Tech Roundup / Plarium Gaming Company Scores a Top 20 Facebook Hit

Tracx and BriefCam wrap up successful funding rounds while StartApp is breathing down Google's neck as the No. 2 search portal on Android.

Plarium grows in both gamers and employees The social gaming company Plarium announced it will recruit 150 more employees, including about 40 in Israel. The new recruits in Israel will work in development and the company's marketing division, which currently has 20 employees in Israel and another seven in Ukraine who design and develop banners and marketing tools. Over the past six months, the company's workforce has grown from 250 to 320. Plarium says it has 82 million registered gamers and is estimated to bring in nearly $100 million a year. The company's game "Stormfall" is one of the 20 fastest-growing Facebook games worldwide, said Julien Codorniou, Facebook's head of European platform partnerships at a gaming conference held by Facebook this week in Tel Aviv.

Tracx caps off a successful funding round The Israeli start-up Tracx, which develops technology to monitor social-networking trends, announced this week the completion of a funding round of $3.5 million. The current round was led by the investment company Flybridge Capital Partners, alongside other companies that invested in previous funding rounds, Revel Partners and Rutledge Partners. This is the company's second funding round, after it raised $1.6 million in 2011 in its seed funding phase, and $4.4 million in February 2012. The first funding round was led by Revel Partners and Flybridge Capital Partners. This latest round brings the total investment in the company to $9.5 million.

BriefCam also brings in the bucks The Israeli company BriefCam has raised $6.5 million in a funding round led by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital (MSVC), the investment fund of Motorola Solutions, and the Provident Fund of the Employees of the Hebrew University. BriefCam develops technology that indexes video data and creates video synopses. It currently employs around 30 workers in Neve Ilan, Israel and at offices in Connecticut and Shanghai. The company has already raised $8.8 million in two previous funding rounds. The first of these, led by Yoav Chelouche's Aviv Venture Capital fund, raised $3.6 million. Another round was led by Aviv Venture Capital and the American company Rimage in which it raised an additional $5.2 million. The previous investors in the company also participated in the current round.

StartApp is second only to Google on Android: The SDK (software development kit) by Israeli company StartApp has now been downloaded over half a billion times. According to these figures, StartApp's software, which is integrated into Smartphone applications, is now installed on one in five Android devices worldwide. StartApp was established in December 2010. It develops software that Android app developers can use to generate revenues. The business model it uses is very similar to that of the Israeli company Babylon, where the majority of income is generated from profit sharing with major search providers. StartApp produces its own revenues by installing a search portal on the user's Smartphone device, and a profit distribution agreement with the search portal's developers, similar to the main business model of companies like Conduit, Babylon and Perion. According to an announcement made by StartApp, the number of searches it makes on the Android platform is second only to Google.

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