Digital Marketer Kenshoo Raises $20 Million

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Former U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Jerusalem, July 2012.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Kenshoo, a Tel Aviv-based digital marketing startup, has raised $20 million from a fund controlled by Bain Capital, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s company, the Calcalist financial news site reported on Monday. Existing investors, including Sequoia Israel and Sequoia U.S., joined the round. Kenshoo hasn’t officially reported on the fundraising, which brings the total the startup has raised since its founding in 2006 to $64 million. Kenshoo has developed algorithms for measuring the effectiveness of online advertising, monitoring traffic on search engines and social media networks to see in real time what advertising in attracting viewers. (TheMarker Staff)

Russia’s Flint Capital to invest in Israeli startups

The Russian investment fund Flint Capital said on Monday it is beginning operations in Israel where it will invest in information technology, media, telecoms, financial technology and consumer startups. Formed in 2013 by Dmitry Smirnov and Oleg Seydak, the fund manages $30 million alongside a sister fund called Bull Ventures, which specializes in e-commerce sites for the Russian and eastern European markets. Moscow-based Flint said it plans to invest $3 million to $5 million in 10 Israeli startups over the next year, with the first deal closing in the next few months or even sooner as some candidate companies have already received proposals. Smirnov and Seydak previously managed Finam Global, the private equity of arm of Finam Group, a Russian asset manager. (Orr Hirschauge)

Tel Aviv University sets up cyber research unit

Tel Aviv University is setting up a cyber-security research center that will work in cooperation with the government’s National Cyber Bureau. The center will operate a research fund of 10 million shekels ($2.9 million), half funded by the Nation Cyber Bureau (a Prime Minister’s Office unit) and the university. Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, chairman of the Israeli Space Agency and the National Council for Research and Development, will serve as the center’s head. Ben-Yisrael himself was instrumental in forming the National Cyber Bureau, which had a budget of 100 million shekels in 2012. The new center will sponsor research in cyber defense, cryptography and big data analysis, as well as legal and social aspects of cyber. (Orr Hirschauge)