TechNation: Colu Raises $27.5 Million via Mix of Conventional Fundraiser and ICO

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Employees of Colu, a company that has create a mobile app that serves as a wallet for digital currencies.
Employees of Colu, a company that has create a mobile app that serves as a wallet for digital currencies.Credit: ניקי טרוק

Colu, creator of a wallet app for localized digital currencies, said Wednesday it had raised $27.5 million through a conventional fundraiser and an initial coin offering. The amount was far less than the $50 million it aimed for when it began the fundraiser several weeks ago, but CEO Amos Meiri said he was satisfied. “We raised almost $30 million and got fantastic feedback from the community,” he said. “You have to remember we did something very unusual. We didn’t issue a coin for use as a financial asset but as a utility aimed at creating a business model around a community-based product.” Colu’s Colu Local Network, or CLN, is a cryptocurrency that will link its local currencies to a global network. Among Colu’s backers in the latest fundraising was IDB group, the giant Israeli holding company. Colu said the split was $8.5 million from the sale of CLNs and $14 million in shares. (Eliran Rubin)

Moovit rakes in $50 million for its public transportation app

Moovit, the Israeli startup whose app is used for navigating public transportation, said Wednesday it had raised $50 million from investors led by Intel Capital. All of Moovit’s previous investors joined, including Sequoia Capital, BMW iVentures, NGP, Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, BRM and Gemini. Moovit co-founder and CEO Nir Erez said the company would use the funds to expand its sales team and enhance its product, which provide public transportation information to more than 120 million users in 80 countries. “Moovit expects to surpass 1 billion users by 2021 and to expand significantly the number of cities that use Moovit’s data analytics to improve urban mobility,” Erez said. The company said it will collaborate with Mobileye, the Israeli automotive technology company acquired by Intel last year. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye co-founder and an Intel senior vice president, will join Moovit’s board as an observer. (Eliran Rubin)

El Al in aviation-tech partnership with Boeing

Cockpit Innovation, the venture fund of El Al Airlines, said Wednesday it had formed a strategic partnership with Boeing Company that will include an investment in Cockpit. Financial details were not disclosed. Cockpit and Boeing said they would seek to develop technologies that could play a role in the future of travel, aviation and aerospace, including Boeing’s products, Cockpit said. “Cockpit will provide a bridge to the global ecosystem of startups in fields that align with our strategic vision for Boeing, furthering our access into these developing sectors of the aerospace industry,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Kevin McAllister said. Cockpit counts information technology firm Lufthansa Systems, part of the Lufthansa Group, as a partner. It has backed eight startups. Gonen Usishkin, the CEO of Israel’s flagship airline, said that through the partnership “we intend to make investments in new sectors in the very near future.” (Reuters)

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