Welcome to the iAngels Monthly Deal Digest, a summary of movements in the Israeli startup market.
This January we tracked 34 announced deals totaling $455.6M, and 6 exits totaling $401.1M.
IT & Enterprise Software was the leading sector this month. Globality, a company leveraging AI to revolutionize the way businesses buy and sell services, raised $100 million in a Series D financing round with participation from Raine Ventures, Softbank’s Vision Fund, THK Equites and private investors; and Cato Networks, a company that provides organizations with a cloud-based, secure, global SD-WAN, receiving $55 million in a Series C financing round led by Lightspeed with the participation of Aspect Ventures, Greylock, SingTel Innov9, USVP and private investors.
On the M&A side, we saw two larger acquisitions including Cloud Endure and Corephotonics. Cloud Endure, a company that provides disaster recovery and live migration for all applications, enabling enterprises to mobilize entire workloads with near-zero downtime and no data loss, was acquired by Amazon for $200 million. Corephotonics, a market leader in dual camera technologies for mobile devices, was acquired by Samsung for $155 million.
Read on for the full scoop!
January 2019 Investment Highlights
- Linear B, a workforce analytics platform for software development organizations that allows for improved productivity based on objective data-driven insights, has raised $1.6 million in a seed round led by Israeli serial entrepreneur Ariel Maislos.
- SirVir, a startup that is engaged in the development and commercialization of products in the field of treatment of respiratory viral infections based on the Apo-Si technology developed by Aposense, received $4 million in a seed round from Access.
- Hi Deep Tech, a company that offers scalable solutions for ecosystem management, received $0.9 million in seed funding from the Israeli Innovation Authority.
- Pecan, an innovative deep learning platform that develops automated general-purpose AI, has raised $4 million led by S Capital Fund.
- Salt Security, a SaaS security company focused on the emerging attack vector of APIs, has raised $10 million in a series A round led by S Capital Fund.
- Medigate Tech, a company that offers a medical device security platform that identifies and protects all connected medical devices on health care provider networks, has closed $15 million in a series A round raised from USVP, YL Ventures and Blumberg Capital.
- StreamElements, a leading platform for growing and monetizing user gaming audiences, has raised $11.3 million from Pitango, Rainfall, Samsung Next and State of Mind Ventures.
- Varada, a company that provides an on-demand SQL analytics solution, has completed a $7.5 million series A funding round led by Lightspeed with participation from F2 Capital and StageOne Ventures.
- Hailo, a company that is developing a microprocessor for deep learning applications, has raised $8.5 million led by Glory Ventures with participation from OurCrowd, Next Gear Fund and Maniv Mobility Fund.
- Lumigo, a startup that provides a SaaS platform to help companies monitor and troubleshoot serverless applications while providing actionable insights, has completed an $8 million series A funding round raised from Grove Ventures Fund, Meron Capital Fund and Pitango.
- SeeTree, one of our portfolio companies that offers farmers an end-to-end service to manage and optimize the health and productivity of their trees, has raised $11.5 million in a series A round led by Hanaco VC with participation from iAngels, Canaan Israel, Mindset Ventures and Uri Levine.
- Foretellix, a company that aims to make autonomous vehicles safer, has completed a $14 million series A round raised from 83 North, FinTLV Fund, Jump Capital, Next Gear Fund and a handful of angel investors.
- AnyVision, an AI company specializing in face recognition in mass crowd events, has completed a $15 million Series A round led by Lightspeed.
- JUG Technologies, the company that developed Storyball – a screen-free game ball that uses stories, challenges and social games to keep children active and playful whilst developing their skills and imagination, has raised $0.15 million in a series A round from private investors via ExitValley.
- LitiGate, a company that is developing an accurate and timely claims analysis solution for litigators, received $1.4 million in a series A round led by the Israeli Innovation Authority.
- Robin Hood Pro, a FinTech company focused on solving market failures in finance using blockchain technology, has raised $1 million in an extended Series A round from Jonathan Lampert and Pipelbiz.
