Tech Buzz: Deel raises $425m. as mega-deal trend grows

Israel's hi-tech sector is exceeding all expectations this year, raising more than $19 billion so far, and is on pace to more than double previous fundraising records.

 Deel founder Alex Bouaziz (photo credit: Courtesy)
Deel founder Alex Bouaziz
(photo credit: Courtesy)

It was another wild week for the start-up nation, with two new mega-rounds above $100 million.

Israel's hi-tech sector is exceeding all expectations this year, raising more than $19 billion so far, and is on pace to more than double previous fundraising records.

The scope of investments in Israel seems to be growing further after four mega-rounds were announced last week. The third quarter of 2021 had a total of 21 rounds of more than $100m., IVC and the Meitar law firm noted in a report last week.

Deel, a remote hiring company, raised $425m. in Series D funding this week, taking the total amount raised by the company to over $630m. The latest funding round values the company at $5.5 billion, making it the highest valued company in the global hiring, payments and compliance space with this investment. Since Deel’s inception in 2019, the team has grown from four to 400 employees and serves more than 4,500 customers worldwide like Coinbase, Intercom and Shopify in over 150 countries.

Cato Networks raised $200m. at a market valuation of $2.5 billion, in a round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Founded in 2015 in Tel Aviv, the provider of cloud-based secure enterprise networks said the new funds will fuel its sales, technology and business growth to further support the security and global networking needs of large enterprises.

SeaLights, the developer of a software quality governance platform, secured a $30m. funding round led by Red Dot Capital Partners, bringing its total funding to $50m. This round of funding will dramatically accelerate SeaLights' growth, enabling global expansion of its team while continuing the development and release of new features and products to address software quality risks, the six-year-old Kfar Sava-based company said., a Tel Aviv-based data-management platform, raised $22m. in seed funding to expand its R&D, marketing and sales efforts and lay the groundwork for a US expansion. The company also unveiled its core product, a DataOps platform designed to help enterprises and small businesses quickly build and deploy complex dataflow infrastructures, reducing the time needed to start generating actionable business insights.

Insurights raised $22m. in seed investment led by Group 11. The platform is designed to bring on-demand, personally tailored answers to any employee with questions on how to navigate their employer-provided health benefits, regardless of their insurance provider. The two-year-old company said it will use the funds to build and scale its fast-growing team with seasoned experts in the healthcare and insurance industries.

Deci, whose platform helps enterprises build, optimize and deploy AI to production, completed a $21 million Series A round led by Insight Partners. The investment comes 12 months after Deci secured more than $9 million in seed funding and brings the total funding to $30.1 million. The funds will be used to accelerate Deci’s commercial growth by expanding sales, marketing and customer success operations globally. Deci was named by Gartner as a Tech Innovator for Edge AI and was also included in the 2021 CB Insights AI 100 List as a top deep learning accelerator and Wired’s hottest startups of 2021 list.

Valence, a cybersecurity company, raised $7m. in seed funding led by YL Ventures. Formed earlier this year in Tel Aviv, the company focused on managing the risks from third-party integrations, which it called the "business application mesh," by delivering visibility, reducing unauthorized access and preventing data loss.