Business in Brief: Wix's Founders Invest in Crowdfunding Startup

Wix's founders branch out; more cash for R&D gurus; IronSource snaps up Upopa.

Ofer Vaknin

Wix's founders invest in crowdfunding startup
The founders of Wix, the Israeli company that provides website development tools, have invested in startup give2gether, which is developing a platform for crowdfunding and other fund-raising by nonprofit groups. The scale of the investment by Wix execs Avishai and Nadav Abrahami and Giora Kaplan has not been disclosed, but give2gether CEO Arnon Shafir said his firm had raised a total of $2.1 million so far. The Wix investors will not be involved in give2gether’s day-to-day operations. Based on a game-theory approach in an effort to refine fund-raising, give2gether charges a monthly fee that starts at $300 plus a 5% commission on contributions raised. Clients also have the option for a $400 monthly fee and a 4.5% commission. (Amitai Ziv)

More money for R&D experts at firms working with chief scientist
The maximum monthly salary for R&D staff at companies receiving support from the Chief Scientist’s Office is being raised to 30,000 shekels ($8,300) from 25,000 shekels, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Chief Scientist Avi Hasson said. The step is one of a series designed to boost firms receiving aid from Hasson’s office, which is part of the Economy Ministry. The move will go into effect next year, with requests due by next month. “Precisely when there are signs of an economic slowdown do we need to fuel the engines of growth,” Bennett said. Hasson, addressing the state’s across-the-board budget cut to help cover the Gaza war, said that although his office was trying to “overcome” the cutbacks, they’ll hurt. (Amir Teig)

IronSource buys mobile game studio Upopa
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ronSource said Thursday it had acquired mobile game studio Upopa, adding expertise in this sector to IronLabs, its innovation lab. Financial details were not disclosed on the deal between the two Israeli companies. IronSource provides services to mobile and desktop application developers, helping them distribute and make money from their apps. “We are always looking for ways to bring new capabilities to developers that can help them turn their ideas into sustainable ... businesses,” said Omer Kaplan, IronSource’s deputy CEO. Over the past year, IronSource has focused on improving its mobile offering. In one year of operation, Upopa’s games have been downloaded more than 1.35 million times. Upopa is based in Kfar Haim near Netanya; according to business website Globes, it was founded by three graduates of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. (Reuters and TheMarker)