TechNation: U.S. Law Firm Launches $30 Million Fund to Finance Lawsuits by Israeli Startups

Emergency callout platform startup Carbyne now has Peter Thiel as an investor ■ Hebrew University, Technion advance in Shanghai Ranking

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A startup accelerator program, Tel Aviv
A startup accelerator program, Tel AvivCredit: Uzi Porat

U.S. law firm launches $30 million fund to finance lawsuits by Israeli startups

The U.S. law firm Kobre & Kim has teamed up with litigation financier Bentham IMF to create a $30 million fund that will finance lawsuits by Israeli startups against big multinational corporations and provide legal representation. The fund will cover all or part of the startup’s legal expenses and collect its costs plus a fee based on a percentage of the amount won if the case is successful. The aim is to enable startups that don’t have the financial or human resources to pursue cross-border lawsuits. “The typical disputes that arise out of that are asymmetrical,” the firm’s San Francisco-based intellectual property litigator Michael Ng told the magazine American Lawyer. Ng and two of the firm’s Tel Aviv-based attorneys, Michael Rosen and Robert W. Henoch, will represent Israeli startups. Startups “are well funded, but their capital is used on growing their business, not on litigation,” Ng said.

Emergency callout platform startup Carbyne now has Peter Thiel as an investor

Carbyne, an Israeli startup whose emergency callout platform helps providers like 911 services pinpoint a callers’ exact location, said Tuesday it had raised $15 million in new funding from Elsted Capital Partners and the Founders Fund. The second venture capital firm adds more A-list luster to Carbyne because the fund was co-founded by Peter Thiel, one of Silicon Valley’s best-known investors. It has backed companies like Facebook and Airbnb as well as startups that have successfully sold products and services to the public sector. Founded in 2014 as Reporty, the company’s investors include former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who serves as chairman. Carbyne, which has raised $24 million to date, says its platform speeds up communications and response times by 65% on average through its C-Now app or its C-Lite service by avoiding the need for what can be long phone calls by someone reporting an emergency describing the location and other crucial details.

Hebrew University, Technion advance in Shanghai Ranking

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology advanced to 77th place from 93rd and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem rose to 95th from the 101 to 150 group in the Shanghai Ranking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities for 2018, released Tuesday. The list ranks the world’s top 500 universities. The Weizmann Institute of Science and Tel Aviv University kept their standings in the 101 to 150 and 151 to 200 groups, respectively. Bar-Ilan University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev remained in the 401 to 500 group. The University of Haifa, which made the list in the past, failed to enter this year. “The rising trend in the Shanghai Ranking from last year testifies to the hard work and the uncompromising determination for excellence of the academic community and the university,” said Hebrew University President Prof. Asher Cohen. “The competition is becoming harder from year to year, especially in light of the many investments of East Asian nations in academia compared to the investment of Israel.”

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