Outbrain, the Israeli content-recommendation startup, said Tuesday it had raised $45 million from a group of investors, less than a year after raising $50 million.
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CEO Yaron Galai didn’t identify the investors except to say that he was one of them. The latest round brings the total raised since Outbrain was founded in 2006 to $195 million. The company is now valued at about $640 million, according to data from Israel Venture Capital Research.
Galai hinted the valuation of Outbrain, which is based in New York, was poised to break $1 billion, which would win it the “unicorn” designation. “While much of the tech/finance press is busy covering the demise of unicorns and the Silicon Valley funding winter, I’m happy to announce that Outbrain has closed a new round of funding. This adds to our last round and brings it to a total of $45 million,” Galai wrote in a blog post. (Eliran Rubin)
HP launches venture arm with Tel Aviv office
HP this week launched HP Tech Ventures, a new corporate venture arm that will operate out of the company’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters and from Tel Aviv. HP Tech Ventures said on Tuesday that it would make strategic investments and form partnerships with startups in “disruptive technology” areas, including the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and smart machines, and will build strategic relations with local venture capitalists.
“I’m very happy that the company sees Israel as the No. 2 tech hub in the world,” said Irit Hillel, who will direct HP Tech Ventures’ Israeli operations out of the company’s Ra’anana offices. She said investment would be allocated by opportunity, not geography. HP Tech Ventures will build strategic relationships with the venture community to help foster an ecosystem of innovation, the company said. The HP Tech Ventures group reports to HP Chief Technology Officer Shane Wall and is led by HP Chief Disrupter Andrew Bolwell. (Eliran Rubin)
Simplee raises $20m for medical billing app
Simplee, which develops online health care payment technology, said Tuesday it had raised $20 million from investors led by Social Capital, a partnership of philanthropists, technologists and venture capital investors. Existing investors 83North and Heritage Group and new investor American Express Ventures joined the round.
Formed in 2010 by CEO Tomer Shoval, Chief Operating Officer Roberto Rabinovich and Chief Technology Officer Tom Tsarfarti, who heads its Israeli research and development operation, Simplee has around 50 employees and has raised $38 million.
Its software unifies hospital and physician estimates, statements, payments and credit, an idea Shoval says came to him after he was inundated with medical bills when family members traveling overseas were hospitalized. The company, which says its interactive bills are easier to understand than conventional paper bills, has nearly 900 hospitals and medical practices as clients whose five million U.S. patients make over $1 billion in payments a year. (Inbal Orpaz)
Salesforce reportedly agrees to buy Implisit
Salesforce.com has agreed to buy Implisit Insights, a Tel Aviv-based startup whose software is used to analyze data collected by a company’s sales teams, Dow Jones Business News reported this week, without citing a source. No price tag was put on the sale, but Dow Jones said two people familiar with the deal said it was worth tens of millions of dollars.
Implisit was formed in 2013 by CEO Gilad Raichshtain and Chief Technology Officer Elad Donsky and has 17 employees, according to IVC Research. The company raised $3.3 million from the venture capital fund Gemini in 2014 but it is not believed to have raised more since.
Implisit isn’t the first Israel startup acquired by Salesforce. In 2011 it bought the encryption-service startup Navajo Systems and in 2012 it bought the data-mining startup Bluetail. (Eliran Rubin)