Tech Roundup / Start-up Women Can Have It All

Pitango Venture Capital makes an investment while a computer with Israeli technology makes waves in Berlin.

This week, Pitango Venture Capital announced that it has invested $150 million in its new fund, Pitango VI. Pitango’s new investments, some of which will be made over the next several months, will stem from this new fund. Pitango’s officials have set a goal of raising $250 million, but have not provided a schedule of when they plan to finish doing so. The sum is lower than the Israeli venture-capital industry’s estimate of $300 million.

The fund’s areas of investment will include Internet and the media, cellular phone applications, corporate data-storage solutions and digitizing, communications infrastructure, software, computer chips, life sciences (including medical equipment and biopharm), and cleantech. The investments will be made in early-stage and mature companies. Since 1993, the fund, which had its beginnings in the government’s Yozma program, has raised $1.4 billion.

The hybrid computer that Sony displayed at the IFA Berlin 2012 trade show is based on technology developed by Ntrig, an Israeli company based in Kfar Sava. Ntrig, which was founded in 1999, manufactures touch-screen technology that allows users to use all ten fingers and a touch pen simultaneously.

Entrepreneurs Michal Tsur and Leah Belsky of Kaltura, an Israeli start-up that developed an open-source video-editing platform, have written a column for TechCrunch entitled “In the World of Tech, Women Can Have It All.” Tsur and Belsky intended their column to be a response to the much-publicized essay “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” by Anne-Marie Slaughter, which appeared last month in The Atlantic. While Slaughter writes that the current structure of the American economy and society does not allow women to balance career and family successfully, Tsur and Belsky assert that the culture and flexibility found in start-ups actually encourage good work-life balance. “Ambition, hard work, sacrifice and dedication are still requirements for success in tech — but a decision to prioritize achievement over family is not,” they write.

Leumi Partners, Bank Leumi’s investment-banking subsidiary, has invested NIS 40 million in the Israeli company Powermat, which manufactures wireless powering solutions for electronic devices. The investment reflects a market value of about $330 million. As a result of its investment, Leumi will hold three percent of Powermat’s stock. Last January, TheMarker revealed that Goldman-Sachs had invested $30 million in Powermat in one of its largest fundraising rounds this year.

Time To Know, an Israeli company that develops digital-learning solutions, has signed a cooperation agreement with Doosan Dong-A, a South Korean publishing company that operates hundreds of learning centers and private schools all over South Korea.

As part of the cooperation agreement, Doosan Dong-A will use Time To Know’s digital teaching systems for studying English as a second language in the private-school market, and thousands of pupils will use them over the coming year. Officials of Time To Know say that Doosan holds about 35 percent of the private-school market share in South Korea and has a sales turnover of more than $200 million per year.

This agreement joins the contract that Time To Know signed two weeks ago with McGraw-Hill Education, one of the largest textbook publishers in the United States, for developing and distributing the system in American schools.