Tech Roundup / ironSource Puts Babylon Merger on Ice

HOT fined for making people languish on hold; Cisco Israel reportedly firing dozens

ironSource freezes merger with Babylon: Babylon stock has been crushed by the news of its wrangle with the mighty Yahoo, resulting in the suspension late last week of its touted merger with app distributor ironSource, also an Israeli company. Tomer Bar Zeev, CEO of ironSource, confirmed on Friday that they’re waiting to see what happens with Yahoo, which claims Babylon violated contractual terms.


Cisco firing dozens in Israel: Cisco Israel is reportedly gearing up to lay off several dozen employees, starting with its NDS division next week and later reaching its R&D center in Netanya. Top executives from the global HQ dropped by Israel this month to coordinate the moves. The company declined to confirm or deny, saying it does not comment on rumors. That said, in August the global group did announce 4,000 layoffs, or 5% of its workforce.

Cable company fined for long hold waits: The HOT triple-play (TV, Internet, telephony) company was slammed with a NIS 100,000 fine for making customers wait on hold too long this year. The watchdog says it fielded a lot of complaints about waits that exceeded the amount of time HOT is allowed, in terms of its license, to leave callers dangling. Unless it mends its ways, the watchdog snarled, the next fine will be higher. HOT did not comment.

Israelis can return to Jerusalem time: The “daylight savings bug” is dead. Winter has arrived, at least according to the clock: at midnight Saturday Israelis put forward their clocks by one hour. Or their smartphone service operators did – if the Israelis had reset their phones to Athens in September. To recap this weirdness: Israel had long been unusual in the global community for setting daylight savings by the occurrence of Yom Kippur. This year, parliament decided that Israel should join the rest of the planet and end daylight savings on October 27, but the phone operators didn’t have time to prepare. So they urgently advised users to change the settings of their phones from Jerusalem to Athens. Now Israelis can reclaim Jerusalem.


Feedvisor raises $1.7 million: The Israeli startup Feedvisor, which develops algorithm-based pricing platforms for online retailers, announced a $1.7 million funding round. The software analyses the competitive environment of a given product, factors in demand and other factors, and spits out optimal pricing, also depending on the retailer’s business goals.


Qlika also raises $1.7 million: By coincidence, another Israeli startup - developing a platform to manage marketing budgets - scored $1.7 million. Qlika starts with a given business’s marketing budget and manages it automatically, optimizing the outlay, based on the client’s business goals. 


3-D printers startup Formlabs raises $19 million: Formlabs, which is developing the latest wrinkle in printing technology – high-resolution 3-D printers - scored $19 million in venture backing. The company, located in Boston and born of the MIT media lab, has 32 employees - of whom a third are Israelis who studied at MIT. Its “Form 1” 3-D printer is available in pre-order mode through the company’s website for $3,299 a pop.

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