Yahoo, kibbutz launch accelerators
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Two milestones in the Israeli accelerator world occurred this week. Yahoo launched its first accelerator in Israel, together with Entrée Capital, while Revivim became the first kibbutz to host an accelerator.
Called SigmaLabs, the Yahoo-Entrée accelerator is aimed at big data, native advertising, video and fintech. Yahoo, which has bought three Israeli startups, said accelerator companies will get access to Yahoo’s databases in order to test their offerings, and will have Yahoo executives as mentors. The first batch of 5-6 companies will come for a four-month stint in September. Revivim’s model is different.
As part of its Hamadgera accelerator venture, entrepreneurs are expected to live on the Negev kibbutz for three months, far away from the high-tech scene in Tel Aviv and Herzliya, but they will be entitled to an equity investment. The first startups arrive in October. (Inbal Orpaz)
Leadspace raises $18 million
The U.S.-Israeli start-up Leadspace, whose software is used by companies to identify potential customers, has raised $18 million in new funding led by the U.S. venture capital fund Battery Ventures, the company announced last Thursday. Others joining the round included existing investors JVP and Vertex, two Israel VC funds.
The round brings total fundraising by Leadspace, whose algorithm-based products are aimed at the business-to-business market, to $35 million. The $18 million will be used to hire 40 new employees, mostly at its research and development office in Hod Hasharon, in central Israel.
Leadspace’s customers, which include Oracle and Microsoft, use its software to comb databases, social media and Web resources to find customer leads. With headquarters in San Francisco, Leadspace is headed by Doug Bewsher, the former chief marketing officer of Salesforce.com. (Amitai Ziv)
PrivateEquity offers shares in 14 startups
PrivateEquity.biz, an online platform for trading shares in startups, says it signed agreements with 14 senior employees of U.S., Canadian and Israel startups that are on the verge of making initial public offerings, and is now offering the stock for sale.
The Israeli companies include Gett (formerly GetTaxi), Kenshoo, LiveU, Websplanet, BotanoCap, and DudaMobile. In addition, stock in the U.S. startups Jumio and DoubleVerify, as well as the Canadian company QuickMobile, is available to buy on the site. PrivateEquity.biz, managed by Yaron Jacobs, former director general of Israel’s Government Companies Authority, is raising 50 million shekels ($13.2 million) for a High-Tech Employees Index Fund to invest in shares bought from startup entrepreneurs, founders and senior employees. (TheMarker Staff)