Israeli Startup Meetinkz Aims to Be the Airbnb of Conference Rooms

TechNation | Elcam unveils electronic syringe for biological drugs, developed with international partner ■ Two Israeli venture capital funds raise nearly $400 million

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A Meetinkz conference room
A Meetinkz conference roomCredit: דור שרון

Startup Meetinkz aims to be the Airbnb of conference rooms

A year after its founding, Meetinkz, which aims to become the Airbnb for conference rooms, has raised its first outside capital and is expanding to London. The platform matches small businesses seeking space for a meeting or other large gathering with large organizations whose conference rooms are typically unused much of the day. “I was surprised by how interested businesses were, such as a law firm in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Center with two luxurious conference rooms that stand empty most of the time,” said founder Dorin Sharon. “They realized they could cover their rent by renting out conference rooms if someone else was arranging it for them.” The Meetinkz website offers 300 conference rooms of different styles at hourly rates of $25 to $100. It also offers more exotic venues like wineries and private homes for events and all-day meetings. Meetinkz was bootstrapped with some $250,000 invested by Sharon herself, but more recently an angel investor she declined to name has added another $100,000. (Tali Heruti-Sover)

Elcam unveils electronic syringe for biological drugs, developed with international partner

Elcam Medical, a maker of disposable medical devices based in Kibbutz Baram, unveiled Wednesday an electronic syringe used to deliver next-generation biological drugs that it developed with one of the world’s top three pharmaceutical companies. CEO Igal Kohen declined to identify its partner, which will begin marketing the syringe in Japan before expanding into additional markets. Elcam, which has annual sales of about $100 million, said it expected first-year sales of $10 million from its new device. Although Elcam has manufacturing facilities in Israel and in Italy, its partners insisted the syringes be manufactured in the United States due to security concerns. (Kibbutz Baram is adjacent to the Lebanese border). Developing the syringe and adapting it to the requirement of its partner took three years and cost as much as $40 million, including the cost of building a U.S. production line in Colorado. Kohen said the pharma company covered all the development costs. (Yoram Gabison)

Two Israeli venture capital funds raise nearly $400 million

Two Israeli venture capital funds said this week they had netted close to $400 million, in separate funding rounds. Jerusalem Venture Partners said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had raised the first $168 million of a planned $200 million for its JVP VIII fund. The backers reportedly include the Chinese online retail giant Alibaba, whose founder and CEO Jack Ma visited JVP’s Jerusalem offices in May. One of Israel’s oldest VC funds, JVP has raised $1.2 billion since its 1993 founding. Meanwhile, Israel Growth Partners said Tuesday it had raised $230 million for the first closing of a new fund that will invest in Israeli high-tech growth companies. The fund, IGP II, will put from $15 million to $30 million into mature startups with annual revenue exceeding $10 million. The new fund got backing from IGP’s current investors, including Clal Insurance, Bank Leumi’s Leumi Partners, Discount Capital Markets and other institutional and private investors. (Eliran Rubin and Reuters)