TechNation: Talks Underway to Sell Israel’s Apple Products Importer to Private Equity Fund Sky

CrediFi raises $13 million for commercial real estate analytics | Demisto raises $20 million for cyber security chatbot | Tata Consultancy Services begins major hiring drive

An Apple retailer store at a Be'er Sheva mall, 2015.
Ilan Assyag

Talks underway to sell Israel’s Apple products importer to private equity fund Sky

iDigital, the authorized importers and seller of Apple products in Israel, may be sold to the private equity fund Sky for a price that could reach 100 million shekels ($26.7 million), TheMarker has learned. Advanced talks are underway between Sky and iDigital’s owners, who include Chemi Peres, Aaron Mankovski, Zeev Binman and Isaac Hillel, all of them partners in the venture capital fund Pitango (although they hold their stakes in iDigital as private investors, not through the fund). The V Fund, part of the Viola investment group, is also a shareholder. iDigital has been on the block since 2012 when the sellers were seeking as much as 200 million shekels for it, but growing competition from Samsung and Chinese smartphone makers has undercut a key part of iDigital’s business selling iPhones. iDigital operates 12 Apple stores in Israel as well as an online business. The Pitango partners declined to comment on the report. (Eran Azran)

CrediFi raises $13 million for commercial real estate analytics

CrediFi, which provides data and analytics for commercial real estate financing, said Monday it secured $13 million and what the startup called its first significant strategic investment. The round was led by Liberty Interactive’s Liberty Israel Venture Fund, joined by 31 Ventures Global Innovation Fund and a CVC fund managed by Global Brain for Mitsui Fudosan, Japan’s leading real estate developer. Existing investors Battery Ventures, Carmel Ventures, OurCrowd and Stax also joined the round, which brings total funding since it was founded in 2014 to $23 milion. Formed by CEO Ely Razin, who previous worked for Thomson Reuters, CrediFi has a data platform that covers $13 trillion in commercial real estate debt in the U.S. on 2.3 million properties in all 50 states. CrediFi has also developed visualization technologies to map lending and property activity and services that provide ultimate-ownership information. The company has 75 employees – 10 in New York City and 65 in Tel Aviv. (Eliran Rubin)

Demisto raises $20 million for cyber security chatbot

Demisto, which has developed a chatbot designed for cyber security experts, said last week it had closed its $20 million from the venture capital funds Accel and Slack Fund and other strategic investors. The funding, which will be used to expand operations and marketing, brings the total raised by the company since it was founded in 2011 to $26 million. The startup’s four founders include CEO Slavik Markovich, who previous cofounded Sentrigo, a company sold to McAfee in 2011 for tens of millions of dollars. Demisto’s DBot is a chatbot that automates a security analyst’s basic tasks and coordinates efforts to fight off hacker attacks. “With DBot, teams in the same chatroom can communicate across geographies, which is necessary for teams who hire remote analysts because they can’t find talent nearby,” cofounder Rishi Bhargava told the tech news site VentureBeat. The company has offices in Cupertino, California and in Tel Aviv. (Eliran Rubin)

Tata Consultancy Services begins major hiring drive

Tata Consultancy Services, a unit of the giant Indian conglomerate, is undertaking a major expansion in Israel, hiring 100 new staffers for its research and development offices in Jerusalem and Petah Tikva. The expansion comes as TCS finishes a major project for Israel’s Bank Yahav and looks to begin offering similar services to large banks and financial instructions in Israel as well as multinational corporations. Tata will be taking on software developers as well as experts in cyber security and infrastructure. A unit of the Tata Group, TCS is among the world’s biggest information-technology companies, with 385,000 employees around the world – 130 of them in Israel where they service clients like Zim, Motorola Israel and Apple Israel. Eyal Moskal, Tata’s Israel manager, said he would be offering products similar to those developed for Bank Yahav. (Eliran Rubin)