TechNation: Here Mobility Releases Ride-sharing App Made in Israel

Also, a new fund is letting high-tech employees sell options

A high-tech park in Ra'anana, November 14, 2017.
Tomer Appelbaum

A new ride-sharing app is trying its hand at addressing the packed roads in Israel and around the world. On Monday, Here Mobility, the mobile technology division of Here International, released its new app SoMo, which lets acquaintances plan joint rides. The app and technology were developed at Here Mobility’s Ra’anana development center. Unlike existing carpool and ride-sharing apps, the new product doesn’t try to set up people who don’t know each other, but rather works among acquaintances and friends. Within the app, users can open groups for joint events, called “meetups,” such as children’s sports events, office events and weddings. (Sagi Cohen)

Fund lets high-tech workers sell options

A first-of-its kind Israeli venture capital fund is offering the public the chance to invest in private startups by buying options from employees. The fund, Startup Index Fund, announced it would launch on Tuesday. It is raising funds via crowdsourcing funding website Fundit. As opposed to traditional VC funds, which invest in startups in exchange for a percentage of the company, Startup Index offers a platform via EquityBee, connecting investors to high-tech workers who want to cash in on their options. The company said its investments are not considered liquid assets, and investors cannot sell their holdings onward. “This is the only fund that can invest in nearly any company in Israel,” said CEO Oren Barzilay. (Irad Atzmon Schmayer)