TechNation / Greenroad Raises $26 Million to Enhance Its Driver-behavior Technology

China’s Alibaba investing in JVP venture fund; Keywee raises $9.1 million for web content platform; Mooly Eden leaving Intel; Microsoft expands Israel R&D office.

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Greenroad raises $26 million for driver-behavior app

GreenRoad, whose application helps auto-fleet operators to run their vehicles more efficiently by monitoring driver behavior, said Wednesday it had raised $26 million from an investor group led by Israel Growth Partners. IGP, a new fund formed by Haim Shani and Moshe Lichtman, was joined in the round by existing investors, which include former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and U.K. entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Green Fund as well as Amadeus Capital Partners, Benchmark Capital and DAG Ventures. GreenRoad said it would use the new capital to expand its sales and marketing operations in the United States and Europe and enhance its driver-behavior technology. The London-based company has raised $921 million since it was founded in 2006. (Inbal Orpaz)

Keywee raises $9.1 million for web content platform

The Tel Aviv based content marketing distributor Keywee said Tuesday it raised $9.1 million in a round led by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Marker LLC, with participation from The New York Times Company and UpWest Labs. It includes $1.2 million it raised last year as a seed stage investment. Formed two years ago by Yaniv Makover, the startup uses text-mining technology to help brands and web publishers to match content with audiences most likely to be interested in their content. Keywee had tested its content marketing platform with publishers like The New York Times. Keywee, which employs just 11 people and has about 60 customers, said the funds would be used to expand product development and sales and marketing operations. (Inbal Orpaz)

Mooly Eden leaving Intel after 33 years in senior posts

Tomer Neuberg / Gini

Mooly Eden, the Israeli who was in charge of Intel’s perceptual computing project and president of its Israeli unit, is leaving the company after a 33-year career. Recognizable by the beret he always wore, Eden also managed the company’s relations with Israeli universities, startups and schools. Over the years, Eden held a series of jobs as a senior executive in research and developing working on chips for laptops and PCs and heading up the perceptual computing operation since 2011 when he returned to Israel permanently. He joined the U.S. company in 1982 and was director of its Israeli R&D operations from 1999 to 2003 where he was responsible for development of the Centrino and Pentium M processors. “I leave Intel with a sense of satisfaction,” Eden said in a statement. (Amir Teig)

Microsoft dedicates new Israel R&D office, plans new hiring

Microsoft dedicated new research and development offices in Israel on Wednesday and signaled plans to hire scores of new staff. The new offices, in Haifa’s Matam high-tech park, replaces facilities the companies has been using since 1991 when the company opened its first research operation outside the United States. At 7,500 square meters and four floors, the new offices are 50% bigger than the old ones, making room for extra staff on top of the 150 that already work for Microsoft in Haifa. The company has a separate R&D operation in Herzliya as well as a Ra’anana sales office. Separately, the Israeli-Swedish online payments company Klarna said it would be hiring some 30 new software engineers as it makes its first foray into the U.S. market, doubling its local payroll. (Inbal Orpaz)

Alibaba investing in JVP venture funds

The Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group is investing an unspecified amount in the funds of Jerusalem Venture Partners. Kobi Rozengarten, managing partner of the $1 billion fund, revealed the Alibaba investment on Monday during the firm’s annual meeting, which is believed to be the first by the Chinese company in a venture capital fund. A delegation of around 20 officials from Alibaba is in Israel this week to meet with JVP and attend a conference on cybersecurity technology. In January, Alibaba invested in Visualead, which specializes in barcode technology that can be scanned by mobile phones. It was Alibaba’s first investment in an Israeli company. (Reuters)