- SafeBreach, a company providing comprehensive Breach and Attack Simulation platform has closed a $15 million financing round led by Draper Nexus with participation from PayPal and existing investors Sequoia Capital, Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners and HPE Pathfinder.
- Tailor Brands, a startup that automates parts of the branding and marketing process for small businesses, has closed a $15.5 million Series B round led by Pitango Venture Capital Growth Fund and British Armat Group, with participation from Disruptive Technologies and Mangrove Capital Partners.
- Namogoo, a company that identifies and solves the problem of online Journey Hijacking, that costs online businesses millions in stolen revenue each year, has closed a $15 million Series B round led by Hanaco Venture Capital.
- Indeni, a company providing network monitoring and automation solutions has raised $14 million in a financing round led by RTP, including State of Mind Ventures, Caremi Partners, and existing investor Sequoia Capital and iAngels.
- Nanit, a developer of a smart baby sleep monitor has closed a $14 million Series B financing round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) with participation from existing investors Upfront Ventures RRE Ventures, Vulcan Capital and Vaal Investment Partners.
- Magos, a company that designs and manufactures state-of-the-art staring radars for perimeter detection and Protection/Security has raised a $1 million financing round from Tyco, one of the largest defense and security integrator in the world.
- Rootility, a root focused plant breeding company, has closed a $10 million series C financing round led by ADM Capital’s Cibus Fund and with the participation of existing investors GreenSoil Investments and Middleland Capital.
Welcome to the iAngels Monthly Deal Digest, a summary of movements in the Israeli startup market.
This May we tracked 24 announced deals totaling $183 million, in addition to a massive $200 million asset-backed credit loan raised by BlueVine. It was also a good month for iAngels portfolio companies with indeni and Lending Express raising new financing rounds and new iAngels investments in Spacemesh, a company developing a new and improved blockchain operating system for smart contracts.
On the exit front, we tracked 4 deals totaling $492 million, including the acquisition of Loop Commerce by Synchrony, for an estimated $250 million and the acquisition of Velostera by Google for an estimated $150M.
Read on for the full scoop!
May 2018 Investment Highlights
- Vulcan Cyber, a company that promises to eliminate the vulnerability remediation gap that unnecessarily exposes enterprises to cyber risks, has raised a $4 million seed round led by YL Ventures with participation from other well-known cybersecurity investors including Giora Yaron and Mickey Boodaei.
- Spacemesh, a company developing a new and improved “blockmesh operating system” has raised a $3 million seed round from BRM Group, iAngels, Alignment, and Bancor.
- Quarterback, a sports fan engagement platform, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by BITKRAFT Esports Ventures and with the participation of Crest Capital Ventures, Deep Space Ventures, UpWest Labs, and other angel investors.
- Future Meat Technologies, a developer of a cost-efficient, non-GMO meat produced directly from animal cells, has announced a $2.2 million seed investment round co-led by Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods. Tyson Foods is a Fortune 100 company, and one of the world’s largest food producers.
- Carats.io, an Israeli blockchain startup working with the diamond industry, has raised $1.6 million in a funding round led by Net Capital Ventures.
- Perceptive.AI, a developer of a machine learning based system that helps companies predict which customers are likely to churn, has raised $1.5 million in a seed round led by Meron Capital, with participation from Los Angeles based Scopus Ventures.
- ZenCity, a developer of a platform that uses AI to analyze data from hundreds of thousands of public interactions to provide an accurate citizen pulse on how they are viewing their city, has won Microsoft AI competition and will get a $1 million investment from M12, Microsoft’s newly branded investment arm, with participation from Madrona Venture Group, Notion and Vertex Ventures.
- VoiceItt, a developer of speech recognition technology designed to understand non-standard and dysarthric speech, has also participated in the Microsoft AI competition, and won the “AI for good” category. The company will receive a $500k investment.
- CardiacSense, a developer of a watch that detects heart disorders (Arrhythmia), has raised $500k from an undisclosed foreign investment group.
Series A Rounds
- Pixoneye, a data analytics startup that uses on-device software to analyze a user’s smartphone pictures to predict his or her interests, in order to allow retailers to send tailored advertisements, has raised $8 million in a Series A round from UK venture capital fund Octopus Ventures.
- MUGO, an application for “Live Share” technology that allows listeners to sync to the same point in a song, even when listening from different sources has closed a strategic partnership and a $7 million investment deal with Mexico’s TV Azteca, one of the world’s two largest television producers of Spanish language contant.
- Lending Express, an AI Powered Online Lending Marketplace for Businesses has raised a $2.7 million investment round led by Entrée Capital and iAngels, among other investors.
- Regulus Cyber, a developer of end-to-end solutions for autonomous cars, robots, and drones, has come out of stealth and announced a $6.3 million Series A financing round from Sierra Ventures, Canaan Partners Israel, the Technion and F2 Capital.
- Genoox, a genomic analysis startup that’s geared toward doctors, clinicians and researchers that hopes to lower the cost of getting data from gene sequencing, has closed a $6 million funding round led by Triventures, a healthcare-focused venture firm.
- BrainQ, a startup that aims to help stroke victims and those with spinal cord injuries treat their injuries with the help of a personalized electromagnetic treatment protocol, has raised a $5.3 million funding round from Qure Ventures, OurCrowd.com, Norma Investments, IT-Farm and a number of angel investors, including Valtech Cardio founder and CEO Amir Gross.
- Uniper-care, an Artificial Intelligence Aging at Home Platform for Older Adults has Raised a $2.4 million financing round from Fusion LA, Mediterranean Towers Ventures, and Lagziel family.
Series B Rounds
- StoreDot, a company that develops fast-charging batteries for mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, as well as for electric vehicles, has raised a $20 million investment from BP PLC, as a part of a larger $400 million funding round. The company is planning to use the funds for setting up a U.S. facility for the manufacturing of its automotive quick-charging batteries.
- Minute Media, a sports global media publishing platform, has closed a $17 million Series F funding round that includes new investors Goldman Sachs, La Maison, Vintage Investment Partners, Remagine Ventures and Kreos Capital, and its existing investors Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital, Gemini Israel Ventures, and others.
- Sckipio Technologies, a developer of Gfast chipset, has closed a $10 million financing round led by semiconductor company MegaChips, with participation from Intel Capital, Pitango Venture Partners, Genesis Partners, Gemini Israel Ventures, Amiti Ventures, Aviv Ventures, CIRTech Fund and Axess Ventures.
M&A and IPOs
- Loop Commerce, a developer of a solution that enables users who receive a gift bought from an online retailer to personalize aspects like size or color, was acquired for an estimated $250 million by Synchrony. NYSE-listed, Synchrony is a financial services company operating in the retail, health, auto, travel and home industries.
- Google has acquired the cloud migration company Velostrata. This acquisition is expected to help Google cloud customers to quickly migrate virtual machine-based workloads like large databases, enterprise applications, DevOps, and large batch processing to and from the cloud. The company has raised $31.5 million to date from investors including Norwest Venture Partners and 83 North.
- The Japanese digital imaging products giant Canon has acquired BriefCam, a video synopsis and machine learning solutions company, for an estimated $90 million.
- Optimove, makers of the Science-first Relationship Marketing Hub, has acquired DynamicMail business from PowerInbox, a leader in email real-time personalization and dynamic subscriber engagement, for an estimated $2 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.
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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