TechWatch: 5 new Israeli firms donate to community via Tmura

Israeli Public Service Venture Fund received grants from Fibro Control, Vascular Dynamics, Autotalks, Soluto, and IMScouting.

This week’s TechWatch takes a look at some of the recent donations by a number of Israel’s leading NASDAQ-traded companies, as well as a look at a number of firms which, while they are not quite ready to be publicly traded, have already started thinking like the “big firms” in terms of how they approach giving back to the community.
Tel Aviv-based Tmura – the Israeli Public Service Venture Fund, recently announced the receipt of equity grants from five additional Israeli start-up companies: Fibro Control, Vascular Dynamics, Autotalks, Soluto, and IMScouting.
Tmura offers companies a unique way of contributing to Israeli society. Rather than soliciting cash donations, Tmura receives grants of stock from these companies and uses the proceeds from successful “exits” – such as a public offering or acquisition – to fund education- and youth-related charitable initiatives in Israel. The addition of these five companies brings Tmura’s total number of equity donors to 166.
Since its founding in 2002, Tmura has attracted a diverse group of equity donors ranging from hardware and software companies to agritech firms and biopharmaceutical companies. Tmura is supported by leading Israeli venture capital firms and philanthropic foundations which fund the organization’s operating expenses. Promoting a unique model for philanthropy and a new standard for investments, Tmura’s goal is to create a culture of giving within the high-tech sector by enabling companies to donate equity to support education and youth-related initiatives.
The five newest donor companies hail from several industries: Vascular Dynamics and FibroControl are developing medical devices to treat various arterial complications; Autotalks is developing a chipset that will use wireless communication to improve road safety; IMScouting is a global scouting company for football professionals and fans combining a revolutionary database and system with online “e-Scouting” data on global football players; and Soluto is developing a crowd-based system that will change the way our PCs work.
Investors in these companies include Rainbow Medical, Gemini Israel Funds, Magma Venture Partners, Giza Venture Capital, and Bessemer Venture Partners.
Meanwhile, on the NASDAQ, Orckit Communications Ltd. (NASDAQ: ORCT), the Tel Aviv-based Carrier Ethernet + Transport (CE+T) networking vendor, announced last week the establishment of a new office in Thailand. The company has also appointed Monchai Kunwattanakorn as the new VP Sales for Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, where he will lead the new sales office, based in Bangkok. Kunwattanakorn brings with him vast sales and business development experience in the telecommunication industry from his previous leadership positions at Nortel, Siemens and Ericsson.
The fixed and mobile telecommunication market in Thailand continues to grow due to increasing demand for residential, enterprise and mobile services. Analyst firm HeavyReading has predicted total fixed revenues of $2 billion and total mobile revenues of $6b. for 2009. With an increase of per-population broadband subscribers by 27 percent per year, the demand for additional bandwidth and advanced services is obvious.
Orckit-Corrigent’s product lines include Carrier Ethernet + Transport (CE+T) switches – an MPLS based portfolio enabling advanced packet as well as legacy services over packet networks with a wide set of transport features, and Personalized Video Distribution systems – an advanced video distribution portfolio, optimized for IPTV, enabling multiple HD streams per home. Orckit-Corrigent markets its products directly and indirectly through strategic alliances as well as distribution and reseller partners worldwide.
Ness Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: NSTC), a global provider of IT services and solutions based in Tel Aviv, announced last week that it has been chosen by Raiffeisenbank a.s. as strategic partner and supplier of a Document Management System (DMS), which will run on the Documentum platform. Raiffeisenbank a.s. is part of Raiffeisen International, a major regional banking group in Central and Eastern Europe. The new contract will result in a multi-million dollar project.
The DMS solution proposed by Ness is based on EMC xCelerated Composition Platform (xCP), which offers a significant cost savings of up to 50% in the area of customization. At the same time it allows for a flexible response to the business requirements of the banking industry and for modification of user screens according to users’ job profiles. The savings of costs in the user training area is yet another benefit delivered by the chosen platform.
Minimizing the costs of integrating the DMS with the bank’s existing infrastructure is made possible due to EMC Process Integrator, one of the key components of the proposed solution. EMC Process Integrator supports two-way communication and integration with other systems and reduces the upgrade and operating costs of the DMS system.
Finally, Elbit Imaging (NASDAQ: EMITF) recently announced that itintends to consolidate its bio-tech and medical holdings (InSightec –60%, and Gamida Cell – 28%) under a new wholly-owned subsidiary, “ElbitMedical,” which will be traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Thefunds raised in the IPO will be used to accelerate InSightec’ssimultaneous development of several applications to treat variouscancers, including brain, breast, liver and prostate. This developmentwill allow InSightec to take rapid strides towards receiving both FDAand CE approval for these cancer treatment technologies. Additionally,the IPO will help accelerate the FDA approval process for Gamida Cell’sflagship product, StemEx, which is currently in Phase III testing, aswell as advance the product development of additional therapies.
The Elbit Medical IPO will also provide the public with an opportunityto invest directly in the group’s flagship bio-medical holdings.