Tech Entrepreneur Makes Israel’s First Real Estate Purchase With Bitcoin

TechNation | Israeli, American entrepreneurs now entitled to special visa from each other’s countries ■ Tevva Motors nabs $15.6m for electric-truck using submarine technology ■ Singapore Technologies, Israel’s SafeRide in auto-tech partnership

FILE PHOTO: A copy of bitcoin standing on PC motherboard is seen in this illustration picture, October 26, 2017.
Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Israeli, American entrepreneurs now entitled to special visa from each other’s countries

Israelis and Americans will be able to get a visas enabling them to work in each other’s countries while starting up companies. That was made possible after the Knesset Interior Committee on Monday approved regulations for B-5 visas that will let Americans wanting to start up a company in Israel on condition the holder is investing in a new company. The approval means that Israel now has a parallel visa category for the American E-2 visa that Israeli entrepreneurs can use. Back in 2012, the U.S. approved Israelis for E-2s, which are widely used in the tech industry, but on condition that Israel offered a similar visa for Americans. “Israelis who wanted to work in the U.S., even to open a business, had to meet stringent standards, such a verifiable, unique expertise,” said attorney Zvi Kan-Tor. “Now approval depends mainly on an applicant proving he’ll provide a business with sufficient capital to cover his employment and create jobs for Americans.” (Eliran Rubin)

Tech entrepreneur makes Israel’s first real estate purchase with bitcoin

Moshe Hogeg, the high-tech entrepreneur, this week made what is believed to have been the first-ever real estate transaction in Israel paid in bitcoin. Hogeg, the CEO and cofounder of the blockchain company Sirin Labs and the tech investor Singulariteam, paid 15% of the 70 million shekel ($19.3 million) prices for a lot of just over one acre in the Tel Aviv suburb of Kfar Shmaryahu. The seller was the telecoms entrepreneur Ilan Ben-Dov. Hogeg plans to build a villa on the site and move there from his digs in Tel Aviv’s Park Tzameret . The deal may help raise the profile of Hogeg’s growing business digital currency interests, but it will leave him with a bigger tax bill, said attorney Amir Cooper. “The authorities regard bitcoin as a capital asset, whose use in a business transaction is liable for tax by the payer, as if he sold bitcoin for shekels and then used the shekels to buy land,” he said. (Yael Darel)

Tevva Motors nabs $15.6m for electric-truck using submarine technology

Tevva Motors, a British-Israeli startup founded by Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s brother Asher Bennett, said on Tuesday it raised 11.8 million pounds ($15.6 million) to help it leverage submarine technology to power electric trucks. Most of the capital was provided by India-based Bharat Forge Limited and the rest came from existing investors. “This new funding will enable us to scale up our operations in the UK and get more electric trucks onto the roads,” said Bennett. The start-up’s electric trucks have an unlimited range, thanks to an onboard generator, a 74-kilowatt battery and a small internal combustion engine, which Bennett developed after a career in the Israeli navy that exposed him to the technology used by submarines. Tevva said the global delivery company UPS had ordered 15 of the trucks after putting one through its paces on a 13-month trial and that the global transport and logistics company Kuehne + Nagel has also placed an order. (TheMarker Staff)

Singapore Technologies, Israel’s SafeRide in auto-tech partnership

Singapore Technologies Engineering and Israel’s SafeRide Technologies have formed a partnership to integrate SafeRide’s cybersecurity software with ST Engineering’s connected electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles platform. “With the rapid advances in vehicle technology, the need to safeguard the integrity and security of the systems becomes more urgent,” Lee Shiang Long, president of Singapore Technologies Engineering’s land systems arm, said on Tuesday. The companies did not provide financial details.Earlier this month, ST Engineering started on-road testing of its autonomous mobility-on-demand vehicle in Singapore’s resort island, Sentosa. It has combined a variety of technologies such as radar, lidars, GPS, odometry, and computer vision, to transform an electric bus into one that can navigate without human input. (Reuters)