Tech in Brief: Tax-hailing App Yango Defies Hegemony of Gett Taxi in Israel

Vermont-based Keystone Dental acquires Israel company in bid to form 'global dental implant player' ■ Open source search engine Elastic big loss for Israeli high-tech

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File photo: Cab in Tel Aviv displays the taxi-hailing app Yango on its rear glass, December 15, 2018.
File photo: Cab in Tel Aviv displays the taxi-hailing app Yango on its rear glass, December 15, 2018.Credit: Moti Milrod

Keystone to acquire Israel’s Paltop to form global dental implant company

Vermont-based Keystone Dental has agreed to acquire Israel’s Paltop Advanced Dental Solutions to form what they described as a “global dental implant player with nearly $50 million in combined revenues. In an announcement Friday, Keystone said its controlling shareholder, the Israeli investment company Accelmed, would inject $20 million in new capital into the combined company to help it accelerate growth and help the process of digitizing dental treatments. Another, unnamed partner joined it in making the investment. No other terms of the merger were disclosed apart from its being done in shares. Headquartered in Caesarea, Paltop manufactures advanced implant components. “Keystone targeted Paltop because they bring one of the world’s most efficient precision machining operations, innovative end-to-end digital solutions for implant dentistry, and an exceptionally high-quality product portfolio,” said Keystone CEO Russ Bonafede. Accelmed, which is led by pharmaceuticals entrepreneur Mori Arkin, bought control of Keystone last June. (TheMarker Staff)

Taxi-hailing app Yango claims 150,000 downloads three weeks after Israel launch

Yango, the taxi-hailing app of the Russian internet company Yandex, claims 150,000 downloads in the first three weeks after launching its service in Israel. It also said it had recruited about 3,000 taxi drivers and on an average day was used for more than 3,000 rides. “We’re quite satisfied, but there’s still more to do,” said Yaniv Alfi, director of operations for Yango Israel. “That’s before we’ve launched in cities like Jerusalem and Eilat. I believe we will capture a major percentage of the rides market.” Yango, which for now is serving the Gush Dan, Haifa, Ashdod and Modi’in markets, as well as Ben-Gurion International Airport, has worked hard to get a foothold in a market dominated by the Israeli app Gett. On top of an intensive media campaign, Yango offered riders 50% discounts on the first five trips and drivers four to six months without paying any fees. (Sagi Cohen)

Open source search engine Elastic was big loss for Israeli high-tech

Shay Banon, a founder of the open-source search engine Elastic, didn’t base the company in Israel – and that was a big loss for this country’s high-tech industry: Formed in 2012 with three partners, Netherlands-based Elastic went public three months ago at a $5 billion valuation. “The challenge in starting up the company in Israel was belief in the open source model – people didn’t really understand what open source is and how to make money from a product that others use for free,” he told TheMarker during a visit to Israel last week. Even his mother discouraged him. “Mom didn’t understand why I was giving it away and said what kind of idiot wants to compete with Google,” he recalled. Elastic has 1,100 employees around the world, but only a few freelancers in Israel. While ordinary users have access to the search engineer for free, big corporate users, who include Tinder and Uber, pay for security and management services. (Guy Erez)