies about suspicious behavior, such as smuggling or illegal fishing.

CEO and co-founder Ami Daniel said that the funding will be used to build Windward’s data and analytics platform, scale up MARINT, and bring FORESEA, a financial platform targeted to commodity traders, hedge fund investors, and analysts that is currently in beta, to market.

Daniel says Windward was founded to aggregate information about ship activity at sea, since “the data is massive, fragmented, and often intentionally manipulated.”

“As the company evolved, we realized that the potential applications of real maritime visibility were far more wide-reaching than just security and intelligence, and that our data could bring huge value across the ecosystem, from financial markets to global supply chains, international trading patterns, and more,” he adds.

For example, Windward’s data can be used to show how much oil is actually available in floating storages compared to how much has been reported, which is important for oil traders and anyone else who needs to keep an eye on oil prices. While there are other companies that analyze maritime data, Windward relies on big data to stand out.

“While some companies look at aspects of what Windward is doing, no one is taking all maritime data, 24/7, analyzing it, vetting it, bringing cyber security algorithms to it, and making sense of it across verticals. What’s more, those providing maritime data today take an information services approach, a time intensive approach of people putting together reports, spreadsheets, etc.,” says Daniel.

The company’s growth plans revolve around scaling up MARINT and FORESEA, as well as finding other applications for its data analysis platform through data partnership programs.