- MedC Biopharma, a startup that develops and commercializes pharma cannabis related IP, has completed a $5 million Series A round from AgMedica and private investors.
- InZiv, a company that designs and manufactures inspection equipment for identifying critical defects in pixels of advanced displays, received $2.5 million in funding from Maverick Ventures Israel and private investors.
- Verbit Software, a company that harnesses the power of AI and human intelligence to provide a smart transcription and captioning solution, has raised $23 million in a Series B round led by Carmel Ventures with participation from Bouaziz & Partners, ClalTech, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Oryzn Capital, Vertex and Vintage.
- ReSec Technologies, a company dedicated to redefining the cybersecurity landscape through developing a single-platform solution preventing external cyber-security threats, received $2 million in a series B financing round led by Founders Group and PICO Partners with the participation from 2B Angels and Plug & Pay.
- Zeitgold, a company that frees small businesses from paperwork by combining experts with AI to empower owners to manage and authorize time consuming accounting processes, raised $12 million in a series B financing round led by Battery Ventures with participation from AXA Venture Partners, btov Partners, DTCP Fund, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and Saban Ventures Fund.
- Wiliot, a fabless semiconductor company developing passive SoC platforms for the IoT market, raised $30 million in a series B financing round through participation from 83 North, Amazon, Grove Ventures Fund, M Ventures, NVP, Qualcomm Ventures and Samsung Ventures.
- Flytrex Aviation, a company that manufactures cloud-connected drones, received $7.5 million in a series B financing round led by Benhamou Global Ventures with participation from Amanda VC, btov Partners and private investors.
- Laminate Medical Technologies, a company that is developing a new, external support device for AV fistulas, has received $12 million in a series C financing round through participation from ADIP, Tal Capital, Haisco, Asahi Kesei and private investors.
- Atomation Net, a company dedicated to forming an IoT platform for SHDK for the seamless creation of smart objects, received $3 million in a series C financing round with the participation of 2B Angels, BioGenerator, Jade Ventures, Janvest, Singulariteam and private investors.
- Cato Networks, a company that provides organizations with a software-defined and cloud-based secure enterprise network, received $55 million in the form of a series C financing round led by Lightspeed with the participation of Aspect ventures, Greylock, SingTel Innov9, USVP and private investors.
- Colu Technologies, a blockchain technology platform for developers and enterprises providing simple, easily integrated and consumer-friendly tools for accessing digital assets, raised $7 million in a series C financing round with the participation of Aleph LP, Angelic Ventures, Bitcoin Opportunity, BoxGroup, Digital Currency Group, IDN Holding Corp and Spark Capital.
- TytoCare, a mobile health company that is transforming primary care by putting health in the hands of consumers, received $9 million in a series C financing round from ITOCHU, Sanford Health and Shenzhen Capital Group.
- Bringg Delivery Technologies, a world-leading platform for enterprises to manage on-demand and last-mile deliveries, raised $25 million in a series C financing round from Next47, the global venture arm of German conglomerate Siemens AG.
- Kitov Pharmaceuticals, an innovative biopharmaceutical company focused on late-stage drug development, raised $6 million with an undisclosed investment management company.
- Globality, a company leveraging AI to revolutionize the way businesses buy and sell services, raised $100 million in a series D financing round through the participation of Raine Ventures, Softbank’s Vision Fund, THK Equities and private investors.
- Innovid Media, a video platform that empowers advertisers to create, deliver and measure the most innovative video experiences on any device and media outlet, raised $30 million in a series G financing round from Goldman Sachs & Co.
- Celeno Communications, a company that offers advanced Wi-Fi chipsets, edge software and cloud technology, raised $10 million in a Series F financing round, led by Iris Capital together with the participation of Cisco Investments, Greylock Israel, Liberty Global Ventures, Miven Venture Partners, OurCrowd, Pitango, Poalim Capital Markets, Red Dot Capital Partners and Vintage.
- Lending Express, an AI-powered marketplace for business loans, raised $2.7 million from Viola Credit.
