Welcome to the iAngels Monthly Deal Digest, a summary of movements in the Israeli startup market.
This May we tracked 23 announced deals totaling $485M, and 13 exits totaling $2B.
IT & Enterprise Software was the leading sector this month. Exabeam, a company that empowers enterprises to detect, investigate, and respond to cyber attacks, raised $75m in a Series E financing round co-led by Lightspeed and Sapphire Ventures, alongside Aspect Ventures, Cisco Investments, NVP, and a private investor. Guardicore, a data center and cloud security solution that protects an organization’s core assets, completed a $60m growth round led by Qumra Capital, with the participation of Battery Ventures, Cisco Investments, ClalTech, DTCP Fund, EMC Ventures, Greenfield Partners, Greylock Israel, Partech, and TPG Growth.
On the M&A side, we saw three large acquisitions including SafeCharge, Twistlock, and LiveU. Safecharge, providing global omnichannel payments services from card acquiring and issuance to payment processing and checkout, underpinned by advanced risk management solutions, was acquired by Nuvei for $890m. Twistlock, a leading provider of container and cloud-native cybersecurity solutions, was acquired by Palo Alto Networks for $410m. LiveU, a company that produces technology for television broadcasters to enable live video links via wireless cellular networks, was acquired by Francisco Partners Management and Israel Growth Partners for $200m.
May 2019 Investment Highlights
- Veego, developing a technology that can identify, understand, and resolve errors and malfunctions in edge/remote devices, routers and hubs as well as in the connected home ecosystem, received $5 million in seed funding led by State of Mind Ventures with the participation of the Corporate VC, Robert Bosch Ventures, and from North First Ventures.
- Intello, an end-to-end SaaS optimization platform, which provides companies with real-time visibility into their software spend and data usage, ultimately saving money on wasted subscriptions and surfacing automated recommendations, received $2.5 million in seed funding led by Resolute Ventures with the participation of Magnetico Ventures and some private investors.
- TriEye, a startup that is developing a SWIR (Short Wave Infra Red) sensing solution for self-driving cars, which enables low-cost night vision and extreme weather sensing, has completed a $17 million Series A funding round led by Intel Capital with the participation of Grove Ventures Fund, and a private investor.
- Sadé Group, a full-vertical pharmaceutical cannabis company, has raised $14 million in a Series A financing round led by Ori Yehudai, with the participation of other private investors.
- Aleph Farms, a company that aims to lead the Cellular Agriculture revolution, starting with clean, healthy and ethical bovine cultured meat, has raised $12 million in a Series A financing round led by VisVires New Protein (VVNP), with the participation of Stray Dog Capital, Peregrine, New Crop Capital, the Corporate VC, Cargill Ventures, CPT Capital, T3 Technion Technology Transfer, and private investors.
- MultiVu, a startup that is developing a single sensor 3D imaging solution, received $7 million in a Series A financing round led by Junson Capital with the participation of OurCrowd, Cardumen Capital, the Technology Innovation Momentum Fund.
- Hunters.AI, a cybersecurity company that combines its Attack Intelligence, Hunting AI, and Continuous Automation with the enterprise’s existing security data to transform enterprise threat hunting, has closed $5.4 million in a Series A financing round co-led by Blumberg Capital and YL Ventures with the participation of several private investors.
- Voom, a startup that has built an AI-driven InsurTech platform that allows for the effective creation of new insurance products for mobility, creating an on-demand, telemetry-based insurance solution for the emerging drone industry, has closed $5 million in a Series A financing round led by Arbor Ventures with the participation of F2 Capital Fund, a few Corporate Ventures such as AXA Venture Partners, Liberty Mutual and Verizon Ventures along with several private investors.
- Torii Labs, a company that develops a cloud-based SaaS management platform intended to help IT managers discover, audit and control SaaS apps, used by employees, has raised $3.5 million in a Series A financing round led by Uncork Capital, with the participation of Entrée Capital Israel, Global Founders Capital, LocalGlobe and a few private investors.
