TechNation: After Stormy Negotiations, Government Signs Licensing Accord With Microsoft

Trigo to provide grocer Super-Sol with cashier-free shopping technology ■ Startup led by former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo nabs $22 million in new capital ■ Ashdod-based SuperUp raises $15 million for smartphone e-commerce platform

Assaf Rappaport, the new CEO of Microsoft Israel's R&D center.
Kobi Koanks

Trigo to provide grocer Super-Sol with cashier-free shopping technology

Could Amazon end up as No. 2 this time? The e-commerce giant plans to roll out 3,000 cashier-free Amazon Go stores by 2021, but Trigo Vision is one step ahead. The Tel Aviv-based startup said Tuesday it reached an agreement with Super-Sol, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, to install its automated retail platform in 272 stores. That could make Super-Sol the first grocery chain globally to offer shopping that calculates shoppers’ tabs as they pick items off the shelf and lets them leave the store without waiting on a checkout line, Trigo said. “We believe our cooperation with Trigo will transform the shopping experience and will minimize our customers’ friction points in the stores,” said Super-Sol CEO Itzik Abercohen. Trigo says its computer-vision and data-collection technology provides precise identification of products with far fewer cameras than competing systems. The company emerged from stealth in July with a seed round of $7 million funding by investors Hetz Ventures and Vertex Ventures Israel. (TheMarker Staff)

Startup led by former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo nabs $22 million in new capital

XM Cyber, an Israeli cybersecurity startups that counts ex-Mossad boss Tamir Pardo as one of its founders, said on Tuesday it raised $22 million from investors. The money was raised from Macquarie Capital, Nasdaq Ventures, Our Innovation Fund and UST Global, among others. It follows a $10 million seed round with Swarth Group that brings XM Cyber’s total fundraising since it was founded two years ago to $32 million. The company said it would use the funding to accelerate growth through expanded sales, marketing and engineering programs. Its Penetration Testing technology helps keep corporate computer networks safe by mimicking the behavior of real hackers work. It continuously simulates attacks and exposes a network’s blind spots. CEO Pardo has a team of 40 in Israel, Australia and the U.S., most of them hackers who once worked for Israel’s security and intelligence services. Its customers include financial institutions and critical infrastructure organizations in North America, Europe, Israel and Australia. (Irad Atzmon Schmayer)

Ashdod-based SuperUp raises $15 million for smartphone e-commerce platform

SuperUp, a rare Israeli startup based outside of the Tel Aviv tech center, said on Monday it had raised $15 million in a seed funding round for what it calls the world’s first e-commerce marketing platform. Most of the new capital is coming from a private investor based in New York who has declined to reveal his name. SuperUp was formed in 2015 by CEO Roy Ittach, and today employs 60 people at its offices in the southern city of Ashdod. Ittach, who served in army technology units and then worked at the Israeli company Amdocs, said SuperUp aims to make online shopping easier for smartphone users, who struggle with websites designed to be seen from a PC. “The idea behind the company came after the smartphone revolution over the last decade. Today, 77% of all internet data passes through mobile devices,” he explained. “It’s a tiring business when you’re using a smartphone.” (Irad Atzmon Schmayer) 

After stormy negotiations, government signs licensing accord with Microsoft

After tough negotiations, during which the Israeli government threatened not to renew its contract with Microsoft, the two sides finally signed a licensing agreement on Monday. The agreement sets prices and conditions for all government offices to buy and use Microsoft software, including its Windows operating system, Office suite and software to run servers. Treasury officials expressed satisfaction that spending on Microsoft products would remain at current levels of 100 million shekels ($27.1 million) annually and that the government keeps the rights to products it had already purchased. Negotiations between the two sides broke down last August after the treasury said the U.S. company’s demand for a change in license terms would lead to a steep price increase. Treasury officials began preparations for a new era after the current agreement expired at the end of 2018 that would enable government offices to buy non-Microsoft products or make their own deals with the company. (Avi Waksman)