Investment in Israeli cyber-security up threefold in first half of 2016
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Investment in cyber-security startups soared at more than threefold and exports climbed 15% in the first half of the year, compared with the same time in 2015, the Israel Export Institute said Monday ahead of the Israel HLS & Cyber Conference.
Investment reached $769.4 million in the first half, compared with just $500 million in all of 2016 and $220 million in 2014, the quasi-governmental institute said. That made Israel the No. 2 destination for cyber-security investment globally after the United States. Exports for cyber-security reached about $2 billion, but 80% of that came from a single company, Check Point Software Technologies.
Cyber-security exits were down to just $75.8 million in the first half after reaching $1.3 billion for all of 2015. Homeland Security Research Corporation forecasts that the market for cyber used in homeland security applications alone will grow to $546 billion in 2022 from $332 billion in 2015. Israel’s cyber-security industry counts about 300 companies, most of them startups, as well as 25 multinationals conducting research and development, including IBM, Cisco and Lockheed Martin. (Ora Coren)
Elbit to unveil drone-defense technology
A day after a drone briefly disrupted flights at Ben-Gurion International Airport when it strayed into a flight path used by commercial jets, Elbit Systems said Monday it had developed technology that neutralizes drones when they pose a threat. Due to be formally unveiled at the Israel HLS & Cyber Conference this week in Tel Aviv, Elbit’s ReDrone system is designed to protect closed air spaces, infrastructure and other critical areas against hostile drones penetrating the protected perimeter.
Elbit, Israel’s biggest private sector defense company, said the system detects the drone, disrupts communication with its operator, and blocks its radio and video signals and GPS positioning data, sending it off-track. The system provides 360-degree perimeter protection and up-to-the-minute situational awareness, and can also deal with a number of different drones simultaneously as well as in all weather, the company said. (TheMarker Staff)
Singular raises $15 million for mobile-marketing platform
Singular, whose platform enables advertisers to assess the effectiveness of their mobile marketing, said last week it had secured $15 million in funding to accelerate product development and support international expansion. KDWC, Translink Capital and Telstra Ventures led the round, with existing investor General Catalyst joining them.
Founded in 2014, by Israelis Gadi Eliashiv and Eran Friedman together with American Susan Kuo, Singular has raised $20 million to date and has offices in San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Berlin. Thirty of its 50 employees are based in Israel. Companies like Lyft, Twitter, Match.com and Zynga use the Singular platform to connect disparate data from digital marketing points to obtain marketing insights and assess the return on their marketing spending. (Ruti Levy)
Bank Leumi makes $29 million in loans to startups
Bank Leumi’s strategy to become a leading player in lending to high-tech companies took a big step forward last week when it completed two loans totaling $30 million to two startups. The bank’s LeumiTech unit awarded a $14 million loan to Celeno Communications, which was founded in 2005 and designs chips for use in Wi-Fi, and a $15 million loan for SimilarWeb, a digital-marketing intelligence company formed in 2007. Both loans were made by the bank’s Leumi Business Center in the high-tech center of Herzilya, which several months ago consolidated all the tech lending activities of eight bank branches in the center of the country. The loans are for terms of three to four years and are backed by the European Investment Fund. The EIF, which has enabled Leumi to step up tech lending since it signed on with it at the start of the year, is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program to encourage research and innovation.