TechNation / Economist: Israeli Cyber Exports Exceed Arms Sales

Startup Safe-T exploring Wall Street IPO, Taboola signs agreement with USA Today publisher Gannett.

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Cybersecurity experts are nervous following two potential cyber attacks in the space of three days.
Illustration.Credit: Reuters

Taboola signs agreement with USA Today publisher Gannett

Taboola, whose technology directs users to related content on the Web, said yesterday it has signed a three-year exclusive strategic partnership with Gannett, the publisher of USA Today. Gannett is expected to generate revenues of $45 million to $55 million from the deal, Taboola CEO Adam Singolda said. Founded in 2007, Taboola offers a “content you may also like” widget that allows users to click onto other articles or videos, and lets publishers, marketing companies and agencies keep users on their site and monetize their traffic. Singolda said Gannett’s Web pages will be personalized and other content it offers will be tailored to what users want, based on the company’s algorithms. “The entire page will change and type of content will be different,” said Singolda. Taboola has so far raised more than $157 million, including a strategic investment in May by China’s Baidu. (Reuters)

Startup Safe-T exploring Wall Street IPO

Another Israeli cyber startup is eyeing an initial public offering. Safe-T, which provides security for transferring computer files for the financial, health-care and manufacturing sectors, has submitted draft prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and is in talks with prospective underwriters. How much the company plans to raise and at what valuation isn’t known, but media reports said it most recently raised 50 million shekels ($13.1 million) at a 100-million-shekel valuation. The company was formed in 2007 by its CEO, Amir Mizhar, and raised $5 million in 2013 from a group led by Kibbutz Sasa, whose Plasan plastics company has long been a customer. Safe-T was one of 15 Israeli startups to make consulting firm Gartner Group’s Cool Vendors 2015 report. (Dror Raich)

Economist: Israeli cyber exports exceed arms sales

Israel’s exports of cyber technology exceeded its overseas sales of conventional defense equipment last year, for the first time ever, The Economist magazine reported last week. Cyber exports, led by Check Point Software Technologies, reached $6 billion in 2014, which the cyber task force in the Prime Minister’s Office accounted for 10% of the world’s total. Defense exports, meanwhile, slumped by $1 billion last year to $5.7 billion, the U.K. magazine said. The number of Israeli cyber startups has doubled in the last five years to 300 and valuations have been rising, although some think it’s a bubble. “Every kid who leaves Unit 8200 [the Israeli army’s electronic-intelligence operation] thinks he’s going to be a cyber-millionaire, and then some of the startups are immediately evaluated at $5m without having done anything,” the magazine quoted an unnamed source as saying. (TheMarker)