CTECH – Israel Technology News Brief May 28, 2020
Interview | One-third of all airlines will not survive the pandemic, says Wizz Air CEO. József Váradi spoke to Calcalist about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected airlines, and what to expect travel to look like once the skies reopen. Read more
Israeli privacy protection startup D-ID raises $13.5 million. The company helps organizations comply with privacy regulations by fooling face recognition algorithms. Read more
Opinion | The climate crisis is painting the capital market green. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the oil wars, green investments are gaining strength. Only business management based on measuring both financial and social performance can lead to solutions for future crises. Read more
Precise tree and vine irrigation startup Saturas raises $3 million.
Saturas develops sensors that are attached to vines and tree trunks, providing real-time hydration status reports that enable farmers to optimize irrigation. Read more
Israeli coders lead development, security of Facebook’s Novi digital wallet. According to Tomer Barel, a Facebook vice president, co-creator of Libra and Chief Operating Officer at Novi, the company’s coders in Tel Aviv are continuing to work on developing the main components of the wallet. Read more
Covid-19 has not lessened Israeli companies’ interest in entering the Chinese market. Companies including Tel Aviv-based online payments fraud prevention company Riskified are working on opening their first offices in China. Read more
BD Innovations merging with floLIVE to form new telecommunication partnership. The announcement comes just a few months after floLIVE completed a $21.5 million funding round. Read more
Prominent journalist to sue Netanyahu’s son for posting sexist and offensive tweets about her. Television network and anchor allege Yair Netanyahu’s statements were “misogynist and bordering on sexual harassment.” Read more
Related Story | Lawmakers extend spy agency’s Covid-19 patient tracking program by three weeks. Special committee votes to employ Shin Bet’s surveillance only in cases where an epidemiological study isn’t sufficient. Read more
Interview | “It is tragic that many small and medium-sized businesses will not survive the crisis.” Fundbox founder Eyal Shinar breaks down the current economic situation in the U.S., with the company announcing a fresh $20 million equity investment, bringing the total equity funding in the Series C round to almost $200 million. Read moreThe coronavirus crisis can help see who is faking it in Israel’s tech industry, says Japanese investor.
Nobuyuki Akimoto, managing director at AT Partners, a Japanese venture capital fund that invests in Israeli funds, spoke about Japanese investments during the Covid-19 era. Read moreFood delivery service with a heart aims to take on Wolt and 10bis.
The TAKE App integrates donations of restaurants’ food surplus to the needy in its duopoly-busting business model. Read moreCrop protection startup Greeneye Technology raises $7 million.
Greeneye utilizes artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies to revolutionize the weed control process in agriculture, shifting from the current practice of wasteful spraying of pesticides to accurately detect and spray weeds. Read more
ServiceNow appoints Ron Sprinzak as Israel Country Manager. Sprinzak brings with him more than 20 years of experience in managing organizations and business teams, most recently at Microsoft Israel where he spent the last 13 years. Read more
Interview | BuyMe founders set sights on global market, want to dominate new “gift card economy.” Can the three friends who sparked a revolution in the Israeli gift voucher market replicate their success on the world stage? Read more
Related Story | Founders of gift card company BuyMe sell shares for $23 million, now look to global market. The company markets gift vouchers to 5,000 of the largest companies and organizations in Israel who purchase them as gifts for employees, and is one of the leading players in holiday gifts for employees. Read more
Interview | On anniversary of GDPR enactment, Israel’s privacy laws still far behind. Israel’s privacy laws are embarrassingly outdated and Covid-19 is putting them to the test. Read more
A women, an arab engineer, and a haredi certified coder walk into a job interview. While work from home, as a new standard, helped remove some of the barriers preventing diversity in Israeli tech, there is still a long way to go to ensure equal opportunities are truly available. Read more
Cybersecurity-focused VC Cyberstarts raises $100 million fund. The firm also appointed Lior Simon, formerly an associate at Sequoia Capital and head of the Israel operation of Arbor Ventures, as partner. Read more
Analysis | Israel wants to extend use of proximity detection app, but tender process raises questions. It seems like the health ministry is trying to unload responsibility for the pandemic-busting app onto private hands without sufficient prep time. Read more
“Israel doesn’t have to choose sides in the hegemony war between the U.S. and China.” Infinity group’s Amir Gal-Or offers tips on how to stay on the fence when superpowers collide. Read more
Interview | Can SafeMode’s focus on professional drivers make roads safer? Israeli-based software startup has created a platform for pro drivers whom they award for good road behavior. Read more
Israeli businessman Ztiki Kurland Fuchs raises $20 million for new members-only fund. The new fund will operate as a closed investor club that will allow investors to exchange portfolio company shares between them, without harming the companies’ prospects. Read more
Israeli billionaire hires Black Cube to spy on former partner company Vale. The surveillance company spent four months gathering evidence to void a previous $1.8 billion ruling against Beny Steinmetz in favor of Vale for allegedly withholding information concerning an illegally obtained mining license in Guinea. Read more
Netanyahu trial on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust commences in Jerusalem. Thousands of Israelis take to the street to protest, support the prime minister, Netanyahu calls charges “trumped up” and “delusional.” Read more
WFH, webinars, and Zoom meetings: What coronavirus-imposed workplace transitions are here to stay? Calcalist examines eight shifts that were forced on us by Covid-19 and asks which were only temporary and which one we cannot live (and work) without. Read more
Survey: 73% of business travelers would be willing to pay more for strict hygiene restrictions. Tel Aviv-based Arbitrip operates an online services for companies to book hotel rooms for their employees.
Anti-bacterial fabric startup Sonovia is headed to NASDAQ. Sonovia develops sonochemical coating for fabrics to make them anti-bacterial and odorless. Read more
Opinion | Who is watching our backs with unprecedented growth in online consumption? Websites are in dire need of transparency, especially now when our digital lifeline seems to have taken center stage and is here to stay. Read more
Interview | Australia’s rapid recovery from Covid-19 spells business opportunities for Israeli tech. Head of the Israel Trade Commission to the land Down Under says lack of local innovation opens doors for Israeli entrepreneurs and investors. Read more
Analysis | Cyberattack on Israeli water systems uncovers regulatory chaos. Even if the damage caused by Iran’s cyberattack on the water systems was indeed trivial, its existence nevertheless revealed their fragility to foreign threats. Read more
Interview | “Exits are not a strategy. I never put up a ‘for sale’
sign.” Arie Belldegrun, chairman of UroGen Pharma, talks about catching Covid-19 and gaining FDA approval in the midst of a global pandemic. Read more
ONE1 Technologies says it will not hand out dividends for second straight quarter. Revenue climbs by 3%, CEO said limited exposure to worst-harmed industries softened the blow. Read more