- Mappo World, providing a technology that allows users to map content leveraging location-based services, has raised $0.26 million in a Series A financing round from private investors via ExitValley.
- Ayala Pharmaceutical, a clinical stage precision oncology company dedicated to developing targeted therapies for people living with genetically-defined, underserved cancers, has raised $30 million in a Series B financing round led by Novartis, with the participation of aMoon, Harel Insurance Group, Israel Biotech Fund, and SBI Japon-Israel Innovation Fund.
- Pi Therapeutics, a preclinical-stage pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of protein degradation modulators for the treatment of cancer, with drug modulates pathways related to proteostasis, has closed $19.7 million in a Series B financing round led by Pontifax with the participation of Arkin Bio Ventures Fund, CBG Asset Management, Consensus Business Group, GF Securities, OrbiMed Israel, Quark, and RMGP Biopharma Fund.
- Equalum, a company that has developed a Data Beaming platform, capable of instantly teleporting operational data from any source to real-time analytics environments, built for scalability and ease of use, has raised $18 million in a Series B financing round led by Planven Investments Digit with the participation of GE Ventures, Innovation Endeavours, United Ventures and several private investors.
- Percepto Robotics, a startup that helps to integrate the use of autonomous drones capable of performing multiple security, safety, and inspections missions, providing companies with improved security, decreased safety risks and reduced operation costs, received $15 million in a Series B financing round led by USVP with the participation of Ataria, Beast Ventures, Courtside Ventures, Elevator Ventures, Emerge Fund, QB1 Ventures, R&R Venture Partners, Spider Capital, along with Corporate VCs such as Hyundai Cradle and NHN and two private investors.
- TechsoMed Medical Technologies, a company that is developing ultrasound based real-time monitoring systems for thermal ablation procedures for tumor destruction, heart arrhythmia, blood pressure treatments and more, solving the high failure rate of these minimally invasive and cost-effective procedures, has raised $2.6 million in a Series B financing round led by Johnson & Johnson, with the participation of AMIT (Alfred Mann Institute at the Technion), Axil Capital, NextLeap Ventures, Screen Holdings and several private investors.
- Exabeam, a company that empowers enterprises to detect, investigate, and respond to cyber attacks, received $75 million in a Series E financing round co-led by Lightspeed and Sapphire Ventures, alongside Aspect Ventures, Cisco Investments, NVP, and a private investor, Schlomo Kramer.
- Guardicore, a data center and cloud security solution that protects an organization’s core assets, completed a $60 million growth round led by Qumra Capital, with the participation of Battery Ventures, Cisco Investments, ClalTech, DTCP Fund, EMC Ventures, Greenfield Partners, Greylock Israel, Partech, and TPG Growth.
- Logz.io, a company offering an open-source log analytics platform, as a predictive, enterprise-grade SaaS, powered by machine-learning algorithms, providing real-time access to insights based on the collaborative knowledge of DevOps professionals around the world, has received $52 million in a growth round led by General Catalyst, 83North, Giza, Greenspring Associates, OpenView, Vintage Fund and the Corporate VC, next47.
- Talkspace, a telehealthcare company that connects users with a network of over 5,000 licensed dedicated therapists through an easy-to-use web and mobile platform, providing psychiatry services, including prescription fulfillment, adolescent therapy and couples counseling, has closed a $50 million Series D funding round led by Revolution Growth, with the participation of Compound, Firstime, Group 11, La Maison, NVP, Qumra Capital, Softbank Capital, Spark Capital.
- WekaIO, a company that develops software that manages the way data is stored and managed on data center infrastructure, in the cloud or on-premises, has raised $31.7 million in a Series C financing round co-led by Qualcomm Ventures and NVIDIA GPU Ventures with the participation of other Corporate VCs such as HP Tech Ventures and Western Digital Capital, along with NVP, CID Group, WRV, Seagate, and a few private investors.
- Siemplify, a leading independent security orchestration, automation, and response (SQAR) provider, enabling security teams to manage their operations from end to end, and respond to cyber threats with speed and precision, has raised $30 million in a Series C funding round led by Georgian Partners with the participation of 83North, Abundance Partners, Capri Ventures, G20 Ventures, Jump Capital and a few private investors.
