TechNation: Israel Aerospace Partnering With German Firm on European Moon Mission

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File photo: Israeli Aerospace Industries space division announce the launch of an spacecraft to the moon at the end of 2018 in Yehud.
File photo: Israeli Aerospace Industries space division announce the launch of an spacecraft to the moon at the end of 2018 in Yehud.Credit: AFP

Israel Aerospace partnering with German firm on European moon mission

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries on Tuesday said it has partnered with Germany’s OHB System for a European Space Agency moon mission, which includes developing a lunar lander. Work with the European agency will be managed by OHB, while IAI will deliver the moon lander, the company said. It did not disclose financial details, although the agreement could be worth tens of millions of dollars, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. IAI said it will provide a version of the lunar lander it helped develop for Israeli non-profit venture SpaceIL, which is preparing for a moon launch next month. The European mission involves sending landers to the moon to test technologies for producing oxygen, water and other raw materials from lunar soil, as well as collect and analyze samples of the moon’s terrain, IAI said. Such technologies, it added, would be needed for long-term human colonization away from Earth. (Reuters)

Cato Networks raises $55 million for cloud-based network security

Cato Networks, an Israeli provider of cloud-based network security cofounded by the serial entrepreneur Shlomo Kramer, said on Tuesday it raised $55 million. The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, supported by existing Aspect Ventures, Greylock Partners, Singtel Innov8, USVP, and cofounders Kramer and Chief Technology Officer Gur Shatz. “For those who don’t follow every tick and tock of the VC world, raising such a significant sum at this time of the market is remarkable. VCs tend to be conservative bunch when it comes to their wallets. They like to invest in companies that are going to win,” said David Greenfield, a company spokesman, said. Cato’s cloud-based platform offers what the company calls “network security as a service” to serve companies that are increasingly moving valuable data to the cloud. Cato said more than 300 firms use Cato to connect and secure their corporate networks. (TheMarker Staff)

Vertex Israel, TLV Partners top VC investors in Israel last year

The $960 million Vertex Israel fund and the $267 million TLV Partners were the most active venture investors in Israel last year, IVC Research said on Tuesday. Both funds made 11 first investments each over the year, it said. Vertex also ranked first in 2017, with 12 first investments. In a reflection of the growing Chinese presence in Israel, two of the three second-place funds were based in Hong Kong – CE Ventures from Hong Kong and MizMaa – each with nine new investments. The other second-place fund was Next Gear, an Israeli micro-VC that focuses on early stage smart mobility companies. All told, the number of first-time investment rounds by Israel-based VCs dropped 16% last year to 198 from a record in 2017. The number of foreign-funded deals was down for the third year in a row, falling 3.5% in 2018 to 305, IVC said. The number of Israeli fund managers dropped by 10 to 57, it added. (TheMarker Staff)

Innovation chief: Intel expansion will have huge impact on Israeli tech

Ami Appelbaum, chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, said Intel’s planned investment in Israel would have a tremendous knock-on effect for the economy. Recalling his time as president of the Israeli unit of the U.S. company KLA Tencor, which is a supplier to Intel, he said: “I understand very well the significance of erecting such a huge facility that will be using the most innovative technology. It will impact the ecosystems of companies and subcontractors that work with Intel.” Meanwhile, the Economy and Industry Ministry said Intel had committed to buying 15 billion shekels ($4 billion) worth of Israeli products and services over the next six years as it begins a massive expansion of its local operations. The “reciprocal procurement”  are a condition for the chipmaker getting an Israeli government grant of 9% on its planned 40 billion shekel investment to expand its manufacturing operations in the country. (Ira Atzmon Schmayer)