West Bank Gets Facility for Startup Entrepreneurs

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Will Palestine become an Arab high-tech hub? Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

eZone, a hub for Palestinian high-tech entrepreneurs in the West Bank, was formally opened last week, offering subsidized office space, a testing lab for apps, training programs, networking events and an on-site cafe. “With 400 million Arabic-language speakers and 80 million users in the Arab world, we see Palestine standing to be the startup nation of the Arab world in the near future,” Shadi Atshan, director of the Leaders Organization, eZone’s sponsor, said at an opening event. Entrepreneurs will also benefit from a link with FastForward, the first startup accelerator in the West Bank. eZone was launched with support from USAID, the United States Consulate General in Jerusalem and the OPEC Fund for International Development, among others. (TheMarker Staff)

Fundbox raises $17.5 million from Khosla, celebrity investors

Fundbox, a San Francisco-based startup led by Israeli Eyal Shinar that helps businesses with cash flow by transferring the value of outstanding invoices to their bank accounts, has raised $17.5 million. The round was led by Khosla Ventures backed by a group of well-known private investors, including former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, ex-Reuters CEO Tom Glocer and Jay Mandelbaum, one-time head of strategy and e-commerce at JPMorgan Chase. Fundbox’s proprietary technology uses an array of data, such as the user’s financial health, the demographics of its customers and the seasonal nature of the businesses, to assess customers and invoices for risk, allowing small businesses to choose which invoices to clear. Shinar said the new capital will be used to expand data operations and products, marketing and headquarters staff. (Orr Hirschauge)

GreenSQL raises $7m from group led by Jerusalem Venture Partners

GreenSQL, a maker of unified database security and compliance technology, has raised $7 million from a group of investors led by Jerusalem Venture Partners. Existing investors Magma Venture Capital, Rhodium, Atlantic Capital Partners, Gandyr and 2Bangels joined the round, whose proceeds will be used to support business expansion and supporting clients moving their database applications as they migrate to the cloud. Founded in 2009 by CEO Amir Sadeh, Chief Technology Officer David Maman and Vice President for Marketing Hadar Eshel, GreenSQL employs 27 people and has over 150,000 downloads worldwide, with customers including Amazon, Microsoft and Israel’s 888. The round brings total fundraising by the Tel Aviv-based startup to $14.5 million. (Orr Hirschauge)

Photo-sharing platform raises $2 million

Flayvr, a photo-sharing platform, said it has secured $2 million in new funding from a group of investors led by Kaedan Capital. The group includes former Microsoft Vice President Moshe Lichtman, Aviv Venture Capital, iAngels, former Microsoft Vice President of Strategy and Partnership Hank Vigil, Fritz Lanman, Adler Chomski and all of Flayvr’s angel round investors. The funding will be used to double the Flayvr staff, expand operations in the U.S. and extend the Flayvr platform, which currently includes mobile gallery replacement apps for iOS and Android. Flayvr has developed proprietary technology around big data media that analyzes large amounts of contextual data around social, behavioral, user-generated, geolocation, computer-vision and time-based signals. CEO Ron Levy and the company’s co-founder Adi Ashkenazi are former members of the Israel Defense Forces’ elite 8200 intelligence unit. (TheMarker Staff)

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