- Rapid Medical, a biotech company that is developing products designed to treat aneurysms (abnormal expansion of the artery or vein), including a supporter that can expand into blood vessels, has closed a $23 million Series C funding round co-led by JAM Capital Partners and Microport with the participation of Agate Medical, BRM Group, Gefen Capital Fund, RocSon Medtech fund, Shanghai-Israel Investment Fund, Winnovation, and a few private investors.
- BioProtect, a company that developed a proprietary technology platform for biodegradable balloons, suiting a wide range of applications including spacing for radiation oncology protection, aesthetics, and general surgery, has raised $7 million in a Series G financing round from private investors.
M&A and IPOs
- SafeCharge, providing global omnichannel payments services from card acquiring and issuance to payment processing and checkout, underpinned by advanced risk management solutions, was acquired by Nuvei for $890 million.
- Twistlock, a leading provider of container and cloud-native cybersecurity solutions, was acquired by Palo Alto Networks for $410 million.
- LiveU, a company that produces technology for television broadcasters to enable live video links via wireless cellular networks, was acquired by Francisco Partners Management and Israel Growth Partners for $200 million.
- Meta Networks, a Network-as-a-Service company that enables users to rapidly connect people, applications, clouds, data centers and offices, and to secure them, was acquired by Proofpoint for $120 million.
- Profitect, a company that provides a solution that uses predictive analytics to pinpoint value chain margin leakage, inventory distortion, on-shelf availability issues, shrink, waste, damage, process non-compliance, cashier fraud, coupon abuse and operational risks, was acquired by Zebra for $100 million.
- Algatechnologies, a company that specializes in the commercial cultivation of microalgae, overcoming biological, engineering and economic challenges posed by the mass production of microalgae, was acquired by Solabia for $72 million.
- Cognigo, a company that helps to achieve data security and GDPR compliance in days (instead of months) through cognitive computing and advanced learning algorithms, was acquired by NetApp for $70 million.
- PureSec, a company that enables its customers to build and maintain secure, reliable and serverless applications in a trusted and safe computing environment, supporting all serverless vendors, allowing organizations to detect, prevent, and respond to suspicious activity and attacks, was acquired by Palo Alto Networks for $55 million.
- Bonobo AI, a company that is developing a conversational intelligence platform for organizations seeking to know their customers and grow customer relationships at scale by centralizing fragmented customer interaction data from across channels and leveraging AI to power action-ready insights from throughout the entire customer journey, was acquired by Salesforce for $50 million.
- Vidyo, a company that pioneered Personal Telepresence, enabling natural, HD multi-point video conferences on tablets, smartphones, PCs, Macs, room systems and telepresence installations, was acquired by Enghouse for $40 million.
- Appsee, a company that provides a simple visual-in-app analytics platform enabling companies to measure, understand and improve the user experience in their mobile apps, to act on insights delivered by the SaaS platform, was acquired by ServiceNow for $26 million.
- Podium (adCore), a company that makes Search Engine Marketing accessible to everyone and incorporates the skills and expertise of SEM marketers, and fully automates the process of campaign submission, analysis, and optimization, raised $4.15 million in its initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
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.
Demand for central London office space sinks as thousands of staff work from home
Demand for office space in central London sank in the third quarter as staff at major occupiers such as banks, insurers and asset managers continued to work from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
A survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed that 77% of surveyors reported a drop in demand for London office space.
The survey comes as banks such as HSBC confirm they are looking at a hybrid model of remote working and office working that could lead to a steep drop in the amount of prime office space needed by financial-services firms.
Availability for London’s office space grew for the eighteenth successive quarter, the survey showed, with availability growing at the strongest pace since 2009.
Over the next year, prime office rents in the capital are expected to fall by 6.8% as demand shrinks.
Tarrant Parsons, RICS economist, said: “Occupier demand across the office sector remains in decline and may continue to come under pressure going forward as businesses reassess their office-space requirements following the increased prevalence of remote working.”
