TechNation: Peer-to-peer Insurer Lemonade Raises Another $34 Million

Startup Secdo raises $10 million for cyber-security technology | Taboola setting up research and development center in Be’er Sheva | HearMeOut raises $4.8m in Australian IPO

One-hundred-dollar bills
Reuters

Peer-to-peer insurer Lemonade raises another $34 million

Lemonade, a startup founded and led by Israelis that offers peer-to-peer insurance for renters and homeowners, said on Monday it had raised $34 million capital, bringing the total raised in the past year to $60 million. The round was led by the venture capital fund General Catalyst with participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures), Thrive Capital and Tusk Ventures, joined by existing investors Aleph, Sequoia, and XL Innovate. Lemonade got a New York State insurance license in September and this week filed for a license in California. “Building an insurance company is like building a bank and requires a lot of resources, some of them financial and some of them human,” said cofounder Shai Winiger. Lemonade was founded in 2015 , the company employs artificial intelligence and behavioral economics to assess risk and, unlike traditional insurers, takes a flat fee and gives back unclaimed money to causes policyholders care about.  (Eliran Rubin)

Startup Secdo raises $10 million for cyber-security technology

Secdo, an Israeli cyber-security startup , said Tuesday it had raised $10 million in a funding round led by RDC, a joint venture of Israel’s Elron Electronic Industries and the Israeli government arms maker Rafael. Other backers included Check Point Software cofounder Marius Nacht, and the founders of Anobit, which was acquired by Apple.Secdo said the funding would be used to expand U.S. sales operations, customer support, and on research and development. Secdo enables large businesses to quickly sort through thousands of potential cyber breach alerts that they receive each day, cutting response time to minutes. The company was founded in 2014 by cyber security experts from Israeli army intelligence, and has offices in New York and Israel. “After major investments in solutions that try to prevent or detect threats, the industry’s focus is shifting to incident response,” Secdo CEO Shai Morag said. (Reuters)

Taboola setting up research and development center in Be’er Sheva

Taboola, the Israeli startup that offers web publishers suggested content to their readers, is opening a Be’er Sheva research and development center. The company is renting office space in the WeWork center adjacent to the Israel Defense Forces new communications campus and will be joining R&D centers operated by Deutsche Telekom, Lockheed Martin, Wix and PayPal, unlike Taboola, most of them focused on cuber-security.  CEO and Cofounder Adam Singolda said Taboola it would be hiring dozens of staff and planned to boost payroll at its Ramat Gan office by more than 100 next year. Founded in 2007 and reportedly valued at close to $1 billion at its last fundraising round in 2015, the company still operates like a startup, said Singolda. “Taboola employs about 600 people today, it’s profitable and growing, but it retains its stratum roots,” he said. “A week doesn’t go buy we have don’t come up with an exciting new idea.” (Ruti Levy)

HearMeOut raises $4.8m in Australian IPO

HearMeOut, an Israeli startup that bills its app as the audio version of Twitter, completed a 6.5 million Australian dollar ($4.8 million) initial public offering for trading on the Australian Stock Exchange on Tuesday . The company, whose platform enables users to record audio posts of up to 42 seconds in their own voice, went public at a $13 million. But the shares, which were priced at 20 Australian cents each got off to a rocky start, ending their first day down 5% but jumping to 26.5 cents on Wednesday. The company secured an international distribution agreement with automaker Ford Motors to include the HearMeOut product within Ford’s Sync AppLink technology, which allows drivers to use voice commands and steering wheel buttons to control their mobile apps. The top shareholder in HearMeOut is Russian VC firm Vaizra Investments, launched by the founders of Russian Facebook rival VK.com. (Elian Rubin)