Tech Briefs

Online psychotherapy platform raises $2.5 million; iPhone outsells Samsung Galaxy in Israel for first time.

Bloomberg

Online psychotherapy platform raises $2.5 million
Talkspace, which offers online therapy from a team of 40 professionals, said Monday it raised $2.5 million from the venture capital funds Spark Capital and SoftBank Capital. Talkspace’s 50,000 patients use the service to text as much as they want from computers or mobile devices to a professional therapist. They are allowed to remain anonymous, which the company says makes it easier to overcome any shame the virtual patients might have about getting help. Talkspace, which is based in New York and runs a research and development center in Tel Aviv, was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Oren Frank, the CEO, and Roni Frank, who heads clinical relations for the startup. “Five years ago a couples therapist literally saved our marriage,” Oren Frank said. Her name is Iris Reitzes, now one of the 40 therapists working for Talkspace. (TheMarker Staff)

iPhone outsells Samsung Galaxy in Israel for first time
Apple’s iPhone outsold Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones for the first time, figures from market researcher IDC from the first quarter of the year showed this week. Apple sold 214,000 of its phones in the three months, a 53% jump from a year ago, while Samsung sold about 196,000, an increase of just 4%. The iPhone was responsible for the 28% increase in smartphone sales in Israel in the first quarter, compared with a year ago. IPhone’s 33% market share in Israel is now exceeded only by the 36% it commands in the United States and 58% in Japan. LG saw its first-quarter sales jump 150%, to 64,000 phones, and Alcatel saw its sales rise 57%, to 41,000, according to IDC estimates. (Amitai Ziv)

Two venture funds make progress in fundraising
Two Israeli venture capital managers this week reported making substantial progress toward raising capital for new funds. Vertex Venture Capital said it has closed on half of a projected $100 million fund and Qumra Capital, which was founded two years ago by Erez Shachar and Boaz Dinte, said it expects to close on between $20 million and $30 million in the next two weeks. That comes on top of the $40 million it raised a raised a year ago. The fundraising successes come as Israel’s VC industry struggles to raise capital. Vertex had originally planned to raise $150 million, but trimmed down its target to $100 million. The Chinese computer maker Lenovo was supposed to put $15 million into the Vertex 4 solid-state drive but pulled out when other investors opposed the preferred terms Lenovo was supposed to get. (Inbal Orpaz)