Tech Buzz: October starts off with a bang

Israeli hi-tech companies raised more than $17.5 billion in the first nine months of 2021, far exceeding previous records.

The VinciWorks office building in Jerusalem's Technology Mall in Malcha (photo credit: Courtesy)
The VinciWorks office building in Jerusalem's Technology Mall in Malcha
(photo credit: Courtesy)

The first full week after the holiday season of the new Jewish year 5782 saw the Start-Up Nation continue where it left off, with frantic acquisition and investment activity.

Israeli hi-tech companies raised more than $17.5 billion in the first nine months of 2021, far exceeding previous records.

Perion Network, a publicly-traded Holon-based ad-tech company, acquired another Israeli company, video monetization platform Vidazoo, for up to $93.5 million, to accelerate its rapidly growing video advertising business. Vidazoo, founded in 2014 and headquartered in Tel Aviv, allows digital publishers to generate new, incremental revenue through its unique set of video products. The deal consists of $35m. in cash up front, and up to $58.5m. if certain performance targets are achieved.

Otonomo, a vehicle data platform, acquired AI-powered Mobility Intelligence company Neura for an estimated $50m. Otonomo’s newly expanded mobility intelligence platform will leverage Neura’s advanced analytics, the companies said. Otonomo also launched new solutions leveraging Neura technologies to provide transportation planners, EV service providers, MaaS providers, fleets and others, with actionable insights for planning and operating sustainable transportation networks. Both companies are based in Herzliya.

Israel Start up (credit: INGIMAGE)Israel Start up (credit: INGIMAGE)

US clothing giant Gap acquired Herzliya-based retail analytics company Contex-Based 4 Casting (CB4). CB4 Analytics provides predictive analytics solutions to help provide data for decision-makers. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Arbe Robotics, which makes next-generation 4D Imaging Radar Solutions, will begin trading on the Nasdaq market on Friday after it completed its SPAC merger with Industrial Tech Acquisitions at a company valuation of $525m. The company will trade under the ticker symbol ARBE.

On the financing front, Orca Security said it raised $550m. in its extended Series C fundraising round led by Temasek, an investment company headquartered in Singapore. The round boosted its valuation 50% in just seven months to $1.8b. The company has seen year-over-year growth of 800%, the company said.

Tel Aviv-based NeuroBlade said it secured $83m. in Series B funding, bringing total invested capital to $110m. The investment was led by Corner Ventures. NeuroBlade has developed a new data analytics architecture that eliminates major data movement bottlenecks by integrating the data processing function inside memory, better known as processing-in-memory (PIM). The financing will be put to work as the company expands its engineering teams in Tel Aviv and builds out its sales and marketing teams globally.

Aquant, a Service Intelligence Platform for service leaders, reps, and teams, raised $70m. in Series C funding, in a round led by Qumra Capital, Insight Partners, and Pitango Growth. Aquant has now raised a total of $110m. The investment will support the growth and advance its industry-leading service intelligence technology.

IT CENTRAL STATION, an enterprise technology review platform, said that it closed a $30m. Series A funding round led by Invictus Growth Partners (“Invictus”). Over the past year, The Modi’in-based company said it enabled 97 of the Fortune 100 to research technology buying decisions, grew ARR by over 120%, surpassed 500,000 registered members, and was visited by 3.5 million enterprise software buyers in the $4 trillion annual market for enterprise IT spending. The funding will be used to rebrand as PeerSpot, expand into new enterprise technology categories, and accelerate sales and marketing, it said.

Adaptive Shield, a SaaS Security Posture Management company, raised $30m. in a Series A round of financing led by Insight Partners. Through this funding, which follows a 2019 $4m. seed round, Adaptive Shield will enable more companies to finally secure their SaaS stacks, many of which are already compromised due to misconfiguration, the company said.

Duality Technologies, a provider of privacy-enhanced data collaboration solutions, raised a $30m. Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to $49m. The round was led by LG Technology Ventures. The company, located in Herut in central Israel, will use the funds to expand its go-to-market operations, advance its partnerships with leading technology vendors, and further cement its product and technology leadership, it said.

VOOM, creators of innovative insurance products for underserved mobility segments, announced $15m. in funding to expand its usage-based insurance model to additional mobility verticals. The funding round was co-led by JAL Ventures and UP. Partners and brings VOOM’s total funding to $22m. Already the category leader for drones with tens of thousands of policies, VOOM launched the world’s first Per-Mile insurance product for motorcycles in August and is expanding to offer usage-based insurance solutions for light aircraft, leisure vehicles and gig drivers.

Several new venture capital funds were announced this week. NFX, a seed-stage venture firm based in San Francisco and Israel, announced a $450m. Fund III is dedicated solely to seed and pre-seed-stage start-ups. NFX was founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs who founded and built 10 companies that exited for more than a cumulative $10b. The fund is projected to support 70 companies whose founders specialize in fintech, marketplaces, gaming, and proptech sectors, and increases investment in tech-bio and crypto.

Meanwhile, Eight Roads, a global venture capital fund, also announced its fourth fund, with $450m. for European and Israeli scale-ups. The fund will invest in 15 to 20 ambitious companies that have reached product-market-fit, across all technology sectors including consumer, software-as-a-service, fintech, and healthtech, with an initial check size of $5m. to $50m. per company, the fund said.

Finally, global venture investing platform OurCrowd said it was named the most active venture capital investor in Israel for the ninth year in a row in a ranking published by investment industry site PitchBook. OurCrowd has $1.8b. of committed funding, and investments in more than 280 portfolio companies and 30 venture funds, it said.