TechNation: Electreon Expected to Announce Smart Road Initiative for Buses

DriveNets raises $110 million in first-ever financing round ■ Artimedia in deal to form Indian web advertising network ■ Israel’s Fiverr reportedly planning U.S. IPO

File photo: Bus in Jerusalem, January 7, 2019.
Emil Salman

Electreon expected to announce smart road initiative for buses

Electreon is expected to announce the launch of an initiative for electric buses using the company’s wireless energy transfer technology, TheMarker has learned. Unusual for a start-up company, Electreon is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange where its shares have skyrocketed apparently in anticipation of the undertaking. Electreon’s technology powers electric vehicles via a copper strip installed under the asphalt of ordinary roads, a process that company says is easy and cheap to install and overcomes the problems connected with battery-powered electric vehicles. Formed in 2013, Electreon is focusing on buses because they travel on fixed routes that make rollout and operation of the system simpler. After winning an 8 million shekel ($2.2 million) investment from Israel’s Dan bus company last June, Electreon formed a team to adapt Dan electric buses to its technology. A recent Frost & Sullivan report said that by 2025 Electreon could install lines at 155 locations in Israel and Europe. (Jenya Volinsky and Irad Atzmon Schmayer)

DriveNets raises $110 million in first-ever financing round

Israeli networking software company DriveNets said on Thursday it raised $110 million in its first round of financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Israel’s Pitango Growth, joined by several private investors. The financing will help the company expand its product portfolio and penetrate new markets for its software, which enables communication service providers to handle growing demand without hurting profitability and can accelerate new service rollouts, it said. DriveNets was founded in late 2015 by Ido Susan and Hillel Kobrinsky and has been self-funded until now. It won its first major contract in 2017 with a top North American service provider and has since recorded tens of millions of dollars in revenue. The company has 150 employees and plans to expand to 200 by the end of the year. Susan co-founded Intucell, which was acquired by Cisco for $475 million while Kobrinsky founded Interwise, which was acquired by AT&T for $121 million. (Reuters)

Artimedia in deal to form Indian web advertising network

Israel’s Artimedia, which was formed by Israeli content providers like Ynet and Walla to loosen the grip of YouTube and Facebook online video in the local market, is expanding to India. In a joint venture agreement with the Indian media group Eros International, Artimedia will provides video advertising solutions for Eros’ internet and internet TV networks in a deal that could be worth $350 million. The joint venture will set up an programmatic advertising exchange for advertisers to buy time for targeted campaigns. Artimieda was formed three years ago and has an estimated annual turnover of 100 million shekels ($27.6 million). The agreement with Eros is its first foray overseas. “From the beginning we said our operations in the Israeli market was just a trial before making Artimedia global,” said founder Ofer Miller. “We see cooperation with Eros international as the doorway for other collaborations internationally.” (Nati Tucker)

Israel’s Fiverr reportedly planning U.S. IPO

Israel’s freelance marketplace Fiverr has hired Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase to underwrite its initial public offering in the United States, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday. The Tel Aviv-based company could be valued at roughly $800 million, and sell shares in the second half of the year, although no final decision has been made, Bloomberg said. Founded in 2010, the platform allows users to connect with professionals offering nearly three million services from video editing to essay writing, across 196 countries. The company has raised $111 million in over five funding rounds so far from investors including Square Peg Capital, Qumra Capital, Bessemer Venture and Accel. Its last funding round was in November 2015, according to data provider Crunchbase. Fiverr’s annual revenue was $13.6 million, according to company insights provider Owler. Its closest competitors include Upwork, Freelancer Technology and WorkMarket. (Reuters)