Tech Nation / Nicki Minaj-backed Israeli Music App Raises $30m in Latest Fundraising Round

Consortium to develop 3D printing for aerospace parts; abaGada digital marcom company acquired by Dentsu Aegis; eToro tops out round with $12m from German bank.

AP
Roman Abramovich, the Russian Jewish oligarch and owner of Chelsea Football Club, is the lead investor in a $30 million fundraising round by Music Messenger, the Israeli app said Monday.
 
Abramovich, who has invested in several technology startups in Israel and recently bought a Jaffa property for use as a home, accounted for half the round. Other investors include music industry celebrities David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Tiesto, will.i.am and Gee Roberson, a former chairman of Geffen Records.
 
Founded by Oded Kobo, Music Messenger was valued in the round at $100 million after the money. Its app lets users search for songs and send them to anyone in your smartphone contact list. Recipients can put their music messages into a library. (Inbal Orpaz)
 
Consortium will develop 3D printing for aerospace parts
The Atid consortium has gotten the go-ahead to launch operations in the second half of the year to develop ways of making aircraft parts using 3D printing technology, the Economy Ministry’s Office of the Chief Scientist said Sunday.
 
The consortium, which will operate for three years with funding from the chief scientist’s office, is led by Elbit Systems’ Cyclone unit and will include Israel Aerospace Industries, Orbit and parts makers Algat and Admar, as well as researchers from Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Atid won’t be developing 3D technology itself but exploit existing technology to develop generic processes for making sophisticated aerospace components using 3D printers.
 
“It’s a fascinating area that we can expect will significantly impact manufacturing and products in the future,” said the government’s chief scientist, Avi Hasson. “It’s important that Israel enter the 3D segment.” (Ora Coren)
 
AbaGada acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network
The London-based digital marketing communications company Dentsu Aegis Network said yesterday it had acquired Israel’s abaGada Internet, an online performance marketing agency, for an undisclosed amount. AbaGada will become part of Dentsu Aegis and its iProspect global digital performance agency. Formed in 2010 and headquartered in Tel Aviv, abaGada is a leading digital agency in Israel, which Dentsu Aegis described as “a market recognized as an incubator for technology advancements and digital product development.” AbaGada’s CEO and co-founder, Eyal Chen, will become CEO of Dentus Aegis Israel and his 22 employees will remain with the company. Dentsu Aegis is a subsidiary of the Japanese advertising and public relations agency Dentsu. (TheMarker)
 
EToro tops out round with $12 million from German bank
Israeli social investment platform eToro said yesterday it topped out an earlier fundraising round with an additional $12 million investment led by CommerzVentures, the venture capital arm of Germany’s Commerzbank that was founded last year. The round marks its first-ever investment in a financial technology company and brings the total amount eToro raised to $39 million. Earlier investors in the round were Sberbank of Russia and China’s Ping An Insurance Group, while Silicon Valley Bank offered a $10 million credit line. EToro, which has over 4 million registered users, offers hundreds of contracts for differences on currencies, stocks, indices and commodities and combines that with social trading functions to enable users to share information and insights. (TheMarker Staff)
 
Labor dispute declared at Comverse
Just a month after employees formed a union at Comverse Technologies, the Histadrut labor federation on Sunday declared a labor dispute that could lead to a strike in two weeks. Yaki Halutzi, who heads the Histadrut’s high-tech division, accused management of planning structural changes without consulting with employees by contracting out digital services to an outside company, India’s Tech Mahindra. Digital services accounts for about half the Israel payroll at Comverse, which makes billing software and other technology for cellular operators. (Haim Bior)