Tech Buzz: Israeli start-ups celebrate four mega-rounds in one week

In total, Israeli companies have raised an incredible $17.78b. in the first nine months of the year, already 71% higher than the total raised in all of 2020.

 Wiz employees. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Wiz employees.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

With four mega-rounds of more than $100 million announced this week, and more than $850m. raised, it was another wild week for the start-up nation.

Israeli hi-tech companies raised a whopping $5.89 billion in 177 deals between July and September, IVC and the Meitar law firm said in a report Wednesday. In total, Israeli companies have raised an incredible $17.78b. in the first nine months of the year, already 71% higher than the total raised in all of 2020.

We’ll start with venture financing.

Just 18 months after launching, cloud security darling Wiz raised $250m. in Series C funding at a huge $6b. billion valuation, making it the fastest-growing cybersecurity start-up ever. The round was co-led by Greenoaks and Insight Partners.

Wiz gives companies instant coverage of their entire cloud across multiple environments, like Azure, AWS and Google, to prioritize risks and find attack vectors no other product can. Founded by an Israeli cyber team that built Microsoft Cloud Security into a $2b. business, Wiz now has 168 employees, and has attracted over 10% of the Fortune 500 as customers. The company previously raised money in May 2021 at a $1.8b. valuation.

TripActions announced $275m. in Series F growth funding at a post-money valuation of $7.25b. The Israeli-founded travel and spend management platform says it is disrupting the corporate travel market for businesspeople, and underscores the increased demand for end-to-end, corporate travel, payments and expense-management technology.

Illustrative photo of Israeli money (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Illustrative photo of Israeli money (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

TripActions was founded in 2015, and set up its Israeli R&D office in 2021 with 25 people. It plans on adding more than 150 workers in the UK, Israel, and across Europe this fiscal year. The company has raised nearly $1.3b. in funding to date.

Hibob, which offers an HR platform for fast-growing mid-sized businesses, announced $150m. in Series C funding. This round brings the company’s total investment to $274m. since Hibob was founded in late 2015. The new funding will be used to drive continued global expansion and develop innovative work tech modules that are designed to support customers’ growth, the Tel Aviv-based company said. The “bob” platform has achieved triple-digit revenue growth each year from 2017 to 2021, it added.

AI chipmaker Hailo today said it raised $136m. in a Series C funding round led by Poalim Equity and Gil Agmon. The Tel Aviv-based company has doubled its customer base to more than 100 clients over the last two quarters, as more enterprises seek out AI solutions that empower sensors and smart devices at lower costs, lower energy and greater power. The round brings Hailo’s total funding to $224m. It has opened offices in Tokyo, Taipei, Munich and Silicon Valley in the past year.

Karma, a browser-based AI shopping assistant and shopping network, closed $25m. in Series-A funding. The Tel Aviv-based company said it will use the funding to grow its team, double down on AI, machine learning and predictive analytics, scale its user base and expand into adjacent market opportunities. Karma’s smart digital shopping assistant offers a clever shopping planner, automatic coupon finder, cash rewards and price/inventory tracking, with more innovative features in the works. Karma has delivered savings of more than $144m. to three million users in 2021, and helps boost sales, deliver new customers and lower shopping cart abandonment for more than 20,000 retail partners on its unified shopping network, the company said.

AT-BAY, a digital insurance company for businesses, closed a $20m. extension to its Series D financing, brings the round to $205m. and valuing the company at $1.35b. The round was originally closed at $185m. in July. At-Bay, founded in 2016, has raised $292m. to date.

Fintech startup Futora completed a $6m. fundraising round. Futora’s vision is to enable personal investment products, typically reserved for high net-worth individuals, to be available and accessible to all. Founded in 2020, the company’s technology allows banks and financial institutions to instantly create investment products that are personally customized for each client. The funds raised will support ongoing product development and in building the sales processes in Europe and the US, the company said.

Moving over to the M&A field, Spacecom, a satellite services provider and owner-operator of the AMOS satellite fleet, said that Hungarian telecommunications company 4iG acquired a 51% stake in the company for $68m. The price represents a 50% premium over Spacecom’s average share price on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange over the past six months. The deal is expected to strengthen Spacecom’s operations in Eastern and Central Europe and enable additional synergies with companies within the 4iG Group, the company said.

US-based connected sports company Slinger acquired 12-year old Kfar Saba-based PlaySight Interactive, a provider of sports video technology, data capture, analytics and automated video production, for $82m. The deal expands Slinger’s footprint in the global tennis market and accelerates its growth into new sports, the company said. Selected twice by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in Sports, PlaySight has attracted investment from athletes including Billie Jean King, Novak Djokovic, Chris Evert, Pete Sampras, among others.

Petah Tikva-based Digital Intelligence firm Cellebrite acquired Herzliya-based open-source intelligence firm Digital Clues for an undisclosed amount. The deal reinforces Cellebrite’s position as an end-to-end technology partner capable of digitizing the entire investigative workflow, and is expected to aid in growing the company’s footprint within law enforcement intelligence and investigation units across the globe. Digital Clues was founded in 2010, and has more than 20 employees. Cellebrite’s stock is up about 11% on the Nasdaq since the announcement at the beginning of the week.

Finally, a few new funds raised money this week. Herzliya-based venture capital firm Vintage Investment Partners raised $812m. for two new funds. A $500m. fund of funds will invest in other VCs, and a $312m. fund will look to buy secondary shares of companies owned by other investors. Vintage’s founder, Alan Feld, immigrated to Israel from Canada in 1994.

Angular Ventures closed its second fund, with $80m., doubling down on its strategy of backing European and Israeli companies at the earliest and riskiest stages. The new fund, nearly double the size of the firm’s first fund, was raised in a matter of weeks, it said. The firm typically leads rounds, usually within the first $1m. of investment, and often the very first round, and can now write larger checks of $250,000 to $3m.