M&A and IPOs
- Sealantis, a company that develops an alginate-based tissue adhesive technology platform, was acquired by Advanced Medical Solutions, a U.K.-headquartered wound care products company, for $25 million.
- Splitit, a global payment solution enabling customers to make purchases by splitting costs into interest-free monthly payments, raised $8.6 million in the form of an IPO on the ASX.
- Corephotonics, the leading licensor of dual camera imaging technologies, was acquired by Samsung for $155 million.
- ForceNock Security, a company dedicated to producing a fully autonomous web application security solution that replaces existing WAF, API & bot mitigation solutions, was acquired by Check Point, a Nasdaq-listed network and cloud security provider for $10 million.
- InSight Biopharmaceuticals, a company that specializes in the development, manufacturing & commercialization of biosimilar and sophisticated generics, was acquired by Hong Kong-based pharmaceutical and food retailer Gencor Pacific Ltd. for $2.5 million.
- Cloud Endure, a company that provides disaster recovery and live migration for all applications, allowing enterprises to mobilize entire workloads with near-zero downtime and no data loss, was acquired by Amazon for $200 million.
On behalf of everyone at iAngels, I’d like to thank you for tuning in to our Israel Deal Digest. If you’d like to receive a version direct to your inbox, please subscribe below.
Massimo is an investment associate in the iAngels investment team. He is passionate about technology & innovation and enjoys working alongside entrepreneurs with disruptive business ideas looking to make an impact. At iAngels, Massimo focuses on seed as well as series A, B & C investments and has built special expertise around FinTech, Cybersecurity, Enterprise Software, Environmental Tech, AgriTech and FoodTech.
Two weeks left to score early bird savings at TC Sessions: Space 2020
NASA just made history by landing a spacecraft on an asteroid. If that kind of technical achievement carbonates your glass of Tang, join us on December 16-17 for TC Sessions: Space 2020, an event dedicated to early-stage space startups. We’ve launched early-bird pricing, and $125 buys you access to all live sessions, plus video on […]
NASA just made history by landing a spacecraft on an asteroid. If that kind of technical achievement carbonates your glass of Tang, join us on December 16-17 for TC Sessions: Space 2020, an event dedicated to early-stage space startups.
We’ve launched early-bird pricing, and $125 buys you access to all live sessions, plus video on demand. Don’t procrastinate. Buy your pass now before the early-bird reenters Earth’s atmosphere (and prices go up) on November 13 at 11:59 p.m. (PT).
More ways to save: Go further together with early bird group tickets ($100) — bring four team members and get the fifth one free. We also offer discount passes for students ($50) and government, military and non-profits ($95). Looking for out-of-this-world exposure? An Early Stage Startup Exhibitor Package ($360) includes four tickets, digital exhibition space, a pitch session to attendees and the ability to generate leads. Bonus savings: Extra Crunch subscribers get a 20 percent discount.
TC Sessions: Space is an unrivaled opportunity to learn from, connect and network with boundary-pushing founders, investors and officials from NASA, the Aerospace Corporation, the U.S. Air Force and leading space companies spanning public, private and defense sectors.
We’ve packed the conference with outstanding presentations, fireside chats and interviews. Plus, you’ll find breakout sessions on specialized topics, audience Q&As with Main Stage speakers and the expo area for partners and early stage startups.
Here’s a taste of the topics but keep an eye on the agenda, because we’ll add more speakers and sessions in the coming weeks.
Asteroid Rocks and Moon Landings
Lisa Callahan, vice president/general manager of commercial civil space at Lockheed Martin Space, discusses all aspects of scientific and civil exploration of the solar system — from robots scooping rockets from the surface of galaxy-traveling asteroids, to preparing for the return of humans to the surface of the Moon.
Sourcing Tech for Securing Space
Lt. General Thompson is responsible for fostering an ecosystem of non-traditional space startups and the future of Space Force acquisitions, all to the end goal of protecting the global commons of space. He’ll discuss what the U.S. looks for in startup partnerships and emerging tech, and how it works with these young companies.
