TechNation

HiBob Raises $7.5 Million for Innovative HR Platform

Psagot takes 20% stake in peer-to-peer lender | Broadcom laying off scores of employees in Israel

Jason Finger, entrepreneur-in-residence for Bessemer Venture Partners, speaks at the Bloomberg Link Empowered Entrepreneur Summit in New York, U.S., on Thursday, April 14, 2011.
Peter Foley, Bloomberg

HiBob raises $7.5 million for innovative HR platform

HiBob, an Israeli-British startup developing human resources management software, went out of stealth mode and said Monday it had secured $7.5 million in funding from the U.S. fund Bessemer Venture partners and a group of UK angel investors. The company was formed only last year by four Israelis led by CEO Ronni Zehavi, who had previous led Contendo, a startup sold to Akamai five years ago for $268 million. HiBob’s platform is aimed at HR departments at companies employing up to 300 people, with its market focus on Britain. Its most unique feature is an automated function that identifies employees in need of pension consulting or advice on health insurance. “An HR system collects a lot of information on employees, on their private lives and the personal needs of each one. Using these data we can create special packages of health insurance tailored to the needs of each employee,” said Zehavi. HiBob employs 40 people evenly divided between Israel and the UK. Despite its focus on the British market, Zehavi said the company planned to keep its Israel research and development operation intact and expand the payroll by scores of employees in the coming year. (Eliran Rubin)

Psagot takes 20% stake in peer-to-peer lender
Psagot Investment House, Israel’s largest brokerage, will buy 20% of peer-to-peer lending platform BLender’s Israeli activity, the companies said on Monday. The stake in BLender will enable Psagot to quickly enter the consumer credit market, which today is dominated by Israeli banks and their credit card subsidiaries. “The investment houses are creating competition in the financial services industry and can bring a major change to the [consumer] market, too,” said Psagot CEO Hagai Badash. “The combination of Psagot ... and the disruptive technology of BLender is another step toward improving consumers’ financial power.” Financial terms were not disclosed and the agreement is subject to regulatory and other approvals. (Reuters)

Broadcom laying off scores of employees in Israel

Scores of Broadcom Israel employees have been fired after the company sold off the broadband-wireless chip business it acquired when it bought the Israeli startup provident five years ago. In early May, Broadcom sold off the assets of the business for $88 million to Maxlinear and since then has given layoff notices to 70 of the former unit’s 1,230 staff. The firings are part of job cuts the company is making worldwide after it was taken over by Singapore-based Avago, which subsequently changed its name to Broadcom. However, Broadcom is expanding in Israel in other areas, buying the Israeli startup MagnaCom two months ago for $50 million as part of a drive to develop 5Gwireless products. MagnaCom, however, right now employs just 15 people. Until the latest firings, Broadcom employed about 800 people in Israel in five research and development locations, and since 2001 has bought 12 local startups. (Inbal Orpaz and Eliran Rubin)