TuneWiki Lyric Service Raises Capital

TuneWiki, an Israeli startup founded in 2007 by two former airforce pilots and serial entrepreneurs, Amnon Sarig and Rani Cohen, recently launched a servce which allows you to listen to your music on an iPhone/iTouch and PC while scrolling the lyrics of the song in real-time.

According to TechCrunch, “The service, which was launched in December 2007, became a hit with “hundreds of thousands” of downloads to jailbroken iPhones alone (says our source), despite the very sketchy nature of the main website and the fact that only hacked iPhones can use the app.”

“A source tells us that the startup has raised an initial round of financing from Benchmark Capital’s Israel fund. General Partner Michael Eisenberg joined the board of directors. We’re still trying to track down the size of the round, and if there were any other investors.”

As far as the legal nature of publishing lyrics, the company’s website states that Universal Music has given them permission to use their lyrics, and they are trying to get permission from other publishing companies as well.

Check out this youtube video to see how it works.

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. 

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.