Tech Roundup / Israeli Cooking App at Core of Apple Ad Campaign

Wix leads the way back to Wall Street; Intel Israel doubles exports; Taboola raises $15 million; Bezeq's free Cloud.

Cooking with iPad: ­ An Apple ad campaign in America features an application called "Look and Cook" - by the Israeli start-up Kinetic Art. The campaign shows a screen grab from the cooking app that contains 44 recipes by the Israeli chef Meir Adoni of the Mizlala and Catit restaurants. It's designed for use while actually preparing the dishes, with the iPad placed on the kitchen counter. The app, developed together with food photographer Dan Peretz and stylist Amit Ferber, was officially released by Apple Store two months ago. Kinetic Art is headed by Oren Huberman, who was until three months ago editor of the Calcalist financial newspaper’s weekend supplement. Before that he was the editor of Maariv’s high-tech supplement.  

Israeli high-tech staging funding comeback:  Could 2013 be a bumper year for Israeli offerings? Wix, which makes platforms to build websites, as shortly expected to raise about $75 million according to a company value of $400-500 million. Five other Israeli companies are also gearing  up to float during the year: FiftyOne is preparing to float at a company value of over $1 billion. Matomy, Ilan Shiloach’s advertising company which registered revenue of $230 million in 2012, is considering strategic financial moves, as is Powermat, the developer of wireless battery charging technology. Powermat, owned by Benny Landa, should raise about $200 million in a private bond placement, and digital advertising company Kenshoo held its last round of fundraising according to a company value of $300 million.

Intel Israel doubled exports in 2012 – Intel Israel exports doubled to $4.6 billion in 2012, from $2.2 billion in 2011. According to the company, this represents about 10% of Israel’s total exports not including diamonds, and about 20% of the country’s high-tech exports. The firm also reported that in 2012 it recruited 760 new employees in Israel and now has a local workforce of 8,500.

Taboola raises $15 million – The startup Taboola has completed a fourth fundraising round, raising $15 million. Taboola, founded in 2007, developed a platform for "personalized on-site video recommendations." After a user watches a video online, or reads an article that contains a video, Taboola recommends other videos and content that the user may like. Taboola’s recommendation engine, Taboola EnrageRank, currently provides 800 million recommendations a day, up from 500 million in June. Surfers are exposed to the technology when they surf sites such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Business Week, CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, Thomson Reuters or sites of the German OMS media group.

Bezeq sends up a free Cloud – The Bezeq telecommunications company has launched Bezeq Cloud, a free service allowing its customers unlimited data storage. The company also announced the free upgrade of connection speeds for its one million customers connected via ADSL. With the Bezeq Cloud, customers can store all files, access them from smartphones and tablets, and share information via social media. The service is a local competitor to Dropbox. In February 2008 Bezeq launched its Data Center for business customers’ at an investment of NIS 40 million. But few took advantage of the data storage service. Now the company has launched the cloud for private customers, using the same servers.

Dan Peretz
Sivan Farag