Bridging Today and Tomorrow’s Tech
Corporate VC funds are a key source of investment for space startups, in part because they often involve partnerships that help generate revenue, and because they understand the timelines involved. SpaceFund’s Meagan Crawford and Lockheed Martin Ventures’ J. Christopher Moran discuss how these funds fit in with more standard venture to power the ecosystem.
TC Sessions: Space 2020 takes flight on December 16-17, but we’re starting our early bird countdown right now. Great savings disappear in two weeks on November 13 at 11:59 p.m. (PT). Buy your early bird passes today and celebrate your savvy shopping with a tall glass of Tang.
Is your company interested in sponsoring TC Sessions: Space 2020? Click here to talk with us about available opportunities.
Leon Black offers more details on ties to Jeffrey Epstein – Update
Apollo chief executive raised the issue after questions swirled about his relationship with the late financier
Leon Black, the billionaire chief executive of Apollo, on Thursday, 29 October, offered a history of his ties to the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, his most detailed public account yet of a relationship that sparked renewed concern among his firm’s shareholders and fund investors in recent weeks.
Epstein was indicted last year on federal sex-trafficking charges involving underage girls.
On a call to discuss the private equity firm’s third-quarter earnings, Black said he wasn’t eager to speak publicly about his personal business, “but this matter is now affecting Apollo, which my partners and I spent 30 years building, and is also causing deep pain for my family.”
The Apollo chief reiterated that he paid Epstein millions of dollars annually to provide professional services to his family partnership and other family entities, “involving estate planning, tax, structuring of art entities and philanthropic advice” from 2012 to 2017.
He said there was substantial documentation of the work and that it was vetted by law firms, accounting firms and other advisers.
“There has never been an allegation by anyone that I engaged in any wrongdoing, because I did not,” Black said. “And any suggestion of blackmail or any other connection to Epstein’s reprehensible conduct is categorically untrue.”
Black also re-emphasised that Apollo never did business with Epstein, who died by suicide in jail in August 2019, the New York City medical examiner found.
The speech came after the three Apollo board members to who make up the New York firm’s conflict committee last week hired law firm Dechert to conduct an independent review into Black’s business with Epstein. Black said he asked for the review and is cooperating fully.
The moves were prompted by a New York Timesreport on 12 October that Black had paid Epstein at least $50m — more than previously known—in the years after Epstein was convicted in 2008 of soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl.
The article didn’t present any evidence that Black participated in inappropriate activity, but it sparked concern among some of Apollo’s public-pension fund investors and has weighed on the company’s shares.
Apollo’s shares rose briefly after Black’s statement but later fell about 1% in morning trading Thursday, 29 October.
Black, who co-founded Apollo in 1990, said he met Epstein around 1996 when Epstein was advising a number of prominent clients on estate-tax planning. The adviser had been named a trustee of Rockefeller University and served on the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.
In his network were “luminaries I respected and admired, including several heads of state, heads of prominent families in finance, a US treasury secretary, accomplished business leaders, Nobel laureates, acclaimed academicians and noted philanthropists,” Black said.
The Apollo chief said he wasn’t aware of Epstein’s criminal conduct until it was reported in late 2006 that he was under investigation by state and federal authorities in Florida.
In 2007, Epstein signed a federal nonprosecution agreement, which has since been scrutinised, to resolve that investigation, pleading guilty the following year to two state prostitution counts. He spent much of his 13-month sentence outside prison.
After his release, Epstein went back to his financial-advisory work and once again began associating with prominent people from finance, academia, science, technology and government, Black said. He said he didn’t learn the extent of the further allegations about Epstein’s conduct in 2018 until after he had already stopped working with him.
“Like many other people I respected, I decided to give Epstein a second chance,” he said. “This was a terrible mistake. I wish I could go back in time and change that decision, but I cannot.”
Whether Black’s explanation and the independent investigation will be enough to satisfy the firm’s jittery investors remains to be seen. Working to Apollo’s advantage is the fact that big pension funds, which typically need to invest large sums of money, have relatively few options for where to do so. And Apollo’s funds have continued to offer them strong returns.
