Booking.com CEO Lauds Israel’s Technology Scene After Planning Tel Aviv Innovation Center

TechNation | Despite issue with Apple over technical glitch, PayKey raises $10 million ■ Cybersecurity firm EnSilo teams up with Germany’s Matrix42

Gillian Tans, chief executive officer of Booking.com
Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

Booking.com CEO sings the praises of Israel’s technology scene

Gillian Tans, the CEO of online travel service firm Booking.com, which is owned by the Priceline Group, explained in a post on LinkedIn – the professional social networking site – why her company is establishing an innovation center in Tel Aviv. “We believe some emerging technologies are capable of fundamentally impacting what technology can do for travel. Things like chatbots, machine learning tools, natural language processing, or sentiment analysis,” she wrote. “We want to be at the forefront of these technologies, which is why we are opening a new innovation center in one of the most tech-forward markets in the world: Tel Aviv.” Noting that a Wall Street Journal poll ranked the city as the second-most innovative in the world, Tans wrote: “An innovation lab in the heart of the ‘Startup Nation’ will enable Booking.com to learn more about and leverage new technologies, as well as test new capabilities and take our digital marketing efforts and data-based model to the next level – all of which will ultimately create the best experience for our customers.” (TheMarker Staff) 

Despite issue with Apple over technical glitch, PayKey raises $10 million

PayKey, an Israeli startup that has developed technology that enables banks to offer financial services to its customers via their cellular phones, announced last week that it has wrapped a $10 million second-funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $16 million. Founded in 2014, PayKey has developed a cellular keypad that allows bank customers to make payments by encrypted instant messaging or chat communications. The keypad replaces the customer’s standard smartphone keypad to accomplish the fund transfers. Banks also have the option of adding other functions, such as a button that allows customers to check their balances. The latest injection of funds for PayKey comes despite a setback several months ago after recruiting the Australian bank Westpac as a customer. Apple then demanded that the bank stop using PayKey’s technology. PayKey acknowledged that its technology had created technical problems for iPhone users seeking to make contact with Westpac. However, its marketing VP, Guy Talmi, said the crisis over Apple was relatively minor and that PayKey was developing an Android version as well as other new features. (Eliran Rubin) 

Cybersecurity firm EnSilo teams up with Germany’s Matrix42

EnSilo, an Israeli-founded cybersecurity firm based in San Francisco, has announced a partnership with Matrix42, a workspace management service provider. The aim is to integrate EnSilo’s Endpoint Security Platform into Matrix’s digital workspace security suite. The partnership will give Matrix42, which is based in Frankfurt, Germany, to sell EnSilo’s endpoint security platform in Central Europe. EnSilo was founded in 2014 by Ido Kelson, its CEO, as well as Roy Kantor, Udi Yavo and Tomer Bitton. (TheMarker Staff)