Tech Roundup / CommuniTake Raises $3m, HP Scitex Inaugurates New Plant

Startup that helps operators fiddle with your phone for you scores money, LG names new importer.

CommuniTake raises $3 million: Yokneam-based CommuniTake Technologies has completed a second financing round, scoring $3 million. The company, which now operates out of Atlanta, Georgia, created a platform that became quite a hit among the world's mobile operators because it improves the quality of service they can provide to the end consumer. And how does it do that? Say you have a smartphone and can't figure out how to do something on it, so you call the mobile operator. Then you're both talking and trying to fiddle with the phone, which is a huge pain. The CommuniTake technology enables the operator to remotely control your phone and fiddle with it for you. Ta da!

LG try, try, try again: Three times lucky? Having replaced its importer twice in four years, LG is having another stab at competing with Apple and Samsung in Israeli smartphone sales. To be sure, it can probably only improve: last year LG commanded 4% of the Israeli smartphones market. Its latest trial is with its Optimus G model, which it's selling for NIS 2,990 a pop through Cellcom and the free market. The Optimus G is the latest wrinkle, akin to the Samsung Galaxy 4 and Sony's Expressia Z.

Mazal tov, HP-Scitex, which cut the ribbon on a new ink production plant in Kiryat Gat. The new plant will be replacing the old one in Ashkelon, but on the upside, the several dozen workers at the Ashkelon plant will be moving to the new one. The company plans to ramp up production, says Boaz Peretz, manager of HP-Scitex activity in Israel. By the way, the HP-Scitex operation is based on the wide-format printing company Scitex Vision that HP acquired in 2005 for $250 million.

Venture capital picks up, a little: Israeli technology companies raised a grand total of $474 million during the first quarter of 2013, down by a slight 2% from the first quarter of the year before, and down 4% from the previous quarter. The money was raised by 169 companies, says research company IVC KPMG. Venture capital funds were responsible for about a third of the total amount, an increase of 18% year over year. Given that industry insiders have been eulogizing Israeli venture capital in recent years, what gives? After a protracted drought the venture capital funds managed to raise money in 2012, says IVC.