Deutsche Bank and HSBC are among lenders that have announced that they will embrace the model of workers who opt to spend some days in the office and some days out.
The announcements come as a Morgan Stanley survey found that some 63% of office workers said they believe their employers will allow one or two days working from home in the future.
About one in five, or 18%, in the bank’s survey said they think their bosses will allow even more days than that. More than 90% of London office workers have been working from home during the pandemic — the most of any major European city.
Surveyors who commented on the RICS survey predicted that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to long-lasting changes in the way that companies use offices.
David Apperly of Apperly Estates said: “The biggest impact of coronavirus will probably be long term for office demand; rental growth is likely to be subdued for 10+ years.”
Gregory McGonigal of Ashdown Phillips said: “We are highly unlikely to return to anything like we were all experiencing in 2019 for at least five years and certain sectors will be changed permanently. The pandemic has caused, and will continue to create, a seismic shift in the UK property sector.”
Simon Wood of Downing Intervention simply said: “Winter is coming.”
To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email James Booth
BlackRock wants global standards for sustainability reporting
Previous demand for firms to follow with existing standards led to a 400% increase in compliance
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has called for the creation of a single global sustainability standard, claiming existing frameworks are making it difficult to compare companies and leading to confusion for investors.
“BlackRock is calling for convergence of the different private-sector reporting frameworks and standards to establish a globally recognised and adopted approach to sustainability reporting,” the $7.8tn New York-headquartered group said on 29 October.
BlackRock claimed the proliferation of existing disclosure initiatives, many of which are overlapping, has meant companies are reporting the same information more than once and that there is a lack of consistent and comparable data.
“We believe that this could be resolved by aligning and converging to establish a globally recognised sustainability reporting framework and set of standards,” BlackRock said.
“Ideally, these would be developed by those with domain expertise in the private sector and supported by public policymakers as they move to require more comprehensive corporate reporting.”
The call from BlackRock comes after it asked companies in January to publish their climate-related disclosures in line with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board standards and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures framework — two of the world’s major reporting standards.
BlackRock said it would consider voting against company management where sufficient progress had not been made.
Companies appear to have heeded BlackRock’s warning. According to a report by the fund manager’s investment stewardship team, by the end of September, there had been a 400% increase in companies reporting under the SASB standards.
“The uptick is encouraging,” BlackRock said. “However, one of the top challenges to greater adoption we hear from the directors and leadership teams is the confusion caused by the various frameworks or standards.”
Efforts are already under way to develop a common approach for sustainability disclosure.
The IFRS Foundation published a consultation in September to assess demand for global sustainability standards. The IFRS said it would assess to what extent it could help develop such standards if demand proved strong.
Also in September, a group of five sustainability-reporting organisations — the SASB, the Global Reporting Initiative, the International Integrated Reporting Council, the CDP and the Carbon Disclosure Standards Board — said they planned to work together to develop “a comprehensive global corporate reporting system”.
BlackRock has singled out an approach proposed by the IFRS Foundation as the “most practicable and likely to succeed”.
“Progress may take some time,” it said. “BlackRock will continue to advocate for TCFD and SASB-aligned reporting until a global standard is established.”
To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email David Ricketts
Comment: Don’t overestimate the coronavirus recovery
At this point in the Covid-19 crisis, governments have only one good option: further aggressive fiscal stimulus complemented by coherent virus-containment strategies
The world economy has risen from the depths of the initial Covid-19 plunge. But the recovery has been tepid, uneven and fragile – and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.
Start with the good news. World merchandise trade has rebounded strongly, consistent with indications of a revival in household demand for goods in many economies, even as public-health restrictions and consumer concerns continue to hobble demand for services.
Moreover, financial markets have held up surprisingly well, with stock markets in many countries regaining or even exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Despite near-zero interest rates, banking and financial systems seem largely stable. And consumer and industrial demand has buoyed commodity prices, with even oil prices having recovered somewhat.
