Tech Nation

Israel Aerospace Industries Unveils Unmanned Helicopter for Evacuating Wounded Soldiers

Equity crowdfunding raised $200 million for startups since 2012 ■ Cogentix puts $2 million into Israeli startup developing treatment for overactive bladder ■ Mobileye rivals cry foul over tax rules they favor it on anti-collision devices

File photo: Models produced by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) stand on display during the Aero India 2015 air show in Bengaluru, India.
Dhiraj SIngh/Bloomberg

IAI unveils unmanned helicopter for evacuating wounded soldiers

Israel Aerospace Industries unveiled on Monday an unmanned helicopter that could be used to evacuate wounded soldiers from the battlefield. Dubbed the Air Hopper, the aircraft has already carried out demonstrations for the Israeli military, but the company would not say when it would be ready for market. One demonstration simulated carrying a seriously wounded soldier to an extraction point for life-saving treatment, airborne monitoring of vital signs and real-time dispatch to the ground and a second simulated carrying supplies to an isolated force at the front line that could not be accessed without risking the lives of troops. State-owned IAI said the Air Hopper can carry a payload of up to 180 kilograms, flight time of two hours and speed of up to 120 kilometers an hour. “I believe these developments will open many doors for us in local and global markets, military and civilian alike,” said Shaul Shahar, general manager of IAI’s military aircraft group. (TheMarker Staff)

Equity crowdfunding raised $200 million for startups since 2012

Equity crowdfunding platforms, led by OurCrowd, raised $200 million in capital for 145 Israeli startups in four-and-a-half years through the first half of 2017, a report by IVC Research Center released last week shows. Crowdfunding, which aggregates investments from large numbers of people, got its start with the with 2012 U.S. Jobs Act to regulate the sector. In Israel, the peak year for crowdfunding in startups was 2015, with $57 million raised, but this year looks set to surpass that, with $36 million raised in the first six months alone, IVC said. Marianna Shapira, IVC research manager, said crowdfunding was an important source of financing for young startups as traditional venture capital funds focus on more mature companies. “Equity crowdfunding platforms perfectly fit into this niche mostly because of their natural tendency to invest smaller amounts per round,” she said. OurCrowd accounted for 81% of all the capital invested in the period, IVC said. (TheMarker Staff)

Cogentix puts $2 million into Israeli startup developing treatment for overactive bladder

Cogentix Medical, a U.S. medical-device company, said over the weekend it invested $2 million in an Israeli startup developing a treatment for people with overactive bladders. Called VensiCare, Vensica Medical’s ultrasound-based system is designed to deliver botulinum toxin, such as Botox or Dysport, to treat overactive bladder, or OAB. “Our physician customers often use Botox for the treatment of overactive bladder, and we believe Vensica’s approach and product pathway currently show promise for revolutionizing the manner in which botulinum toxin is administered for OAB,” said Cogentix CEO Darin Hammers. Vensica expects to begin clinical trials of VensiCare in about a year. Hammers said that while Vensica is currently focused on treating OAB, which affects about 42 million Americans, VensiCare has the potential to be a broad-based drug-delivery platform that could be used to treat cancer and other indications. The agreement gives Cogentix the option of buying out the rest of Vensica for another $8 million. (Ruti Levy)

Mobileye rivals cry foul over tax rules they favor it on anti-collision devices

Three months before Israel puts into effect rules requiring new cars to have anti-collision technology on board, competitors of Mobileye are claiming they are being discriminating against. Mobileye, the Israeli auto-tech company acquired earlier this year by Intel, already has about half the local market for anti-crash technology because it’s the technology of choice for auto importers. Rivals say rules published recently by the Transportation Ministry will tighten Mobileye’s hold. The rules award tax benefits based on points but only Mobileye devices get the full number of points possible, even though the three companies that provide anti-collision technology in Israeli offer similar products. Rivals Awacs and ADI Systems say the ministry refuses to make changes to the rules. The tax benefits amounts to just 125 shekels ($35.40) but with 300,000 new cars imported to Israel every year that adds up to 37.5 million shekels. (Oren Dori)