TechNation: Golan Telecom Fined for Violating License Terms

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Hacking (illustrative photo).Credit: Bloomberg

Golan Telecom slapped with unprecedented fine for violating the terms of its license

The Communications Ministry fined Golan Telecom 31 million shekels ($8.2 million) on Tuesday for violated the terms of its license agreement. The ministry found that, instead of completing the installation of its own cell-tower network, as required by its 2010 license, the mobile operator removed most of the antennas it had erected because it was piggybacking on rival Cellcom Israel’s network. Regulators ignored the violation until rival operator Partner Communications filed suit in the High Court of Justice. The ministry said Golan’s actions led competitors to cut spending on their own networks in order to remain competitive with their cost-cutting. Golan said it would appeal the decision, noting that rivals “Bezeq, Hot, Cellcom, Partner and Pelephone were never fined more than 8 million shekels” for any violation. (Amitai Ziv)

Behalf raises $27 million for small-business loan platform

Behalf, a platform for providing credit to small businesses based on revenues from recent sales, said Tuesday it had raised $27 million in new financing, bringing the total since it was founded in 2011 to $161 million. The round was led by first-time investor Viola Growth, which was joined by existing investors Sequoia Capital, Spark Capital, MissionOG and Vintage. The proceeds will go toward expanding sales, marketing, business development and product innovation. Behalf provides instant credit approvals of up to $50,000 at the point of sale in business-to-business transactions. Most of these are paid using check, c.o.d. and other methods that take a long time to clear. Behalf advances payment to the supplier and then collects the funds from the purchaser according to an agreed schedule. Behalf, formerly called Zazma, has 70 employees, 55 of whom are in Israel. (Eliran Rubin)

Cybersecurity startup IntSights raises $7.5 million

IntSights, a cybersecurity company that helps users better understand the online threats they face, said Monday it had secured $7.5 million in new funding to expand its presence in the United States. The round was led by Blumberg Capital and included seed investor Glilot Capital Partners as well as Blackstone, Wipro Ventures, the strategic investment arm of India’s Wipro Limited and private investors. IntSights’ technology automatically detects cyberthreats in real time, aggregates the information and presents it to the customer in a single, coherent package. “The system knows how to identify phishing or security breaches even before they’ve occurred,” said CEO Guy Nizan. IntSights was founded in 2015 by Nizan, Alon Arvatz and Gal Ben-David, who served in cybersecurity or elite intelligence units in the Israeli army. The company raised $1.8 million in seed money in October 2015. It is based in Herzilya and has 23 employees. (Eliran Rubin)

Bank Hapoalim and Haifa Technion to collaborate on banking-related research

Bank Hapoalim and the Technion Israel Institute of technology signed an agreement this week to collaborate on data science research, including on the internet of things and blockchain technologies. A relatively new field, data science seeks to create high value-added information and understanding based on massive quantities of data through statistical models, data mining and other methods. Hapoalim will sponsor a special secure laboratory on the Technion campus where scientists and bank experts can collaborate on research into in areas like advanced risk management and financial forecasting. Hapoalim, Israel’s biggest bank, said the lab would give it access to many of the world’s leading researchers in the field as part of its strategic plan to offer more personalized services to clients. “Banking is expected to undergo a real revolution in the near future. This collaboration ... will ensure the two sides play a central role,” said Technion President Peretz Lavie. (Michael Rochvarger)

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