Former U.S. Central Intelligence director David Petraeus is investing in Windward, the Tel Aviv-based ship traffic monitoring startup, the company announced Wednesday, also noting that Dan Senor, co-author of “Start-Up Nation,” the 2009 book about the Israeli high-tech industry, would also be investing in Windward. They were preceded as investors by former Israel Defense Force chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi.
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“General Petraeus’ dual perspective – as one of the world’s foremost military and intelligence experts and as a member of [U.S. private equity firm] KKR – gives him a unique vantage point on the value of Windward’s data and analytics for both security and finance,” said Windward founder and CEO Ami Daniel. He noted that the investments come as the firm marks its fifth anniversary. This is the first investment in Israel for Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director over reports that he had had an extra-marital affair with his biographer. (The Marker)
500 Startups appoints investment manager for Israel, looking to fund 10 to 20 startups
500 Startups, a Silicon Valley-based investment firm and high-tech incubator, is expanding its involvement in Israel with the appointment of Adam Benayoun, a founding partner of Binpress, which created a marketplace for software user licenses, as its investment manager in the country and a venture partner.
The announcement, which came on Tuesday, follows investments by 500 Startups in four new Israeli companies over the past two months. The fund plans to invest in ten to 20 startups in the coming year, some of which will also participate in the firm’s accelerator. 500 Startups focuses its investments, which average between $25,000 and $250,000, in seed-stage companies.
On a global basis, it has invested about $200 million in 1,200 companies, including 10 Israeli ones, over the past five years. Founding partner Dave McClure was in Israel this week to attend the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival. (Inbal Orpaz)
Tel Aviv University has one of largest number of graduates working at Google
Tel Aviv University was the only one of three universities outside the United States appearing on a list of the schools with the most graduates working at Google, the Business Insider website has reported.
The Israeli university ranked No. 20 on the list, with 288 alumni. The rankings were compiled using the LinkedIn business networking website as a database. Google has a major presence in Israel, including strikingly designed offices in Tel Aviv’s Electra Tower.
More than a third of the schools on the Business Insider list are in California, where Google is headquartered, with the No. 1 spot going to Stanford University, followed by the University of California at Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. In addition to Tel Aviv University, the non-U.S. schools featured are both in Britain – Cambridge and Oxford. (TheMarker)
Microsoft wraps up purchase of Israeli firm Adallom, will create cyber R&D center
Microsoft has completed its acquisition of Adallom, the Israeli firm that specializes in cloud-based cyber security solutions. Microsoft purchased the firm, which is headquartered in California and has its research and development center in Tel Aviv, for $250 million in cash.
The purchase will provide a base for Microsoft’s establishment of a cyber security development center in Israel. In April, Adallom completed a $30 million funding round, bringing the total since it was founded in 2012 – by three veterans of Unit 8200 of the Israel Defense Forces’ Intelligence Corps – to $49.5 million.
The company has managed to triple its revenues quarter after quarter and now has a workforce of about 90, about 50 of whom are at its Israeli development center. It is expected to double its development center staff within a year. Its 40 or so clients are mostly American and include LinkedIn and Pixar studios. (Inbal Orpaz)