Innovative COVID Mask, Scooter Tech Startups Listing on the TASE

Sonovia's antiviral fabric mask and Blitz Electric Motors' emission-free electric scooter value at 95 million and 60 million shekels respectively

Shelly Appelberg
Shelly Appelberg
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Packaging of Israel's Sonovia Ltd's washable and reusable antiviral masks at the company laboratory, Ramat Gan, May 17, 2020.
Packaging of Israel's Sonovia Ltd's washable and reusable antiviral masks at the company laboratory, Ramat Gan, May 17, 2020.Credit: Amir Cohen / REUTERS
Shelly Appelberg
Shelly Appelberg

Two Israeli startups with interesting and potentially bestselling technology – one has a process for making antiviral fabric used in masks and the other, innovative scooters – are in the process of listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Sonovia, which has developed anti-bacterial fabric coatings that are the basis for reusable masks, raised 35 million shekels ($10.8 million) at a 95 million valuation before the money and another 57 million in the public tranche. It will begin trading in the next few days.

How COVID – and Israel’s Trump-brokered lovefest with Arab states – are affecting PalestiniansCredit: Haaretz

Meanwhile, Blitz Electric Motors, which had developed an emission-free electric scooter based on innovative battery technology, is entering the TASE through the back door. Instead of an initial public offering, it is merging with publicly traded Inbar Group Finance in a deal that values Blitz at 60 million shekels($18.4 million).

The two companies are part of a wave of tech companies seeking TASE listings.

Once ignored by Israel’s high-tech industry, the TASE has become a popular venue for up-and-coming tech companies, thanks to a host of reforms undertaken by the bourse and by regulators. TheMarker has learned that some 100 companies have expressed an interest in filing a prospectus, most of them small high-tech companies. That compares with just 56 IPOs over the previous four years.

The coronavirus has contributed to the growing phenomenon of local tech IPOs as the pandemic accelerates the global transition to more digitization and remote services.

A perfect product for the coronavirus era, Sonovia’s technology uses ultrasonic energy to infuse textiles with antiviral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-odor properties. The masks can be washed and used over and over again.

Founded seven years ago, Sonovia’s technology was originally aimed at making textiles waterproof and fire-resistant. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the company has generated $5 million in revenue, most of it in the third quarter, although it still isn’t profitable.

“At first we were indifferent to the coronavirus application, but then we sent the fabric to China for testing and received confirmation that we had reduced the amount of bacteria, germs and fungi by more than 99%, compared with untreated fabric,” said Asaf Levi, Sonovia’s chief revenue officer.

Blitz was founded in 2012 by Raphael Moszynski, who invested more than $2 million in it and will control 58% of the merged company. If Blitz meets a target of 500 scooter sales within 21 months, his Moszynski’s stake will grow to 75%.

The Blitz scooter has two batteries, one that is charging up while the other is in use, enabling the scooter to be used around the clock The company has sold 2,000 of them in Israel at a price of 20,000 shekels each. Buyers have been companies with delivery operations, such as Domino’s Pizza and Japonica. Blitz not only sells the scooters but supplies ancillary services, such as insurance and maintenance.

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