Business in Brief

Skyscraper to replace Maariv building in Tel Aviv

Maariv’s Tel Aviv office building will be replaced by a 55-floor tower, under plans approved Wednesday by the local planning committee. The Maariv building sits on a 1.7-dunam (0.42-acre) plot at the corner of Carlebach and Menachem Begin streets, and the plans call for a tower with office and commercial space, as well as hotel rooms. The plans include a covered passage that leads to a light-rail stop, an underground parking lot, and one floor to be used by the municipality. The struggling newspaper was recently sold to Shlomo Ben Zvi after a stint under Nochi Dankner, and its offices were merged with Ben Zvi’s Makor Rishon newspaper in Jerusalem. (Raz Smolsky)

Roladin owner now holds 100% of Aroma Tel Aviv

The owner of the Roladin bakery chain, Golan Einat, has bought the final 25% of the Aroma Tel Aviv cafe chain for 60 million shekels ($17.1 million). Einat bought 50% of Aroma Tel Aviv – not to be confused with Aroma Israel, which operates the Aroma outlets outside Tel Aviv – from its founder Sahar Shefa in 2011, and another 25% in 2013. As of 2011, the chain had 22 branches in Tel Aviv and one in Berlin, and Einat sought to expand in Europe. Now the chain has 29 branches; earlier this week it opened its fourth branch in the German capital. (Gabriela Davidovich-Weisberg)

Israeli startup Yotpo raises $10.7 million

Israeli startup Yotpo announced Wednesday that it has received $10.7 million in first-round funding from Blumberg Capital. The company is developing a platform for reading, writing, and sharing recommendations on social media for purchasing electronics online. Yotpo also gives users various perks for shopping with online stores. According to officials at Yotpo, the service currently accesses 30,000 websites, a staggering increase from the 2,000 that were included in October 2012. With the new funding, the company is planning to add at least another 25 employees to its current ranks of 22, who are based in Tel Aviv and San Francisco. Yotpo was founded in 2011. Total investments in the company, including the new funding, total $13 million. (Orr Hirschauge) 

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