TechNation: VC Industry Critical of New Gov’t Plan to Lure Institutional Capital

Bill would require government agencies to accept email communications; Dune Medical raises $12.3 million for cancer prevention tech

A large digital ticker shows financial information to pedestrians outside the entrance to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016.
Rina Castelnuovo, Bloomberg

VC industry critical of new gov’t plan to lure institutional capital

Israeli venture capital fund managers are critical of the government’s plan to form four VC funds to trade on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in a bid to lure institutional investment to the industry. In interviews with TheMarker, industry sources who declined to be identified were particularly opposed to the plan to insure investors in the fund against losses. “It’s complete crazy,” said one. “The competition is already intense because so many good global funds are active here and it’s a risky market. The chances are that the funds that will be formed will have even lower returns – all at a cost to the taxpayer.” Another said that the problem of barriers that put Israeli VCs at a disadvantage against their U.S. counterparts to raise capital from institutional investment remain in place. “The odds are good that the fund managers that will compete in the bidding to oversee the four funds will be those who have had trouble raising money in the last few years,” he warned. (Eliran Rubin)

Bill would require government agencies to accept email communications

Israelis may finally be able to throw out their fax machines. Under a bill approved by the ministerial legislative committee on Sunday, government agencies would be required to accept all communications and documents by email and not insist on faxed copies. “It can’t be that in 2017 citizens should be compelled to use a technology no longer widely is use and whose time has passed,” said MK Sharren Haskel (Likud), who is promoting the legislation. In the private sector, faxes have gone the way of Telex and smoke signals, but many government agencies won’t accept communications by email, which the committee said was a waste of paper and a bureaucratic nuisance. Among the public bodies that would be covered by the proposed law are government ministries, local authorities, the National Insurance Institute, water and sewage authorities and banks, telecommunications and utilities companies. Haskel said he expected government agencies to fight the bill in the Knesset. (Hadar Kane)

Dune Medical raises $12.3 million for cancer prevention tech

Dune Medical Devices, whose technology identifies microscopic residual cancer in real time, said last week it raised $12.3 million from Canepa Healthcare, ATON Partners and the Kraft Group. Founded in 2002 by Dan Hashimshony, a physicist and medical device entrepreneur, Dune Medical uses a proprietary radio frequency spectroscopy platform to differentiate cancerous cells from healthy tissue based on electromagnetic properties. That enables doctors treating a variety of cancers to ensure that surgery has successfully removed all the cancerous tissue from a patient's body. The company’s first product, the MarginProbe System, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in breast cancer lumpectomy procedures and has successfully demonstrated a consistent and significant reduction in re-excisions when women undergo breast conserving surgery after a diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer, Dune Medical says. Proceeds from the latest round will be used to apply the technology to other cancers and to win insurance coverage for MarginProbe, said Daniel Levangie, the managing partner of ATON. (TheMarker staff)