TechNation: Honeywell Buys Industrial Cybersecurity Startup Nextnine for Reported $40 Million

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An employee works at a laptop computer at the Jerusalem Venture Partners JVP Media Labs, situated in the JVP Media Quarter in Jerusalem, Israel, on Wednesday, Oct. 21 , 2015.
Israeli startups comprise more than 10% of Gartner’s 2017 Cool Vendors list.Credit: Bloomberg

Honeywell buys industrial cybersecurity startup Nextnine for reported $40 million

Nextnine, which makes cybersecurity platforms for manufacturing companies, was acquired by Honeywell on Monday. The U.S. company didn’t disclose what it paid, but it is believed to be between $35 million and $40 million. Nextnine was founded in 1998 to make a tool for software developers but switched course three years later to focus on remote-maintenance of telecoms facilities. From there, it moved to industrial applications in 2009 and in 2012 moved into the cybersecurity segments. Honeywell paid about what Nextnine’s backers invested in the company, but CEO Shmulik Aran said they did well by the exit. “It’s not a deluxe exit but it will allow the company to grow,” he told TheMarker. “The deal was good for those who stayed for the last fundraising round – the Infinity Fund and Udi Angel’s XT group they are getting back four or six times their money.” Nextnine will become a research and development center for Honeywell. (Eliran Rubin)

Cabinet approves program to close social gaps via technology

Israel’s cabinet approved on Sunday a 1.5 billion shekel ($420 million) budget for 2017-18 for a program to marshal computers and internet to help close social gaps and boost economic growth. “We want to create a situation in which every girl and boy in Israel will have the resources and digital knowledge needed to fulfill their potential by enabling broad and equal access to all the opportunities created by the world of technology,” said Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel, who has promoted the initiative. Among the projects being developed through the “Digital Israel” program will be a “Rights Engine,” an app that Israelis can use to find out what government benefits they are entitled to by entering their personal information. Another project is to create a free online course for students preparing for the psychometric exam. Another will help people navigate lines at hospitals and medical clinics and schedule procedures at emergency rooms. (Amitai Ziv)

Israeli startups comprise more than 10% of Gartner’s 2017 Cool Vendors list

The Gartner Group’s Cool Vendors competition, the U.S. consulting firm’s list of the world’s most promising tech startups, counts 32 Israeli companies on its 2017 list, slightly more than 10% of the total. With past lists including companies like Waze and Mobileye, the Cool Vendors list is a good barometer of future success. The Israeli list is heavily weighted toward cybersecurity, which accounts for about a third of the Israeli startups on the global list. They include TopSpin, whose technology creates attractive targets inside a computer to uncover hackers that have bypassed other security and block them. Another big area is artificial intelligence. They include LawGeek, which uses AI to help legal teams automate contract reviews. “This year the process was even more difficult, yet we still managed to bring a lot of Israeli companies to the world forum and get them on the list,” said Shlomit Hart, CEO of Gartner Israel. (Amitai Ziv and Eliran Rubin)

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