TechNation / Ex-Intel Israel President to Advise Bank Hapoalim

CreditEase China raises first $30m for Israel investment fund; Barclays plans Israeli tech accelerator; Kaltura seeks $100 million in new funding.

Tess Scheflan

CreditEase China raises first $30m for Israel investment fund

Chinese investment in Israel is growing despite the country’s economic slowdown. CreditEase China, a Chinese financial services company, has raised an initial $30 million for a venture capital/private equity fund to invest in Israeli and U.S. companies. The CreditEase Israel Innovation Fund, which will be managed by Tayman Kan and Benjamin Weiss, said it would invest in technology, media, telecommunications, health care and smart materials, both early- and later-stage companies. The funds were raised from CreditEast clients in China. “We believe that technology companies in Israel offer interesting investment opportunities for our clients,” explained Richard Williamson, co-head of corporate strategy for CreditEase. Kan and Weiss, who have deep and broad experience investing in technology startups, have invested in some 10 Israeli companies, including Pebbles Interfaces, Corephotonics, Saguna Networks and Silentium. Founded in 2006 with headquarters in Beijing, CreditEase offers wealth and credit management services, microfinance investment, and microcredit loans. It counts 50,000 employees  based in 100 cities in China.  (Inbal Orpaz) 

Ex-Intel Israel president to advise Bank Hapoalim

Shmuel (Mooly) Eden, the former Intel Israel president, has been named an adviser on technology for Bank Hapoalim, the bank, Israel’s biggest lender, said on Sunday. Eden will help the bank keep up with rapidly changing financial services technologies and enhance the services it provides to clients. “After I left Intel I promised myself and my family I would shift into a lower gear for at least a year,” Eden said in a statement. “[Hapoalim CEO] Zion Kenan’s asking me to join Bank Hapoalim as a consultant and take part in leading the digital revolution at the bank took me by surprise. The challenge of defining future interfaces, implementing advanced technologies in collaboration with fintech startups, defining interfaces that will enable them to develop and examine creative ideas within a short time, looks fascinating.” (Amitai Ziv)

Barclays plans Israeli tech accelerator

Three months after it launched its Rise network of startup accelerators, the British bank Barclays said last week it plans to open a site in Tel Aviv in March. Tel Aviv will be the bank’s fifth such accelerator, after London, Manchester, New York and a soon-to-be-opened Cape Town site. Rise Tel Aviv will provide space for financial technology startups, including offices, conference rooms and event space, on Ahad Ha’am Street. It will also host a 13-week program for 10 fintech and cybersecurity startups, in partnership with the Techstars global mentoring program. The application deadline for the first round of the  accelerator program is January 2. “We are highly focused on the Israeli technology investment banking opportunity, and Rise will give us the opportunity to leverage our relationships and experience,” said Len Rosen, Barclays Israel’s CEO. (TheMarker Staff) 

Kaltura seeks $100 million in new funding

Kaltura, a developer of video content platforms, has hired Goldman Sachs to help it raise more than $100 million through either an initial public offering or a private funding in the United States, Bloomberg News reported. The New York-based company, founded and led by Israelis Ron Yekutiel (now the company’s CEO), Shay David, Michal Tsur and Eran Etam, aims to raise the $100 million by the end of the first quarter of next year, Bloomberg said. Since it was formed in 2006, Kaltura has raised $105 million, most recently $47 million last year led by SAP’s venture capital arm that valued the company at $250 million and was expected to presage an IPO. Other investors include Intel, Nokia Growth Partners and Point 406 Ventures. Kaltura’s platform manages online advertisements, in-house training and other video content for companies including Royal Philips and Wal-Mart. (TheMarker Staff)