But as the latest Brookings-Financial Times Tracking Indexes for the Global Economic Recovery update shows, many economies are experiencing essentially no growth, or are even contracting. With private sector confidence depleted, and the struggle to contain the virus far from over, the risks of substantial and long-lasting economic scarring are on the rise.
This is true even in the economies that have returned to growth, such as the United States. In some ways, the US seems to have turned the corner. Industrial activity and the labour market have regained some lost ground. The unemployment rate is falling, and employment levels are up.
But unemployment remains significantly higher, and employment significantly lower, than before the pandemic. The increase in long-term unemployment, together with ongoing service sector disruptions, portends a difficult path to a more robust and sustained recovery.
It doesn’t help that fiscal stimulus measures have largely lapsed, and negotiations on a new relief package have repeatedly broken down. As household disposable income has declined, private consumption growth has weakened. Similarly, business investment continues to contract – a trend that does not augur well for sustained growth.
Even stock markets, which experienced a sharp rebound earlier in the year, seem to be taking a breather. This may reflect concerns about the virus-containment strategy (or lack of) being pursued by US president Donald Trump’s administration. In any case, as next month’s presidential election approaches, heightened political and policy uncertainty is likely to keep consumer and business confidence muted.
The eurozone is in even worse shape. Not only has the pandemic decimated short-term growth; deflation is now setting in, raising the risk of a deep and prolonged contraction. While manufacturing in Germany and elsewhere has rebounded, the positive effects are more than offset by the enduring services slump, reinforced by ongoing public health restrictions.
The United Kingdom’s services sector, by contrast, has experienced a revival. Yet the combination of erratic lockdown policies and far-reaching uncertainties surrounding Brexit are contributing to a continued economic contraction. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Japan is also in serious economic peril, though it has so far avoided sliding back into deflation.
Most emerging market economies have not fared well, either. India is experiencing a sharp slowdown in economic activity, which could be exacerbated by a devastating acceleration in Covid-19 cases, fuelled by the easing of lockdown measures. The government has pushed through some agricultural and labour market reforms, but a banking system hobbled by bad loans remains a powerful constraint on growth.
Brazil and Russia have fared little better. Both have experienced substantial economic contractions, and have few policy levers available to revive growth.
The one country experiencing a strong recovery is China, where, thanks largely to the country’s apparent success in bringing the virus under control, both industrial production and services have rebounded. Retail sales and manufacturing sector investment have also bounced back. By many indicators, the country’s economic performance is now even stronger than it was before the pandemic.
Yet, unlike in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, China’s strong performance is not likely to do much to buttress the rest of the world economy, not least because of the growing push towards deglobalisation. China’s recently unveiled “dual-circulation strategy” – whereby the country will increasingly depend on the domestic cycle of production, distribution, and consumption for its long-term development – will reinforce this trend.
Making matters worse, central banks now have far less firepower than they did after the 2008 crisis. To be sure, the major central banks have pulled out all the policy stops since the Covid-19 crisis began, pursuing unprecedented monetary expansion in order to support economic activity and, in some cases, to fend off deflation. Some – most notably, the US Federal Reserve – have even adjusted their policy frameworks to signal tolerance of higher inflation. The central banks of some smaller advanced economies, such as Australia and New Zealand, and emerging economies, such as India, have also resorted to unconventional measures.
But the limits of monetary policy for boosting growth are becoming increasingly apparent. Meanwhile, large-scale purchases of corporate and government bonds, together with the direct financing of firms, are generating serious risks – not least to central-bank independence.
Against this background, governments have only one good option: further aggressive fiscal stimulus, ideally in the form of well-targeted government expenditure that could spur private investment. Whatever risks the increase in public debt may generate, they do not compare – especially in today’s low-interest-rate environment – to the long-term economic pain that countries will face without such stimulus.
To be effective, however, fiscal measures must be complemented by coherent virus containment strategies, which credibly enable safe economic reopening. Without such strategies, demand and confidence will remain subdued, and global growth will continue to falter well into the future.
Eswar Prasad is a professor of trade policy at Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Darren Chang and Ethan Wu, undergraduate students at Cornell, assisted in the writing of this commentary.
Copyright: Project Syndicate
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