Tveez, MediaBoost and AdYouNet Score $$$

Online advertising and marketing startups are thriving in Israel and raising large amounts from VCs in the process.  Here are three that have made headlines:

Tveez Marketing Intelligence is a point-of-purchase marketing company founded in 2004 that supplies consumer-oriented companies with proactive sales and marketing management technology, enabling them to increase sales and deliver superior customer service.  They’ve recently raised $15 million, according to Haaretz, in a round led by Giza and Benchmark Capital, and include Yair Goldfinger(one of the founders of Mirabilis, developer of ICQ, sold to AOL for $400 million) amongst their founders.  Their clients include McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, HSBC and Sheraton Hotels and they’ve recently signed a $10 million deal with Citibank.  Read all about their main product, TVeezMI.

 

MediaBoost has raised $1 million from Teuza – A Fairchild Technology Venture, according to Globes, adding to the $500,000 they invested in the company last year, as part of the latest round to raise a few million dollars in financing.  The online advertising startup was founded in 2005 by CEO Alon Matasand VP Business Development Uri Shtrichman to create technologies and products that automate and optimize decision-making for online media buying.  Their group of “scientists” use tools ranging from game theory to operations research algorithms to create software which aims to improve “bottom-line profits from online campaigns.”  In 2006 they launched their flagship product, Adbooster, which is tailored specifically for advertising in Google AdWords.

 

AdYouNet Technologies is a “stealth mode” online advertising company founded in 2007 that has raised NIS 3.5 million from its current investors Xenia Venture Capital Ltd.(TASE:XENA) and NetService Ventures, according to Globes.  The startup is developing a CRM advertising application over the web that enables one-to-one identification of targeted users to deliver a tailored advertisement campaign. 

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Arts Alliance Invests in Kenshoo

Ramat Gan-Based start-up Kenshoo has developed Search Engine Marketing (SEM) technology which allows automation of some of the tedious tasks involved in building online marketing campaigns. After receiving initial funding from Sequoia Capital in 2007, it has now received an additional injection of investment from Arts Alliance, a venture capital firm investing primarily in European companies.

Kenshoo’s platform, known as KENSHOO SEARCH, aims to automate and manage processes such as selecting relevant keywords, updating deep link URL’s, creating effective ads, providing and constantly updating bids, monitoring traffic, structuring cross platform campaigns and reporting and analyzing data on-time. According to their website, the platform works with the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Thomas Hoegh, Managing Partner of Arts Alliance and a Board Member of Kenshoo, said they were impressed with Kenshoo’s innovative approach to search engine marketing. “This is a great team that has developed market-leading technology that solves the problems of online advertising by using a unique Quality Management approach.” He hopes the investment will help expand an already impressive list of clients.

Yoav Izhar-Prato, CEO and co-founder of Kenshoo, added that a “high calibre investor like Arts Alliance is an important endorsement of Kenshoo’s business and we believe they will be instrumental in helping Kenshoo to expand its market share both in the UK and in continental Europe.”

Check out the press release for more info.

Follow-Up: Eyeblaster Launches IPO

logo_eyeblaster.gifEyeblaster officially filed its Nasdaq IPO today hoping to raise enough cash to viably compete with online ad giants Google and Microsoft. Both of those companies have made clear their goals of competing fiercely to dominate the internet marketing field; Google recently bought DoubleClick for $3.2 billion and Microsoft bought Atlas Media for $6 billion.

Eyeblaster is seeking to raise $115 million to help fund its development of online marketing campaign solutions and become the dominant player in this lucrative field. Though it all began on a small scale back in 1999 in Ra’anana, Israel, the firm now has offices in 23 countries, is headquartered in New York, and counts MSN, Yahoo and AOL among its clients.

While it may seem an inauspicious time to be trying to raise money on Wallstreet, the firm is confidently pushing ahead. And it may just be the right time for such a move, as its revenues grew 62% to $44 million in 2007, and net profits rose 98% to 7.4 million, according to the Marker.

Check out this earlier post on Eyeblaster or the official press release for more info.