Tech Roundup / Guggenheim Invests in First Israeli Startup

Get Taxi to get new uber-rival; Samsung 5 sidesteps Israeli importer Scailex; Head to the bar for a glass of anything except Google Glass

Guggeinheim invests in first Israeli company:  Replay Technologies can happily claim the distinction of being the first Israeli company to score money from U.S. fund Guggenheim Partners, and a cool $9 million while about it. Young Replay, founded in 2011, brings video filming of events (news, sports, that sort of thing, not the kid eating a mouse) to the next generation – the imaginary one. As the company puts it: “Placing viewing angles and cameras where none existed in reality.” Er? The company’s algorithm synchronizes the various actual cameras recording say a basketball game, to create virtual three-dimensional video data. The output is a new video format the company developed, which it calls freeD (for “free dimensional”). How does it work? For each frame of actual video, data is stored in three dimensions – length, breadth and depth. And though data-heavy in the max, work it does: Replay’s technology was used during the Olympics.

Why you shouldn’t demonstrate Google Glass at a bar: This isn’t an Israeli story but it’s worth knowing that tech blogger Sarah Slocum was attacked at the punk bar Molotovs in San Francisco last Friday night for wearing a Google Glass device. Two women berated her and a man ripped the glasses from her head, she wrote on Facebook. She managed to wrest back the glasses from the Luddite only to find that her handbag and smartphone had disappeared. Apparently the opponents thought she was filming them, which is one of the many things Google Glass can do; in any, case things turned physical and nasty.

Enzymotec increases shareholder offering: Enzymotec, a biotech company hailing from Migdal Ha’emek, jacked up its Nasdaq offering to 4.7 million shares, priced at $28 a pop. All the shares are being sold by company shareholders, meaning Enzymotec itself, which makes lipid-based products, won’t be getting a sou. The offering will be closing on March 5. Earlier this year – February 6 – Enzymotec was named Outstanding Exporter for the year 2012 by the Ministry of Economy (what took so long exactly, we do not know); a couple of weeks later Seeking Alpha wrote that the Israeli firm had fallen 28% below its record high of December 2013, creating an opportunity to get into the stock. Seeking’s target was $37.50; Enzymotec closed Friday trading at $27.90, a drop of 4.6% from the day before. So it goes.

And the winner of the JVP Cyber Security Startup competition is: Titanium Core, which gets a million-dollar investment and a position in the JVP Cyber Labs incubator in Be’er Sheva. Titanium Core created a multi-layered approach to repel cyber attacks, JVP explains, which simultaneously prevents the threat from moving on to other computer systems and provides real-time information on the attack. The company was founded by Yuval Elovici, the head of the Cyber Security Lab at Ben-Gurion University; David “Dudu” Mimram, the former CTO of Deutsche Telekom Labs in Israel; and Mordechai Guri.

Get Taxi is sweating as rival rears head: The Israeli startup Get Taxi, whose name is self-explanatory, is about to face competition on its home turf as the San Franciscan company Uber approaches. It’s already hiring for offices in Tel Aviv – a local office manager, operations officer, logistics officer and community manager. Uber told TheMarker that it isn’t planning a local launch tomorrow, but on the downside for Get Taxi, it is planning to be everywhere (hence its name) – in every big city around the world including in Israel. Right now it’s looking at its local options, Uber told TheMarker.

Samsung slaps Scailex: Less than a day after the Samsung 5 smartphone’s splashy global introduction, the Korean company announced a change in its relations with Scailex, which had sole import rights to Israel. From now on, Samsung will sell directly to Israel’s mobile service companies. Scailex, which belongs to Ilan Ben Dov, has a going-concern warning in its books. It can still sell the phones and other things to stores and individuals and so on, but sales to the mobile operators had constituted about half of its Samsung phone sales.

Ofer Vaknin