Tech Nation: Alibaba to Turn Visualead Into Israeli R&D Center, Hire Extra 40 Employees

Japanese insurer Sompo enters Israeli market; 10 Israeli startups to join Israeli-China Accelerator in Beijing

Alibaba co-vice chairman Joseph 'Joe' Tsai in Hong Kong, China on Nov 22, 2017
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Alibaba to turn Visualead into Israeli R&D center, hire extra 40 employees

Chinese commerce giant Alibaba is in the final stages of acquiring Israeli startup Visualead, which will turn into the company’s Israel-based development center in the field of computerized vision. Alibaba is expected to pay about $15 million. The commerce giant has a longstanding relationship with the startup, which was the first Israeli company it ever worked with, starting in 2013. Alibaba invested an estimated $7 million in Visualead two years later. Visually developed a platform for creating stylized QR codes that can be incorporated into pictures, animations and videos. Visualead currently has 20 employees at its Herzliya offices, and is expected to hire another 40 more once it becomes Alibaba’s development center. (Ruti Levy)

Japanese insurer Sompo enters Israeli market

Japanese insurance giant Sompo is entering the Israeli market with the aim of investing and creating partnerships with Israeli cybersecurity start-ups. The company stated that it is interested in selling Israeli enterprise cyber solutions in Japan and has appointed the consulting firm Deloitte to locate and test technologies for that purpose. Sompo estimates that it will reach at least 10 billion yen ($100 million) in revenue from this activity within five years. Deloitte named Tal Chen as head of technological cooperations and Lior Kalev as director of the cyber division at Deloitte Israel to manage the new activity. Sompo's Japanese team plans to visit Israel once a quarter. (Ruti Levy)

10 Israeli startups to join Israeli-China Accelerator in Beijing

Ten Israeli startups were chosen for the new Israeli-China Accelerator program, the program leaders announced on Tuesday. The accelerator, located in Beijing, is being run in partnership by Israel’s Economy Ministry and the Chinese private equity fund Shengjing Group and Chinese business community DayDayUp. Economy Minister Eli Cohen noted that this is the first such initiative by Israel in China, and is designed to give companies an edge in entering the Chinese market. Some 100 companies applied, the program stated. The participating Israeli startups will be Anzu, Social Internet, TechsoMed, I Know First, TapReason, Modcon, Gencell, Personalics, Pom Vom and Watteam. (TheMarker)