TechNation: Wix Offers Sneak Preview of Next Week’s Super Bowl Ad

Singapore exchange courts Startup Nation; Carfoldio raises $1.5m for car booster seat; OECD says Korea, Israel top world research and development spending.

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Young employees working at a high-tech company.
Young employees working at a high-tech company. Credit: Bloomberg

Wix offers sneak preview of next week’s Super Bowl ad, the Israeli maker of website-development tools, on Wednesday gave a preview of the ad it will be airing during next week’s Super Bowl game.

The 30-second ad, which will be broadcast during the third quarter of the game on Sunday, features characters from DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 3 contemplating the idea of promoting Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop with the ultimate marketing scheme - a Super Bowl commercial. However, they soon realize that the true cornerstone of every successful business promotion is building a website using Wix.

“We went for a direct message: the first step to a successful business is to create a stunning website,” Wix’s Chief Marketing Officer Omer Shai said.

This will be the second Super Bowl ad the company has aired. At an estimated of $5 million cost for the 30 seconds, not to mention the production costs, it’s a lot of money for Wix, but executives have said in the past the payback on the expense is just seven months.  (Omri Zerachovitz)

Singapore exchange courts Startup Nation

The Singapore Exchange is leading a campaign to convince Israeli tech companies to float shares on the bourse.

Last week officials from the exchange were in Israel to meet with tech executives at the offices of the law firm Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg & Company, where Mohamed Nasser Ismail, the exchange’s senior vice president, touted the bourse as a gateway to the Asian market and the home to a major government initiative in high-tech.

Unlike the Hong Kong market and its China focus, he said, 40% of the companies listed in Singapore are foreign. Singapore is already home to five Israeli companies, the latest to join being the tech incubator Trendlines, which completed an initial public offering at the end of last year at a $90 million valuation.

Like the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Singapore has seen the number of its IPOs plunge from about 80 annual before 2008 to just 30 last year. Like the TASE, it sees tech companies from Israel as a source of new listings. (Shelly Appelberg)

Carfoldio raises $1.5m for car booster seat

Carfoldio, an Israeli startup that has designed an innovative and compact booster car seat for children, said Wednesday it had raised $1.5 million from the founders of the company that created the hit game Candy Crush.

Carfoldio says its mifold Grab-and-Go booster seat is engineered to protect children from age four to 12, guiding the car’s seat belt away from the child’s stomach and the neck. Founded in 2013 by Jon Sumroy, a UK immigrant, the Ra'anana, Israel-based company say it has pre-sold $1 million of the booster seats to nearly 13,000 customers.

“Mifold is a genuinely innovative solution to a real problem that traditional players have ignored. Their worldwide sales are a strong proof of concept,” said Christian Dorffer, CEO of Sweet Capital, whose backers are the founders of King Digital Entertainment. Carfoldio raised its first $600, 000 shortly after it was founded and secured another round of $1.2 million a year ago. (TheMarker Staff)

OECD says Korea, Israel top world research and development spending

South Korea and Israel invested larger shares of their gross domestic products in research and development than any other advanced economies in 2014, the Organization for Economic Cooperation Development said Wednesday.

It said OECD countries spent an average of 2.37% of GDP on R&D in 2014, unchanged from 2013, as government spending on innovation declined. South Korea was the leader, at 4.3% of GDP, with Israel a close second at 4.1%, putting them well ahead of other big spenders such as Japan (3.6%), Finland and Sweden (3.2% each).

Israel, however, spent comparatively little on basic research - just 0.4% of GDP, half the Korean rate and less than most other OECD states. On a per-capita basis, Israel spent $1,385 in 2014, the sixth highest among OECD nations.  The organization pointed to China as a rising R&D power, with its rate of 2.05% surpassing the European Union average of 1.94%. (TheMarker Staff)

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