The U.S.-based Canaan Partners venture capital firm has established a new Israeli venture capital fund that has secured initial commitments of $30 million, to be invested in Internet and mobile technology software companies. The financing was concluded during this summer’s fighting between Israel and Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip, but has only become public now and Canaan Partners has not offered to comment. Initial investors include Chinese electronics giant Lenovo. The fund was established by Izhar Shay, who has been the Israeli partner in Canaan Partners, and who was responsible for the American firm’s investments in companies such as PrimeSense, N-trig and LiveU; and Ehud Levy, who until recently was a partner at Vertex Venture Capital, where he invested in Waze, which was then sold to Google. Canaan Partners’ Israel fund is being managed independently of its American counterpart.
California JCC sponsoring Israeli high-tech photo exhibit
A Jewish community center in California’s Silicon Valley is seeking to connect its 10,000 members, a number of whom work in the local technology sector, with Israel’s startup sector through a photo competition and exhibit. The Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City, about halfway between San Jose and San Francisco, wants shots that at once highlight Israel-based startups’ technologies and their employees’ spirit. Kimberly Gordon, the cultural arts director at the JCC, says photos should include the company’s staffers engaged with, connected to or simply displaying their technology at their offices, along with a plain-English description of what the tech is designed to do. “It’s their opportunity to brag,” and “we’re proud to shine a light on it,” she says.
Big Panda raises $7 million in funding round
Big Panda, which is engaged in the automation incident management for the information technology sector, announced Tuesday that it had raised $7 million in a funding round led by the Mayfield venture capital firm with participation from Sequoia Capital. Big Panda, which is headquartered in Mountain View, California, but has offices in Tel Aviv as well, was founded in 2012 by CEO Assaf Resnick and Elik Eisenberg, its VP for research and development. The company says it plans to use the funding to accelerate its growth plans, adding that it has raised a total of $8.5 million to date.