Israel, the start-up nation, has attracted more and more investment into its car technology and automotive sector. In the last year, Israel’s automotive-tech sector raised $814 million in 2017, which is triple the amount that it raised in 2015.
The car start-up companies that are attracting the largest rounds of funding include Via, Valens, Moovit and Gett, the formidable taxi service which is Israel’s equivalent to Uber and Lyft. The most active investors in the region include OurCrowd, Maniv Mobility, Magma Venture Partners and Aleph – who have all been flooding in to the recent car technology show in Tel Aviv.
The car tech revolution started very well in Israel with the location tracking device Waze being sold to Google for over $1 billion in 2013. In March 2018, Intel acquired the self-driving car technology Mobileye, located in Jerusalem, for an impressive sum of $15.3 billion. The world’s largest car manufacturers have seized the opportunity to invest in Israel’s budding tech scene and Volkswagen have opened their own innovation campus in Tel Aviv this year to specialise in research and development.
Tel-Aviv based Guardian Optical Technologies recently raised $8.5 million in its latest funding round. The technology originally set up to monitor tiny heart beats in cars that were turned off, protecting infant children accidently left in cars and the vehicle would respond by turning on air conditioning – something that would have save thousands of lives over the years.
However, the software’s ability to detect motion in cars can also predict behaviour and the presence of other passengers, goods in transit and other contents. This information can be used to send phone alerts to the car owner about violence within the car or relating to items that they have left behind. For commercial purposes, it can help fleet managers and fleet insurance companies to monitor their vehicles and the goods they are transporting.
Millions in investment has also been pouring in to Israeli companies who are working on self-driving vehicles and further technology to prevent the hacking of such vehicles and their GPS sensors.
Elsewhere in Israel’s fast moving tech scene, the country has confirmed that it will be issuing formal regulation for crypto-related financial services by the end of 2018– making it the first country or State in the world to do so.
According to CryptoCompare, the introduction of Israel’s regulation on cryptocurrency and blockchain will be considered revolutionary and pay close attention to companies disclosing information about which customers are using virtual coins and what for, in an attempt to reduce money laundering and black market trade.