TechNation: Five Israeli Startups Nab $139 Million in Investments

SimilarWeb tops lists with a $47 million fundraising round

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A high-tech workplace in Israel.
File photo: A high-tech workplace in Israel.Credit: Ilya Melnikov

It seemed like investors couldn’t stop themselves from writing checks over and over again: Five Israeli startups announced on Tuesday they had raised a combined $139 million, with one company alone pulling in $47 million.

The Israeli-U.S. startup SimilarWeb, whose platform helps companies better track the performance of their websites and mobile apps, topped the list of fundraising rounds, taking in $47 million from investors led by Viola Growth. Other investors included Israeli-U.S. media entrepreneur Haim Saban’s Saban Ventures and China’s CE Ventures and brings SimilarWeb’s total funding to date to $112 million.

The company said it would use the proceeds for expansion, build next-generation solutions, establish consulting services and invest in data coverage. “We are in a strong financial position, doubling revenue over the past 12 months, and with this investment will continue to meet the increasing demand we see for our solutions from brands and agencies around the world,” said CEO Or Offer.

Next in line was iguazio, a provider of real-time data analytics that said it raised $33 million from Israel’s Pitango Venture Capital, with additional funds from Verizon Ventures, Robert Bosch Venture Capital and CME Ventures. Existing investors Magma Venture Partners, Jerusalem Venture Partners and Dell Technologies Capital also participated.

The new financing, which brings the three-year-old company’s total capital raised to $48 million, will be used to fund global expansion of its analytics data platform used for big data, the internet of things and cloud applications.

PerimeterX, an U.S.-Israeli company whose technology tackles the problem of automated bot attacks, secured $23 million it will use to accelerate the development of its technology. Canaan Partners led the round, with participation from existing investors Vertex Ventures and Data Collective.

The company’s target is social media spammers, who game trending news topics. “Fake news at its core of distribution is an army of bots,” CEO Omri Iluz told Fortune magazine. “If you control a million voices, you can get anything to the top of the news.”

The company was founded in 2014 and worked under the media radar for its first 18 months. Today it employs 70 people, 40 in Israel, a number Iluz said he expected to double over the next year.

Meanwhile, Nyotron, a U.S.-Israeli cybersecurity company whose flagship product is called Paranoid, closed a new $21 million financing round. DGB Investments led the round with participation from the Israeli holding company Mitvah Shamir and private investors Gil Agmon and Shmuel Harlap.

The company intends to use the funds to increase worldwide sales and marketing and expand its current offerings, which provide a defense against ransomware, advanced persistent threats and other malicious attacks.

Nir Gaist, who founded the company, will step away from the CEO’s job to become chief technology officer. Peter Stewart, a former top executive at McAfee, was named CEO.

Finally, Prospera said it nabbed $15 million for its suite of advanced data analytics, computer vision, and artificial intelligence technology that help farmers achieve better yields and healthier crops.

Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated, led the round, which was joined by Cisco Investments, ICV and existing investor Bessemer Venture Partners. It brings the total investment in the company to $22 million.

Prospera said it would use the new funds to accelerate its global expansion and broaden its services to different crops in both indoor and outdoor environments. “While the agriculture industry has been somewhat slow to adopt information technologies, it is now closing the gap,” said CEO Daniel Koppel.

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