Three Israeli Startups Raise a Combined $55 Million

Fundraisings bring Israeli total in just three weeks to at least $170 million.

Reuters

Three Israeli startups have raised a combined $55 million in just two days amid expectations of a banner year for high-tech financing.

AppsFlyer, a platform for measuring the efficacy of mobile advertising, said Tuesday it had raised $20 million in a round led by Fidelity Growth Partners Europe, the venture capital arm of Fidelity Worldwide Investment.

Meanwhile, Taykey, a U.S.-Israeli startup that helps advertisers see what’s trending in their target audiences, said it had raised $15 million from investors led by Innovation Endeavors and MSR Capital.

A day before, EarlySense, a Ramat Gan outfit known for its contact-free patient monitoring, closed a $20 million financing round led by Samsung Ventures, which put up half the money.

The three big fundraisings come days after Moovit, which crowdsources information on public transportation, raised a huge $50 million from investors led by the venture capital arm of Finland’s Nokia.

In the United States, venture funding surged more than 60% to $48.3 billion in 2014, according to a MoneyTree report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association this week. In Israel, startups raised $2.8 billion in the first nine months of last year – the latest available figure — a 50% increase from a year earlier.

Just three weeks into 2015, Israeli startups have raised at least $170 million, much of it in rounds exceeding $10 million, putting them on track to meet or beat the total for the second-quarter 2014, when companies raised $930 million — the most since 2000.

Critics say the cash flow signals a bubble, but most Israeli startups that have completed large rounds are mature companies that have earned their valuations based on real performance, not expectations. Investors are often strategic ones like Samsung.

AppsFlyer said Fidelity was joined by existing investors Magma Venture Partners and Pitango Venture Capital. The round was the second for the company, which has raised $28 million to date.

Founded in 2011 by CEO Oren Kaniel and Reshef Mann, AppsFlyer’s technology lets app marketers, brands and ad agencies measure the impact of their campaigns across some 800 mobile ad networks and media sources. The company says its universal software development kit has been installed over 4 billion times and can be found in nine out of every 10 smartphones.

It will use the funds to accelerate product development and open offices around the world to complement ones in San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Beijing.

EarlySense’s patient-monitoring system uses sensors placed under mattresses combined with advanced analytics to monitor patients’ heart and respiratory rates as well as movement and sleep. The goal is to prevent falls and pressure ulcers, and to keep patients more comfortable while letting clinicians quickly detect any deterioration in their health.

Existing investors joined the round including Israel’s Pitango Venture Capital; Welch Allyn, a New York-based medical diagnostic equipment provider; the Chicago venture firm JK&B; the Israeli investment firm Proseed and the Dutch foundation Noaber.

Formed in 2004 with $65 million in funds raised, EarlySense plans to use the latest proceeds to speed adoption of its system, said Ittai Harel, general partner at Pitango and chairman of EarlySense.

Apart from Innovation Endeavors, which is Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s venture arm, and MSR Capital, other Taykey investors included Tenaya Capital, Marker LLC, Sequoia Capital and SoftBank Capital. The company has raised $32 million to date.

Taykey CEO Amit Avner told the U.S. news site Business Insider that the company would use the proceeds to evolve from being just a discovery engine to a software-as-a service — or Saas — platform. This would help it design marketing campaigns.