Israeli Arab Incubator Raises $4.5 Million

Home dining platform raises $8 million.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the International Cybersecurity Conference at Tel Aviv University on September 14, 2014.
Moti Milrod

Home dining platform raises $8 million

EatWith, an online platform for amateur chefs to host dinners in their homes for paying guests, has raised $8 million from an investor group led by Greylock Partners. Previous investors Genesis Partners and individual angels joined in the round, whose cash will be used to build the company’s strong presence in markets like Barcelona, Rome, Paris and New York, in addition to fueling expansion in San Francisco. Cofounded by CEO Guy Michlin and chief technology officer Shemer Schwarz two years ago, EatWith now has more than 500 hosts on the platform who have hosted tens of thousands of guests in more than 30 countries and 160 cities. “People are becoming more comfortable with the mechanics of the marketplace economy, online technology platforms are making it easier for people to connect offline and foodie culture has meant more people are actively seeking out unique dining experiences,” said Greylock’s Simon Rothman. (TheMarker Staff)

Israeli Arab incubator raises $4.5 million

Takwin Labs, a new incubator for Arab Israeli tech entrepreneurs, is open for business after saying Monday that it raised $4.5 million to invest in startups and mentor their founders. The money is the first of $20 million that Takwin, which means “genesis” in Arabic, aims to raise in order to fund budding Israeli Arab entrepreneurs in the fields of mobile and Internet. Erel Margalit, the founder of Jerusalem Venture Partners and now a Labor Party lawmaker, was one of the creators of the incubator, along with Chemi Peres, founder and managing partner at Pitango Venture Capital; Al Bawader, the first Israeli Arab venture capital firm; and Imad Telhami, founder of Babcom Centers, which supplies call center and software development services to Israeli companies. From its headquarters in Haifa, Takwin plans to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in each of four to six startup companies whose products and services are directed at the regional Arab market. (Inbal Orpaz)

Israel sets up cyber defense authority

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the creation of a national cyber defense authority that will coordinate the work of civilian and military bodies in protecting the country against attacks on computers and cyber networks. Eviatar Matania, who heads the Israel National Cyber Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office, will direct the new authority. “It is, in effect, the creation of an air force against new threats, which will not rely on existing agencies. We are in a new world; we are preparing with new forces,” Netanyahu said Sunday. Netanyahu has accused Iran of launching repeated cyber attacks on Israel, especially during the summer’s Israel-Gaza war. Matania was given 60 days to submit a plan to the security cabinet for how the authority should be structured, along with a multi-year plan for cooperating with other agencies. (TheMarker Staff)