TechNation: After Weak Start, Hiring and Pay in Tech Grew Strongly in 2016

Israelis lead world for use of violent language online | Xplenty raises $4 million and acquires startup to expand big data offerings | Innoviz partnering with Canada’s Magna in self-driving vehicle technology.

A high-tech workplace in Israel.
Ilya Melnikov

After weak start, hiring and pay in tech grew strongly in 2016 

With the uncertainty created by Brexit and U.S. elections, high-tech hiring in Israel went into a slump early in the year, but it’s since rebounded and pay and job openings will show a rise, according to preliminary estimates by Ethosia Human Resources. The number of job openings rose a preliminary 8.5% this year, slowing from a 10% increase in 2015. Pay in the industry is up 5%, versus a 6.1% increase in 2015, the tech employment agency said, based on a survey of 190 companies employing a combined 120,000 people. “In the final quarter we’ve been seeing a lot of movement in the market and a revival of mass hiring,” said CEO Eyal Solomon. “It seems many companies are making up for lost time.” After several years of a slump in demand for hardware engineers, pay this year jumped 7.3% for chip developers, thanks to growing interest in internet of things technology. (Ruti Levy) 

Israelis lead world for use of violent language online

Israelis are the most likely to use violent language in talkbacks and other online comments, Spot.IM, an Israel startup that offers publishers tools and technology for online conversations, said on Sunday. Its survey of 5,400 sites, including 1 billion pages and 4 billion page views daily, found that 6.5% of comments by Israeli were taken down because of abusive language. Next in line were Russians (5.5%) and  Americans (5%). Only 4% of European posts were deleted. Canadians were the most well-mannered of the countries surveyed, with just 1% of their comments taken down. The British were next with just 1.5%. in websites across the world. Spot.im’s platform enables it to identify and track anonymous users who engage in verbal abuse, even if they move from one website to another. “When you can’t identify the poster by his real name, like on social networks, many people let themselves use violent language and their activities need to be filtered,” said CEO Nadav Shoval.  (TheMarker Staff)

Xplenty raises $4 million and acquires startup to expand big data offerings

Xplenty, an Israel startup offering tools to make better use of big data, said last week it had raised $4 million in new capital from a group of investors led by Bain Capital Ventures, True Ventures and Rembrandt Venture Partners. Existing Xplenty investors Magma Venture Partners and Waarde Capital joined the round.  The company also said it had acquired Driven, a big data application infrastructure, whose customers include eBay, Twitter, Airbnb and Etsy. It didn’t disclose the sum. Xplenty was formed in 2012 by CEO Yaniv Mor and Chief Technology Officer Saggi Neumann and counts 20 employees working in officers in Tel Aviv and San Francisco and 120 customers. “Organizations today are under growing pressure to fully exploit the data they have and put it to business use to remain competitive and grow,” Mor said. “With the new fundraising and acquisition of Drive we will be able to offer additional capabilities and expand our range of solutions.”  (Eliran Rubin)

Innoviz partnering with Canada’s Magna in self-driving vehicle technology

Israel’s autonomous car technology sector has lined up another global partner after Canada’s Magna International said it was teaming up with Israeli startup Innoviz Technologies to deliver remote-sensing solutions for self-driving cars. Magna, a supplier of automobile parts, said it would be employing Innoviz’s LiDAR technology, which enables 3D remote sensing that produces accurate real-time images of the vehicle’s surroundings even in unfavorable light and weather conditions.  “We have confidence in their multi-disciplinary team and this gives Magna a full suite of sensing systems – camera, ultrasonic, RADAR fusion, and LiDAR – to complement our autonomous vehicle capability,” said Magna Chief Technology Officer Swamy Kotagiri. Innoviz’s prototype demo LiDAR devices will be showcased in Magna’s booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month. (TheMarker Staff)