TechNation: eyeSight Raises $20m From Hong Kong Firm

Zooz secure $24m for payment technology; Sensiya quietly acquired by will.i.am; Vonetize plans $15m IPO for trading on TASE.

High-tech workers in Israel.
Tomer Appelbaum

eyeSight raises $20m from Hong Kong firm

Israel’s eyeSight Technologies, whose software lets users control electronic devices with a wave of a finger, said on Wednesday it had raised $20 million from the Shenzhen-based company Kuang-Chi.

The announcement came just days after Kuang Chi launched a $50-million fund in Israel to invest in Israeli and global startups. eyeSight said it would use the new capital to expand distribution and for a joint initiatives in China and Hong Kong.

eyeSight software uses sensing and gesture recognition technology. It has been incorporated into the devices of companies that include Lenovo, Royal Philips, Toshiba and ZTE, and has partnerships with chip makers ARM and AMD, according to the company.

The latest funding round brings the total raised by eyeSight to $40 million. The company was founded in 2005 by Chief Technology Officer Itay Katz. Among its investors are Japan’s Mitsui Ventures and Israeli investors. eyeSight has around 45 employees, all but six of whom are in Israel. (Inbal Orpaz)

Zooz secure $24m for payment technology

Zooz, which helps merchants cut the cut of processing payments, said on Tuesday it raised $24 million in a funding round led by the German venture capital firm Target Global Ventures.

Other investors include Fang Fund of China, iAngels, London-based Kreos Capital and existing investors.

Zooz connects merchants to multiple banks and analyzes various parameters to decide which will charge the lowest fee. Since it was formed in 2010 by CEO Oren Levy and Chief Technology Officer Ronen Morecki, Zooz has raised $40 million. The startup employs nearly 80 people, 70 in Israel and the remainder in offices in London, Berlin and San Francisco. Customers include Burberry, Gett and Skypicker.

Zooz said it will use the funds to develop new products and markets and to enhance its presence in existing markets. “Asia, including China and Japan, is high on our priority list and also South America, especially Brazil,” Levy said. (Inbal Orpaz)

Sensiya quietly acquired by will.i.am

The Israeli startup Sensiya has been quietly bought by the U.S. musician-producer will.i.iam’s consumer tech label i.am+ for an undisclosed sum.

Sensiya announced the buyout this week with a simple headline on its website: “We’re proud and excited to join the awesome team at i.am+, to continue our quest for revolutionizing mobile interactions.”

Sensiya’s software uses a cellphone’s technology, including gyroscopes and motion sensors, to collect data on users, including whether they are walking, running or at rest. The information enables advertisers to target users with location- and activity-based ads.

Sensiya CEO Noam Fine told the technology news site Geektime that the company began working with i.am+ around a year and a half ago. Sensiya’s software is expected to be added to i.am+ wearables, including its new hybrid phone/bracelet, Dial.

Founded in 2014 by Fine and Yossi Marouani, Sensiya has 25 employees. Investors include Yossi Vardi and Shlomo Nehama. (TheMarker)

Vonetize plans $15m IPO for trading on TASE

Vonetize said in a prospectus filed this week that it plans to raise $15 million in an initial public offering, after which it will list on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

The company has developed a turnkey video-on-demand service that provides content and a cloud-based technology platform for smart TVs and mobile devices that offers everything from first-run released Hollywood movies to children’s programming.

“We have rights to Hollywood content in 59 countries and that’s something only four companies in the world have: Netflix, Apple, Google and Vonetize,” CEO Noam Josephides told an investor conference on Tuesday.

“Entering the bourse is only about raising money – we have access to cash,” he said. “We are happy to take on the obligations of a public traded company, with regular reporting, corporate governance and my salary published in the newspaper. It will give us greater credibility vis-a-vis our customers and it’s also a step for us on the way to Nasdaq,” Josephides said. (Amitai Ziv and Omri Zerachovitz)