TechNation: Datorama Secures $32 Million for Marketing Tech Platform

TAU ranked ninth for undergraduate alumni entrepreneurs; WSC raises $12 million for sports technology; Government to finally conduct survey on high-tech labor shortage.

Students walking at Tel Aviv University.
David Bachar

Datorama secures $32 million for marketing tech platform

Datorama, which has created a platform to unify marketing, sales, service and finance data to let businesses more effectively analyze it, said on Monday it had closed on a $32 million funding round. Led by the U.S. fund Lightspeed Venture Partners, the investor group included Marker LLC and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. The round, which brings Datorama’s total funding to $50 million, will be used primarily for research and development in artificial intelligence and recruit more staff.

The company’s Marketing Integration Engine is used by companies such as L’Oréal, Foursquare, Yahoo! Japan and GoDaddy. Datorama declined to put a valuation on the latest investment round, but it is believed to be generating tens of millions of dollars in revenues and is profitable based on subscriptions for its products that ranges from $2,500 to $150,000 a month.

The company counts 160 employees, 60 of them in Tel Aviv and the rest spread among 13 worldwide offices. It was formed in 2012 by CEO Ran Sarig, Chief Technology Officer Efi Cohen and Chief Science Officer Katrin Ribant (Ruti Levy)

TAU ranked ninth for undergraduate alumni entrepreneurs

Tel Aviv University has been ranked No. 9 in the world for the number of undergraduates who became start-up entrepreneurs by the Pitchbook Universities Report.

Among its undergraduate alumni, Tel Aviv counted 515 entrepreneurs who formed 429 companies and raised a combined $5.1 billion in capital in the decade to August 15. Two other Israeli institutions made the top 50 list – The Technion Israel Institute of Technology at 16 and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem at 33 – making them the only non-U.S. universities on this list apart from a handful from Canada. Tel Aviv ranked 12 in the world for MBA alumni who became start-up entrepreneurs.

Israeli universities, however, were less successful in turning out women entrepreneurs, failing to make the top 19 list for either undergraduates or MBAs, the report showed. But Tel Aviv was No. 8 in the world for exits, with 67 grads earning $5.2 billion in sales. (Israel Fisher)

WSC raises $12 million for sports technology

WSC Sports Technologies, which provides automated video highlights-creating technology for sports broadcasters, said last week it had raised a $12 million from a group of investors led by Intel Capital.

Others joining into the round included the Wilf family, who own the Minnesota Vikings, the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Dan Gilbert, majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The round, which brings total funding to $16 million, will help the company significantly accelerate growth and international expansion, WSC said. WSC, whose customers, including the NBA, Turner Sports and the Big East Conference, has developed a platform to automatically generate customized highlights packages in near real-time. It said it was negotiating several major deals with leading broadcasting and sports organizations.

The company was formed in 2011 by CEO Daniel Shichman and three others, with the idea of supplying videos to recruiting scouts before realizing that sport broadcasts would be a much bigger business. (Eliran Rubin)

Government to finally conduct survey on high-tech labor shortage

The National Authority for Technological Innovation, which has long warned about a manpower shortage in Israel’s high-tech industry, is finally determined to actually quantify the extent of the problem rather than rely on estimates, The authority, formerly known as the office of the Chief Scientist, will survey human resources needed at Israel’s leading tech companies and ask them how effective government policy is.

“We see this information-gathering research as of national importance, which demands the highest possible rate of participation by the relevant sectors of the economy,” said Avi Hasson, the authority’s head.

The authority published a report two months ago estimating that the personnel shortage in high-tech would reach about 10,000 and called the shortage “an infrastructure barrier that constitutes the major barrier to [the industry’s] growth.” It blamed the shortfall on declining numbers of university graduates getting degrees in relevant fields over the last decade. (Eliran Rubin and Moti Bassok)