Tech Roundup / Self-driving Cars and Nano-ink

MobileEye wants its own self-driven Audi; Landa, the patent king, looks to build ink factory; My Things is a Deloitte favorite; three start-ups bag $30m.

Orr Hirschauge
Orr Hirschauge
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MobilEye announces plans to get behind the wheel: This week, MobileEye, which develops electronic systems to keep drivers aware of what’s happening around them, jumped into the fray of self-driven vehicles and announced that it, too, is developing a similar system. Israel has recently become an important global center of developing vehicle technology: In its R&D center in Israel, General Motors is developing a self-driving system, as is Elbit Systems. MobileEye’s experimental self-driven vehicle, the Audi A7, costs NIS 588,000 and still requires the driver to keep her eyes open. “This is not a self-driven vehicle in which the driver types in an address and goes to sleep,” Professor Amnon Shashua, the CEO of MobileEye, told TheMarker. “The system can take over for a limited time while the drivers read text messages or change the radio station.”

Landa, the patent king, looks to expand nanoprint ventures: Benny Landa, who is trying to raise money for a new factory in Israel to manufacture printing machines and ink, recently contacted several foreign investment banks. Landa is thought to have the most patents of any Israeli, with more than 700 registered in his name. In 2000, he sold Indigo, the digital printing company he founded, to HP for NIS 830 million. In 2002, when the acquisition was completed, he founded Landa Corporation, currently with about 200 employees, which includes units for developing nanographic printing technology, energy technology and nano-materials and philanthropy. At a conference in Germany last May, the company unveiled its digital printing machines, based on a new kind of ink that the company calls “nanographic ink,” comprised of microscopic particles of color.

Deloitte names fastest growing Israeli startups: The accounting firm Deloitte Brightman Almagor Zohar has deemed MyThings, the Israeli start-up which develops focused digital advertising technology, as the Israeli techn firm with the highest growth rate. This was part of the accounting firm’s Fast 50 competition which ranks companies by their financial accomplishments. MyThings won first place in the competition because of a 7830-percent increase in its income from 2007 to 2011. Payoneer, which enables customers to make payments online, took second place with a growth rate of 4571 percent over the past five years.

Three companies hit funding jackpots this week: Three Israeli start-ups announced this week that they raised funds totaling more than $30 million. Perfecto Mobile, which provides cloud-based service for testing global applications, completed its Series C round of financing with $15 million from investors, led by American-based Globespan Capital Partners. It intends to hire another 30 employees. QualSystems, which develops testing solutions for the chip industry, raised $9 million, while video platform startup Tvinci raised $4.5 million.

Mixing red ink at the Indigo printers plant.Credit: Eli Hershkovitz
Benny Landa. His Landa Digital Printing raised $135 million in June from the German chemicals company Altana Group.Credit: Nir Keidar