Ashton Kutcher backs Invi: Actor Ashton Kutcher is but one of the backers in Israeli startup Invi's $3 million financing round, wrapped up this week. Another A-list name on the roster is Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing. The 1-year old startup is developing an app to enrich text messages on smartphones; it can already be uploaded from Android app stores. Among other things the app enables users to share fave links, video clips and images while texting. Yeah, there's also WhatsApp in that there playing field.
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CEA tosses dice at Tel Aviv: The Consumer Electronics Association will be holding its first conference in Israel: the CES Unveiled Tel Aviv show, on October 7, 2013, at the Hilton Hotel in (you guessed it) – Tel Aviv. The show in Israel, and one like it in Paris, preface the annual CEA meeting which, as usual, will be in Las Vegas next January. Gary Shapiro, director of the CEAA, will be attending the Tel Aviv event. "The events will debut global research, CES news and showcase products and technologies that are revolutionizing daily life," the CEA explains. Dozens of Israelis companies have exhibited at the annual CEA meetings, including Siano, Dream-Bots and Jinni.
Israeli startup to the rescue of hassled Dutch hotels: Dry your tears, good hoteliers of Amsterdam: on Monday next week the Israeli startup Roomixer is launching its operations in the sphere near you. Are you plagued by overbooking, or envious of the hotel across the street that is? Roomixer matches overbooked hotels with others that do have occupancies. It says 70 hotels have signed up for the service so far. The startup was founded by Liran Rosenfeld, who had built a boutique hotel in South America and evidently felt the pain. "In Amsterdam, 5,000 reservations are rejected every day because of overbooking," he claims. What does Roomixer get for its pains? A bite of each booking placed through it.
Teddy Sagi rides to Internet Gold's rescue: Teddy Sagi, the young Israeli billionaire who made his fortune from Internet gambling, is buying 12% of B-Com, the holding company through which Shaul Elovitch owns the controlling interest in the Bezeq group. B-Com controls Internet Gold. Sagi is paying NIS 125 million for the B-Com stake, reflecting a 20% premium over the company's closing share price on Thursday. Internet Gold CEO Doron Turgeman admitted that the company had been hungry for cash; the deal lifts its liquid assets to NIS 292 million, which should suffice for "more than two years."