TechNation: Freightos Raises $25m From GE-led Group

Nine out of 10 startups raised money at higher valuations in 2016; ControlUp secures $10m from K1 and JVP; Barak Regev named head of Google Israel.

File photo: Hi-tech workers.
Bloomberg

Freightos raises $25m from GE-led group

Freightos, which operates an online marketplace for global shipping, said Wednesday it raised $25 million from a group led by GE Ventures, General Electrics’ venture capital arm. “GE is such a big industrial company and it is helpful to us because it gives us insight into the world’s biggest shippers,” CEO Zvi Schreiber told TechCrunch. “They are potentially a big customer for Freightos.” Other investors include Sadara Ventures, a venture capital fund targeting the Palestinian high-tech sector, as well as Israel’s Aleph VC, Michigan-based Annox Capital and MSR Capital of Malaysia. The company, which has research and development offices in Ramallah, operates an online marketplace where shippers can compare rates and book transportation. Shortly after launching its Freightos Marketplace online platform last July, it bought the Spanish startup WebCargoNet, adding its database of global airfreight rates focused on trans-Pacific routes. The funding will be used to expand routes, including more services to and from Europe. (Eliran Rubin)

Nine out of 10 startups raised money at higher valuations in 2016

Nine out of 10 Israeli startups that raised capital in 2016 did so at a higher valuation than their prior investment round, a higher rate than in previous years, according to a survey by the law firm Shibolet & Company released Wednesday. Only 7% raised money at lower valuations and the rest at the same valuation. The rate of up rounds was much higher than the 73% in Silicon Valley, according to a similar survey by the U.S. law firm Fenwick & West. The figure, which serves as a barometer of the health of the startup sector, compares with a rate of 54% for Israeli companies in 2008-10. On the other hand, Shibolet found that the proportion of startups raising their first round of investment last year fell to 33% of the total, down from 44% in 2015. In Silicon Valley first-time fundraisers accounted for just 23% of all rounds. (Inbal Orpaz)

ControlUp secures $10m from K1 and JVP

ControlUp, an Israeli-U.S. startup whose software enables systems administrators to control IT infrastructure from a single dashboard, said Wednesday it had raised $10 million from by the U.S. fund K1 Investment Management and Israel’s Jerusalem Venture Partners. The round will bring total funding to $13.3 million for the startup, which has headquarters in Saratoga, California and research and development offices in Tel Aviv. Founded in 2012 by CEO Asaf Ganot and Chief Technology Officer Yoni Avital, the company’s platform analyzes data from a global customer base to find patterns, detect problems and generate insights. “After a year of significant accomplishments in 2016, we’re expanding our global footprint and are excited to use these funds to continue innovating, growing our company, and enlarging our client base worldwide,” Ganot said in a statement. The company employs about 50 people. (TheMarker Staff)

Barak Regev named head of Google Israel

Barak Regev will take over as CEO of Google Israel in May, Meir Brand, a Google global vice president, told employees in a letter this week. Regev will report to Brand, who founded Google Israel in 2005 and led it for 10 years. Regev, 44, has a master’s in business administration from California State University, Northridge. He joined Google Israel in 2010 as the manager of Google Enterprise in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and two years later became manager of the company’s cloud platform in London. He had previously worked as manager of Microsoft Israel’s business division and filled marketing and sales roles at several startups. Regev is coming in at a challenging time for the company, which is under investigation by the Israel Tax Authority over its Ireland domicile, which enables it to avoid Israeli taxes, while its YouTube unit is being boycotted by advertisers in the U.S. and Britain over offensive content. (Refaella Goichman)