In the News: Fixya, Intercure, Mazor, Perytons

According to webware, tech-support startup Fixya will announce a partnership with Best Buy whereby “customers wanting to perform their own fixes (or trying to dig others out of trouble) can go to the Best Buy Web site and access http://geeksquad.fixya.com from the “Customer Service” tab. They can search by product, SKU, manufacturer, or product category, or post a new query and receive community troubleshooting” for free. This is sure to boost traffic on Fixya’s site, which already claims over 6 million views per month. The site also boasts more than 30,000 “geek” contributors.

InterCure Ltd., a medical device company (TASE: INCR), announced yesterday that its RESPeRATE hypertension treatment device, clinically-proven to significantly lower blood pressure, will launch into full-scale retail distribution in the UK this May through leading pharmacy chain Lloyds.

“The full-chain launch of RESPeRATE at Lloyds Pharmacy clearly demonstrates the broad appeal of our effective and truly natural device-guided breathing therapy for hypertension,” said Erez Gavish, president and CEO of InterCure. Sixteen million adults in the UK suffer from high blood pressure. Left untreated, it may lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney or heart failure.

Founded in 2005 and based in Ness Ziona, Perytons provides developers, implementers and field engineers with analyzers for standard and proprietary wireless communication protocols. The startup announced today an enhanced version of it’s multi-antenna multi-channel 802.15.4/ZigBee analyzer based on Integration Associates EZLink 802.15.4 USB dongles. The tool provides the capability to analyze and track multiple network sessions that coincide in time in a user friendly manner. “We are excited to provide our customers a feature rich, user friendly analysis tool with very high reliability needed for analyzing sophisticated wireless networks.” – Yaron Soffer, Perytons Founder and CEO.

Mazor Surgical Technologies, a 2001-founded provider of the SpineAssist, a miniature surgical assistance system for a wide range of spine procedures, has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Mazor has received exclusive, worldwide licenses to two patents for the development of permanent implants for the spine.

CEO Ori Hadomi predicts that the product, which has already undergone a feasibility study, can reach market within a year. He adds that the product will open a new market to the company – orthopedic implants – and that it can also boost sales of Mazor’s own SpineAssist product line.

Finally, check out this Globes article about a Israel Venture Capital Research Center survey that shows that high tech start-ups in Israel have not been affected so far by a possible global slowdown, and that in fact venture capital funding is at a seven-year high.

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Israel Delivers: TechnoSpin, Gizmox, Endogun, Applicure

Today Israel’s innovators made all kinds of headlines from cleantech to medical devices to software security.

Let’s start with TechnoSpin. The four year old startup has raised $8 million from US VC 21 Ventures. They develop and produce rotors for small wind turbines which, it claims, are cheaper to produce and more easily assembled than competitor’s products, and can be operated on 80% of the earth’s surface – not just in high-wind areas. TechnoSpin also develops wind turbine gears which produce torque that is then converted into electrical power. Check out an interview with the CEO, Maxim Rakov.

 

Next on the list is Gizmox. This 2006-formed web application design startup announced today that it has reached an agreement to market its software through Microsoft marketing platforms. The Maayan Ventures portfolio company will use its Ajax-based environment for running web applications to enhance Microsoft’s Visual Studio environment development partnership program.

 

Then there’s Endogun Medical Systems. The 2004-founded graduate of Meytag Technology Incubatorand now Biomedix Incubator portfolio company has announced FDA approval for its internal soft-tissue fastening solution. This procedure, a key element of many Minimally Invasive Surgeries (MIS), is difficult to perform. Endogun’s technology, apparently, makes MIS procedures more safe, effective and simpler to perform.

 

Finally, Applicure Technologies released a statement via email that it has signed an agreement with British Trafalgar Capital Management for an investment of up to $5 million over a three year period. The four year old company, which is still negotiating with other investors in Israel and abroad for additional financing, creates software-based products for web application security and database compliance.

IBM Acquires Storage Startup Filesx

IBM is on a rampage.  After scooping up XIV, partnering with Siverge and now talking with Ctrue and Diligent Technologies, it has now signed an agreement to buy FilesX, an Israeli data-recovery startup founded in 2000.  The startup’s flagship technology, Xpress Restore, allows instant recovery of critical systems, servers and applications to any point-in-time.

According to Globes, IBM is paying $70-90 million for FilesX whose technology it will incorporate into its Tivoli Storage Manager family of products, IBM’s flagship suite of data protection and information infrastructure offerings.  “With its patented technology, FilesX helps IT staff restore data from virtually any type of failure and from nearly any point in time. FilesX offerings may be particularly attractive in environments where IT skills and budgets are limited, as it is considered easy to use and offers self-managing features.”

