TechNation: European Investment Bank's New Fund to Invest in Israeli Blockchain Technology

Compass buys one of San Francisco’s biggest real estate firms ■ Bancor gets bilked of $13.5m in virtual coins

A man works on a laptop beneath the Bitcoin logo at the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology conference in New York City, New York, U.S., May 16, 2018.
\ MIKE SEGAR/ REUTERS

Benson Oak’s new fund to invest in Israeli blockchain technology

European investment bank Benson Oak said Sunday it has secured $25 million in investment commitments for a new Israel-dedicated fund and plans to raise $100 million in total. The new fund, Benson Oak Ventures, will support Israeli startups, with an emphasis on blockchain technologies. Benson Oak’s first technology fund from 2003 included an investment in Internet security company AVG, which generated a return of 100 times investment after the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Benson Oak has established three funds that invested in high-tech in the United States, the Czech Republic and Israel. Benson Oak Ventures’ investors include private individuals, family offices and strategic companies from around the world. (Reuters)

Compass buys one of San Francisco’s biggest real estate firms

Compass, which operates a technological platform allowing users and agents to make smarter real estate decisions, announced late Monday the purchase of Paragon Real Estate Group, one of the top four real estate firms in the San Francisco area. Compass, which was founded by Ori Allon but does not operate in Israel, declined to provide details on the deal. Allon, who was the main shareholder of the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team, left the team last month to focus on managing Compass in the wake of its substantial growth. Paragon, founded in 2004, employs 236 agents in the Bay Area. Compass, which has 250 agents, is set to become the leading company in the area in terms of market share. Compass stated their combined sales in the Bay area last year were $4.5 billion. Its overall sales doubled in 2017 to $14 billion.  (Eliran Rubin)

Bancor gets bilked of $13.5m in virtual coins

Bancor, a decentralized liquidity network, announced on Twitter Tuesday that it had experienced a security breach. “No user wallets were compromised,” the company, which aims to provide users with a simple, low-cost way to convert tokens directly from their wallets, stated. However, the company did admit that the thieves manage to bilk the blockchain company out of $13.5 million dollars’ worth of virtual coins. “A wallet was used to upgrade some smart contracts was compromised,” the company tweeted. “This compromised wallet was then used to withdraw Etherium from the Bancor Network Token smart contract in the amount of 24,984 ETH,” worth $12.5 million. The company added that the “same wallet also stole” a million dollars in Pundi X cryptocoins and about $10 million in bitcoin, but that it was able to freeze the stolen bitcoin once the “theft was identified.” The company went into maintenance mode Tuesday to trace the stolen funds. (TheMarker)