TechNation: Waze Now Alerting Drivers to Dangerous Roads

Vintage Investment and tech companies TrapX and Forter raise millions more.

Bloomberg

Waze, the Israeli navigation app owned by Google, is offering new services in Israel that alert drivers by smartphone to dangerous roads ahead or areas like schools where they should be careful. The service will also suggest that users take a break if they have been driving for a long time, and advise them to be patient when they’re stuck in traffic jams. The dangerous-road alert will be based on information policyholders provide the insurance company AIG, Waze said. Under its Safe Drive program, AIG offers policyholders discounted premiums in exchange for installing a “green box” that monitors their driving patterns, whose data Waze will use. Gil Sagiv, vice president for marketing at AIG, said the insurer proposed the idea to Waze. “I’m hoping this unique partnership will help improve Israeli driving culture,” he said. (Oren Dori)

TrapX tops up $9 million round with extra $5 million
TrapX Security, an Israeli-U.S. cybersecurity startup, says it has topped up a $9 million fundraising round with another $5 million from Strategic Cyber Ventures. It joins Intel Capital, Liberty Israel, BRM Group and Opus Capital of the United States, which completed a round in July. Since it was formed in 2011 by Moshe Ben-Simon and Yuval Malachi, TrapX has raised $19 million. The company’s DeceptionGrid software uses honey traps – malware intermingled with real information – that lure hackers who have penetrated a network. It then alerts administrators to the threat. Greg Enriquez, TrapX’s CEO, joined the company after being vice president sales at the publicly traded cybercompany FireEye. With headquarters in San Mateo, California, TrapX employs about 55 people, most of them in Israel. The proceeds will beef up research and sales. In that context, the company said it was hiring three new vice presidents. (Eliran Rubin)

Forter raises $32 million for retail fraud detection
Forter, whose software protects online merchants against fraud, says it has closed a giant $32 million funding round with an investor group led by Scale Venture Partners. Existing investors Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates joined. The round brings the total raised by the startup since it was founded in 2013 to $50 million, said the company, which employs 100 people, 80 in Israel. Forter’s Decision as a Service stops fraudulent shoppers at the checkout phase by employing machine learning, behavior analysis and other data points to analyze the legitimacy of a transaction. Customers landing on a website are tracked to see where they go and what they click, to see if they follow patterns used by fraudsters. Forter believes its system is so accurate that it gives retailers a 100% guarantee against fraud chargebacks. The proceeds of the latest fundraising will go to expanding sales and marketing from Forter’s San Francisco headquarters, it said. (Eliran Rubin)

Vintage secures $200 million for fund of funds
Vintage Investment Partners, a Herzliya Pituach-based fund of funds, says it has raised $200 million for its fourth and latest fund. Vintage IX will invest in 10 to 20 venture capital funds in the United States, Europe and Israel, and in Israeli private equity funds with a tech focus. Vintage has invested in 115 Israeli funds since it was founded, but the new fund will put most of its capital into foreign funds, Vintage said. “There continues to be a transition underway in the venture business. Some very talented younger yet successful investors are creating new moderate-sized funds,” said Abe Finkelstein, general partner at Vintage. Vintage said it had originally sought $175 million for the fund but boosted the take amid strong demand from investors that include U.S., Canadian and Israeli financial institutions, endowments, foundations and family offices. The closing of Vintage IX, Vintage’s biggest fund, brings the firm to around $1.3 billion under management. (Inbal Orpaz)