Credit Suisse to Fund Israeli Startups

Forter raises $15 million for automated fraud detection; NCR laying off 180 workers at Retalix software R&D offices in Ra'anana.

Bloomberg

The Swiss bank Credit Suisse is looking to do business with Israeli startups by identifying investment opportunities in companies for clients of its wealth management business. The bank, represented by senior bankers Chris Cottrell and Philippe Cerf, held a forum with high-tech companies this week as a way of building connections with them. The bank has done some business in Israeli tech in past, raising capital for Landa nanotechnology printing labs as well as acting as underwriters for companies like chip designer Mellanox and plant genomics company Evogene. In September, Credit Suisse invested $12 million in the Israeli cybersecurity startup Secure Islands. Credit Suisse’s move follows decisions by Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi over the past year to set up special units to provide startup finance.

Forter raises $15m for automated fraud detection
Forter, which provides fraud-prevention solutions for online merchants, said Tuesday it raised $15 million from venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates and Sequoia Capital. The funding round, which is the second since the startup was formed a year and a half ago, will be used to set up sales offices in the United States and add 25 employees to its Tel Aviv research and development center. Two of the most influential figures in venture capital — Sequoia’s Douglas Leone and New Enterprise’s Peter Barris — took part in the inauguration of the new R&D center this week, Forter said. Forter offers what it says is real-time, automated fraud detection for online retailers. Online merchants had $5 billion in losses in the last year from e-commerce, the company said.

NCR laying off 180 in Israel
NCR, the U.S. ATM and cash register maker that bought Israel’s Retalix two years ago as part of an expansion into software, is planning to lay off up to 180 employees from the Retalix R&D offices in Ra’anana. Retalix makes software for chain retailers to help manage sales, stores and logistics. NCR declined to comment, but sources said between 170 and 180 employees were called in for pre-dismissal hearings. It is the second round of layoffs by NCR Israel, which employs about 1,100 people, after 60 were let go over the summer. The earlier layoffs came after the company lost a key contract with the Canadian arm of U.S. retail giant Target. This time, the firings are part of a global cost-cutting move by NCR in the retail technology segment of its business.