Any defections among investors could theoretically threaten the firm’s goal set last year of reaching $600bn in assets over the next five years. For now, growth in the metric is chugging along. The firm said that assets climbed to $433.1bn in the third quarter, up from $413.6bn in the prior quarter and $322.7bn a year earlier.
Apollo chief financial officer Martin Kelly said the firm’s assets were durable even if the independent review of Black has an impact on fundraising. He noted that 60% of Apollo’s assets are in permanent-capital vehicles—pools of money that don’t need to be constantly replenished—and 90% are either in permanent-capital vehicles or funds with five years or longer from inception.
Kelly said the firm expects some of its investors will pause new commitments until the independent review has been completed. But even if Apollo raises no additional third-party capital this year, its fundraising of $18.4bn from third parties through 30 September already falls within its typical annual range of $15bn to $20bn, he said.
“We have incredibly long and durable relationships with our clients,” Apollo co-founder Josh Harris said on the call. “We’re deeply in contact with them, and obviously they are awaiting the results of the review Leon discussed.”
In response to an analyst question about how long the review would take, Apollo said it hoped the process could be completed by the end of the year, but that it was in the hands of the conflict committee.
Apollo also reported lower net income and distributable earnings for the quarter. It posted net income of $272.4m, or $1.11 a share, down from earnings of $363.3m, or $1.63 a share, a year earlier. The decline was primarily driven by a bigger loss attributable to noncontrolling interests.
Fee-related earnings were a bright spot, climbing 30% year-over-year.
Apollo invested a net $20.9bn across its various investment platforms during the quarter, a metric that reflects investments in vehicles beyond traditional drawdown funds.
The firm said it would pay a dividend of 51 cents per share versus 50 cents a share for the third quarter of 2019.
Write to Miriam Gottfried at Miriam.Gottfried@wsj.com
Alternative Investments/ESG: Brunel Allots £1.2B ($1.55B) Sustainable Mandate To Three Managers
The Brunel Pension Partnership has picked Ownership Capital, RBC Global Asset Management, and Nordea Asset Management to manage its new Sustainable Equities Fund of around £1.2 billion ($1.55 billion). Brunel is one of eight pooled Local Government Pension Scheme funds in the U.K.
Alternative Investments/ESG: Brunel Allots £1.2B ($1.55B) Sustainable Mandate To Three Managers
The Brunel Pension Partnership Limited (Brunel) launched a new Sustainable Equities Fund for local authorities’ pension funds.
The Brunel Pension Partnership has picked Ownership Capital, RBC Global Asset Management, and Nordea Asset Management to manage its new Sustainable Equities Fund of around £1.2 billion ($1.55 billion).
Brunel is one of eight pool Local Government Pension Scheme funds in the U.K.
The sub-fund mandate is on behalf of 10 local government pension scheme funds. They wanted a listed equity portfolio with a pronounced skew in favor of ESG considerations. The emphasis would be on companies with positive ESG performance rather than negative exclusions. (Institutional Asset Manager)
Multi-manager sustainable fund
Brunel shortlisted the three managers from 70 expressions of interest.
“The three managers we appointed share a broad investing style and a prioritization of sustainability, yet their approaches are also different enough to provide clients with the diversification they were looking for,” said David Cox, Head of Listed Markets at Brunel.
“We were delighted to find managers who share our understanding of sustainability, embedding it deep into their culture and investment processes,” says David Jenkins, Portfolio Manager for the Sustainable Equities Fund. “This portfolio, therefore, meets our aspiration to go beyond traditional Responsible Investing and ensure that the managers are engaged with the companies and are investing in them for positive reasons, not simply focusing on negative exclusions.”
The portfolio is significantly underweight to the GICS energy sector. It also features an aggregate carbon intensity that is significantly lower than its benchmark, the MSCI All Country World Index.
The selected managers will integrate ESG considerations into their whole investing process. Their focus will not be to manage ESG risks – rather to positively seek out exposure to companies on a sustainable path.
In the process, they would also generate a suitable financial return.
Related Story: Insurers Take a Fancy To ESG & Sustainability ETFs (Invesco)
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