Israel

Acquisition by Amazon Caps Week With Israeli Startups Raising $910 Million

Israeli startups raised $910 million last week, according to a report yesterday at tech website GeekTime. The deals were highlighted by the first Israeli acquisition by e-commerce giant Amazon.

The majority of funding that Israeli startups raised last week were through acquisitions, totaling $770 million. The largest of these deals, which comprised almost half of the total Israeli acquisitions from last week, was Amazon’s purchase of Annapurna Labs for $370 million, also marking Amazon’s first acquisition in the holy land. Originally reported in Calcalist (in Hebrew), Annapurna Labs’ extremely secretive technology is supposedly “building the next generation semiconductor platform.”

Israeli startups also raised $140 million in funding rounds, including cloud based testing company Ravello ($28 million …), app promotion campaign tracker AppsFlyer ($20 million), and patient smart sensor startup EarlySense ($20 million …). Alibaba also made their investment in an Israeli company, QR code beautifier Visualead, for an estimated $5 million.

Geektime also reported that announcements of initial public offerings are likely to come in February and March.

TechCrunch quoted Israeli venture capitalist Yaron Carni, who said that last year’s success for Israeli startups will be a harbinger for even greater success in 2015, especially with China showing a growing interest in Israel’s tech sector:

“While in the past you would tend to see more American companies followed by European companies acquiring Israeli start-ups, nowadays it is evident that China has developed an ever growing appetite for Israeli tech. Both trends are good and diversity of start-ups pollinates the ecosystem. … We have made several investments in the past year since inception (and specifically in the past month) and it is clear that exciting times are ahead for all of us.”

Rubi Suliman, another expert interviewed, was similarly enthusiastic:

“The amounts invested in Israeli hi-tech are going up, many funds are raising money and new investors are joining. The entrepreneurial bug’ is spreading across’ Israel, and we are thus expected to see ever more start-ups popping up.”

Israeli startups raised nearly $15 billion in 2014, meeting optimistic projections from the beginning of the year.

[Photo: The Official 700 Club / YouTube ]