Tech Buzz: Busy week as Guardicore acquired for $600m.

Despite the Sukkot holiday, Israeli tech companies showed no signs of slowing down this week. Here is a breakdown of tech developments.

 Guardicore's founders.  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Guardicore's founders.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Despite the Sukkot holiday, Israeli tech companies showed no signs of slowing down this week.

On Wednesday, digital-content security giant Akamai Technologies said it had acquired Tel Aviv’s Guardicore for $600 million. The eight-year-old cloud-security company offers a micro-segmentation solution that limits user access for applications.

Akamai said it would add Guardicore to its extensive Zero Trust security portfolio. Guardicore has raised about $106m. from investors over the years, and it has some 350 employees in Israel and abroad.

Nasdaq-traded Akamai has acquired several Israeli companies in the past, including Cotendo in 2012 for some $250m. and ChameleonX in 2019 for an estimated $20m.

Hod Hasharon-based Valens Semiconductor was set to go public on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday following the completion of its SPAC merger with PTK Acquisition Corp. at a market valuation of $1.1 billion.

The provider of high-speed connectivity solutions for the audio-video and automotive markets will now trade under the ticker symbol VLN both on the NYSE and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

The offering raised about $155m. for the company and investors. The proceeds will be used to accelerate development and commercialization of Valens’s next-generation products and to fully fund the company through profitability.

On the venture-capital investment front, customer-success company Totango raised $100m. in Series D funding, led by Great Hill Partners.

The 11-year-old company helps organizations rapidly and continuously design, optimize and run every aspect of their customer journey to onboard new customers, drive adoption and value for their users and proactively detect and resolve churn risks.

This investment will fund the expansion of Totango’s product-led-growth, go-to-market strategy, product development and other strategic growth initiatives, the company said.

Optimove, a CRM marketing company, raised $75m., led by global growth investor Summit Partners. The financing will support continued investment in strategic hiring and M&A, expansion of the company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform and further acceleration of the company’s growth.

Headquartered in Tel Aviv and operating from offices in New York and London, Optimove was bootstrapped for its first five years and has scaled quickly, while maintaining healthy profit margins, since its founding in 2012.

Netanya-based Speedata, whose analytics processing unit is designed to accelerate Big Data analytic workloads across industries, announced a $55m. Series A round, led by Walden Catalyst Ventures, 83North and Koch Disruptive Technologies. The round brings Speedata’s total amount raised to $70m., including a previously undisclosed $15m. seed round led by Viola and Pitango.

EquityBee, which makes an employee-focused, stock-options funding solution, announced $55m. in new Series B funding, led by existing investor Group 11. EquityBee helps start-up employees receive capital to exercise stock options before they expire, which enables them to participate in their companies’ liquidity events and actually get what they earned.

The investment will be used to advance development of EquityBee’s platform, expand product and service offerings and accelerate hiring in EquityBee’s Palo Alto- and Tel Aviv-based offices. The round increases EquityBee’s total funding to $83m., following the company’s rapid and consistent growth.

Avo, a residential and office delivery platform operating in the US, said it raised $45m. in Series B funding, led by Insight Partners.

The Tel Aviv-based company said it would use the funding to accelerate its mission to deliver groceries, alcohol, electronics, personal-care items and other products by expanding operations rapidly across 10 major markets in the next 12 months. The company launched in 2017, originally delivering baby products to parents at nurseries in Tel Aviv.

Empathy, a platform that helps families navigate the journey they face after losing a loved one, raised $30m. in Series A funding., led by Entrée Capital.

Since launching this past April with $13m. in seed funding, Empathy’s app has supported bereaved families by streamlining their logistics and guiding them through the processes of probate, estate administration, taxes and other bureaucratic tasks associated with loss.

The funding will be used to further expand Empathy’s presence across the US by releasing new products, fostering additional strategic partnerships and growing its team, the Tel Aviv-based company said.

Genetika+, a female-founded, Jerusalem-based start-up focused on developing personalized medicine for psychiatric conditions, closed a $10m. Series A funding round, led by GreyBird Ventures, a Boston-based VC focused on precision medicine.

Genetika+’s novel Brain-in-a-Dish technology personalizes antidepressant treatment for each patient, using a blood sample to predict the best antidepressant or combination therapy for that patient. This approach eliminates months or years of trial-and-error prescribing for depression patients, often accompanied by debilitating side effects.

The platform will be used in the future to develop personalized solutions for conditions across the psychiatric and neurological space, the company said.

Tel Aviv’s Appwrite raised $10m. in a seed round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Flybridge. Appwrite is a self-hosted solution that offers developers a set of easy-to-integrate APIs to manage their core back-end needs.

Its focus on simplicity, security and performance has helped it become one of the fastest growing open-source projects on GitHub today, with over 10,000 stars, more than 30,000 developers joining the Appwrite community in the last four months and more than 250 code contributors around the globe.

Tailormed Medical extended its latest B Round of funding to $25m. The company helps healthcare organizations and patients remove financial barriers to care by automating the entire process of identifying financially at-risk patients, matching and enrolling them in financial resources such as co-pay assistance, replacement drug programs, government subsidies, community and state resources, assistance from disease-specific foundations and programs that support patients with their living expenses.

The five-year-old company said it would use the funding to further expand its reach across healthcare with innovative financial solutions.

Jerusalem-based Joyned completed a $4m. seed round of financing. The company’s platform is designed to redirect a retailer’s online social activity from social-media networks to its website, reducing the cost of customer acquisition, maximizing conversion rates and building loyalty.

Joyned customers have reported a 6%-15% increase in revenues and up to a 250% growth in customer retention rate, leading to a 40% rise in traffic, the company said.

Among the round’s investors was Yair Goldfinger, one of the founders of Israel’s Mirabilis, the developer of ICQ, which was sold 23 years ago to AOL for $407m. The company will use the funds to expand its marketing and sales efforts to meet the demand for its platform among fashion, tourism and consumer-electronics companies.