TechNation: Israel's Corephotonics Raises $15 Million for Cellphone-camera Technology

China’s KuanChi Group launches $250 million tech fund from Israel | Gett partners with Israel Post to offer home deliveries from local post offices | Salesforce.com founder joins fundraising drive for Gaza coding academy

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Corephotonics raises $15 million for cellphone-camera technology

Corephotonics, whose technology enables smartphone cameras to offer features like zoom lens, said Wednesday it had raised $15 million from a group of strategic investors that include Samsung Ventures, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and chipmaker MediaTek. The startup said the proceeds, along with the existing cash and revenue forecast for 2017, will be used to develop the next generation cameras for smartphones and expand market penetration. It will also help Corephotonics expand into the automotive, drone, surveillance and action-camera markets, it said. Corephotonics, which counts 50 employees, intends to recruit dozens of engineers for the company’s Tel Aviv headquarters, as well as support and integrate engineers in China and South Korea. Corephotonics was formed in 2012 by CEO David Mendlovic and Gal Shabtay, vice president for research and development, and boasts a development team with expertise in physical camera design and the image signal processing. The latest round brings fundraising to date to about $50 million. (Elian Rubin

China’s KuanChi Group launches $250 million tech fund from Israel

Kuang-Chi Group, a Shenzhen-based technology conglomerate, said Wednesday it had opened its Israel-based International Innovation Headquarters as it launched its Global Community of Innovation Fund II. The $250 million GCI Fund is targeting companies that want to collaborate with Chinese firms in areas like smart city/smart home, internet of things, artificial intelligence and robotics. They will be supported by a new China-based incubator, established by Kuang-Chi to help bring its portfolio companies to the Chinese market. Kuang-Chi’s GCI Fund I, formed in 2016, bought stakes in the Israeli computer vision pioneer eyeSight; voice analytics developer Beyond Verbal; and video intelligence provider AgentVi. “China represents a natural market for Israeli firms developing technology in the areas of smart cities, computer vision, connected home, artificial intelligence, and robotics,” said Dorian Barak, a GCI strategy officer. (TheMarker Staff)

Gett partners with Israel Post to offer home deliveries from local post offices

A partnership announced Wednesday between Israel Post and Gett, whose app links users with taxis and couriers, promises to deliver letters and packages from local post offices to the recipient’s home within 30 minutes. The partnership, which will begin in the Tel Aviv area next week, promises fast delivery of up to two items weighing up to two kilograms within a four-kilometer radius of a local post office. Israel Post will help overcome some of the delays Israelis have been complaining about as online shopping has soared in the past year, overwhelming Israel Post facilities. The 35-shekel ($9.10) charge for the service, however, is relatively high: Mego launched a local-delivery service in July, for instance, that delivers items from your home to another location for a base rate of 19 shekels plus five shekels for each item. (Hadar Kane)

Salesforce.com founder joins fundraising drive for Gaza coding academy

Marc Benioff,  founder and CEO of Salesforce.com, has joined a campaign to create the first-ever coding academy in Gaza, the technology websites TechCrunch and Venture Beat reported this week. He is one of a group of global tech leaders who have pledged to match donations to #PowerUpGazaGeeks, a crowdfunding campaign by Gaza Sky Geeks, Gaza’s only startup incubator and co-working hub. The campaign is raising $400,000 to set up the academy and buy a power generator and fuel to extend the co-working hours to include evenings and weekends in power-short gaza. “Gazans are smart people working on ideas for companies,” said Dave McClure, the founder of the 500 Startups venture fund who sits on Gaza Sky Geek’s advisory board. “To some extent, they have even more hustle because they’re working in such a tough environment. They may actually be some of the best entrepreneurs in the world.” (TheMarker Staff)