Leumi Launches High-tech Lending Unit

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Bank LeumiCredit: Bloomberg

Bank Leumi said on Monday it has formed a new unit called Leumitech that will offer up to 2 billion shekels ($580 million) in bridge financing to startup companies. The initiative, which is being promoted by Leumi CEO Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, aims to solve the problem startups have in getting bank financing and to establish Leumi as the go-to lender for the high-tech sector. The bank will initially make available credit in the hundreds of millions of shekels and grow to 2 billion shekels in five years, “This means a dramatic increase in the money available in the market,” Leumitech CEO Yifat Oren said. A former partner at Vertex Venture Capital, Oren comes from a high-tech background rather than banking. (Inbal Orpaz and Sivan Aizescu)

TLV Media lays off staff as IPO plans fizzle

TLV Media, a digital technology advertising firm, sent dismissal notices on Sunday to 14 of its 40 employees. The company said it is paring down personnel in areas beyond its core technology business. The restructuring comes after the company scrapped plans for an initial public offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The employees who are being fired are in media sales and client management positions that were created in anticipation of the IPO. CEO Ohad Gliksman told TheMarker that the offering was pulled because of a sell-off of shares for online advertising stocks in recent weeks. “At the end of the day, our benchmark stocks were hurt,” he said, citing Matomy, which decided not to proceed with an IPO in London, and Criteo, which suffered a decline in its share price last month. (Inbal Orpaz)

Crossrider buys two mobile startups

Crossrider, a Tel Aviv company whose platform lets developers make extensions that work on most browsers, said on Monday it had bought two Tel Aviv-based mobile ad startups. Both Ajillion and Definiti Media were founded and wholly owned by Gilad Hellerman and Etai Raz. Definiti was founded two years ago, Ajillion one year ago. Crossrider, which is owned by Israeli online gambling software magnate Teddy Sagi, did not disclose the price but it is believed to be between $15 million and $18 million. The startups’ 20 employees will join Crossrider’s workforce of 80 and help expand its move into the mobile sector. Up to now, most of its development work in the field has been carried out in Ukraine. (Inbal Orpaz)