Al Zollar, general manager of Tivoli software, IBM, said the acquisition would “complement IBM’s vision of enterprise data protection by adding critical capabilities for remote offices, delivering continuous data protection for applications and servers, and supporting business user needs with nearly instantaneous recovery of data,” . 

FilesX, which is now headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, initially raised $20 million from Benchmark Capital, Genesis Partners, and Index Ventures. 

Check out the press release for more details.

IBM and Siemens Vying for CTrue

ctrue_logo12.jpgIBM recently bought Israeli storage start-up XIV for $350 million, but according to Haaretz it’s now looking to buy another Israeli start-up, CTrue Ltd. Apparently IBM is not alone in tempting the secretive firm into its giant nest – Siemens also wants a piece of the pie.

But Rehovot-based CTrue, which specializes in three-dimensional imagery and biometric identification based on physiological data, isn’t interested …just yet.

According to CTrue’s business development manager, Shai Yaakobi, the start-up has met separately with both companies and has received initial offers in the $80 million range. But CTrue, which was founded just two years ago, may bet that it can make double or triple that or even more if it plays its cards right.

Check out the Haaretz piece here.

Microsoft Nabs Kidaro for an Estimated $100M

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Microsoft has announced its intentions to buy Israeli start-up Kidaro, a leading provider of desktop virtualization solutions for enterprises. Analysts estimate the price at a whopping $90-100 million. According to inside sources, the unexpected offer was set up by Opus Ventures Partner Dan Avida, former CEO and President of Decru. He was also in charge of putting his former colleague, Kevin Brown, at Kidaro’s helm.

Kidaro, which was chugging along just fine at a high-growth pace, wasn’t planning to sell itself. But apparently this offer was just too good to refuse. The deal is expected to yield Kidaro investors Pitango Partners and Opus Capital a return of five times their initial investments.

Microsoft’s press release explains its reasons for the acquisition: “In combining Kidaro’s virtualization technology with its suite of desktop management tools, known as the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assurance, Microsoft will enable IT professionals to optimize their desktop infrastructure by providing management capabilities for Virtual PCs, streamlining deployments and easing application compatibility issues.”

According to Shanen Boettcher, general manager of Windows product management at Microsoft, “The acquisition of Kidaro is an important component of our virtualization strategy, and it delivers a powerful new tool to help enterprise customers optimize their desktops.”…”Kidaro’s seamless user interface and management capabilities allow enterprises to more easily use and manage Virtual PCs.” Kidaro’s technology “further enables virtualization across the enterprise, and is another example of how we are helping customers keep up with the changing needs of their business.”

For more on this big deal check out Microsoft’s press release.

Eyeblaster to Launch IPO on Nasdaq

logo_eyeblaster.gifAccording to Haaretz, Eyeblaster, an Israeli company founded in 1999 and valued at $300 million which develops rich media technologies is preparing to raise tens of millions of dollars this year by launching its IPO on Nasdaq. The company, which is headed by CEO and co-founder Gal Trifon, had initially raised $2 million from private investors and strategic partners and an additional $8 million in 2003 from Insight Venture Partners. Recently it raised another $30 million from private investors such as former Koor chairman Jonathan Kolber and Eli Barkat of BRM Capital.

Eyeblaster, who’s main competitor is DoubleClick, has 20 offices in 15 countries and over 200 employees. It “empowers Media Agencies, Creative Agencies and Advertisers to plan, create, serve, manage and measure online campaigns that deliver on the promise of digital marketing” and “provide cutting-edge campaign management tools and the skilled resources to successfully implement and operate them.” It served more than 84,000 advertising campaigns in 2006, 35% of which included video. Companies that incorporate Eyeblaster technology include Yahoo!, NYTimes.com, Disney, Coca Cola, General Motors and Unilever and numerous creative and media agencies worldwide.

For more info check out the company’s highlights.

Israeli VC’s Invest $4.25M in U.S.-Based Proficiency

proficiency.pngIsrael’s Catalyst Investment, along with Carmel Ventures and Pitango Venture Capital have invested $4.25M in Boston-based Proficiency, a “leading developer of solutions that enable manufacturers and their suppliers to extract and share product knowledge from diverse engineering and manufacturing environments.”

According to Yair Shamir, CEO of Catalyst, “Proficieny has revolutionized the way people view their product when it is sent as a 3-D model from one CAD computer workstation to another.” Catalyst said its network of connections in the aerospace and automotive industries would help Proficiency expand its reach to new users.

What is Catalyst Investment? According to their website:

“Catalyst Funds are Israeli-based private equity funds investing in mature technology-related companies that are in pre-IPO, expansion, buyouts, or turnaround phases”. They target companies that answer market needs with high-growth potential in Europe and North America. “Our goal is to provide maturing companies with the necessary resources to attain global leadership in their respective market sectors.”

For more info check out Proficiency’s press release

Or this article (in Hebrew) from Globes.