TechNation: Israeli Tech Companies Raised Preliminary $6.47 Billion Last Year, Up 17% From 2017

Syqe Medical raises $50 million for medical cannabis inhaler; Israel’s Olympics Committee, Technion in tie-in to give athletes technology edge; Celeno nabs $10m for Wi-Fi technology

File photo: An employee works at a laptop computer at the Jerusalem Venture Partners JVP Media Labs.

Israeli tech companies raised preliminary $6.47 billion last year, up 17% from 2017

A first glance at Israeli high-tech fundraising figures for 2018 shows the industry enjoyed a good year. IVC Research Center, which tracks the industry, said Israeli startups raised $6.47 billion last year, a 17% increase over 2017. The 2018 figure represents the sixth straight year of increased fundraising for the Israeli industry from, about $1.88 billion in 2012. The number of fundraising deals, however, was down last year to 623 deals from 661 in 2017, confirming a trend of fewer companies raising more money. IVC said about 100 companies conducted rounds of $20 million or more, four times the rate compared with 2013. However, early-stage startups raising less $5 million raised just a combined $538 million, the lowest total since 2013. The number of $5 million-minus deals also fell for the third straight year to 352 from a peak of 456 in 2015. IVCwill publish its full report January 9. (TheMarker Staff)

Syqe Medical raises $50 million for medical cannabis inhaler

Israel’s Syqe Medical, which has developed a pocket-sized cannabis inhaler that provides users with precision doses, has completed a $50 million fundraising round. Investors were led by the Jerusalem-based venture capital firm Shavit Capital. It was joined by two strategic investors -- PRM Holdings, the investment arm of German company Martin Bauer Group and another unidentified overseas pharmaceuticals company, Syqe said. Explaining the need for the device, CEO and founder Perry Davidson said 90% of all patients using medical cannabis take their medicine by inhaling it. “Most patients don’t want the euphoria they get from smoking medical cannabis. They do it because they have no choice, but they don’t want to smoke it. The effect is faster but controlling it is a challenge,” he explained. Its Syqe Inhaler Exo provides dosages to an exactness of 100 micrograms. Available in Israel, the company has completed clinical trials and is awaiting U.S. approval. (Iran Atzmon Schmayer)

Israel’s Olympics Committee, Technion in tie-in to give athletes technology edge

Israel’s Olympic Committee is aiming to give its athletes a technology edge. The committee said this week it was establishing a joint research center with the Technion Israel Institute of technology to encourage studies that will enhance Olympic sports in Israel in line with U.S. and European models. “Biomechanics, motion analysis, and technological development are areas of application that will now receive special attention so the performance of our athletes can be improved,” said Yigal Carmi, chairman of the Olympic Committee. “We are certain that this will push our sports performance forward.” Work has already begun on researching windsurfing. Gur Steinberg, who coaches the Israeli windsurfing team, and Yair Talmon, scientific and technical coordinator of the competitive sports unit, will study types of fins and adapt them optimally to the surfer to improve Israelis’ performance in the sport. The center is headed by Prof. Alon Wolf, Technion Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. (TheMarker Staff)

Celeno nabs $10m for Wi-Fi technology

Celeno, an Israeli startup that provides smart Wi-Fi through high-performance chips and innovative software and cloud technology, said on Wednesday it had secured $10 million in new funding. Europe’s Iris Capital led the round with the participation of existing investors Our Crowd, Pitango, Cisco, 83Northm Vintage and Reddot, all of whom joined Celeno’s previous $38 million fundraisers in 2016. Its technology is used to make home Wi-Fi service consistent and reliable with enough quality to carry high-definition TV, gaming and music. Inoffice/factory environments it is used to improve performance of robots. “We believe the next generation of Wi-Fi solutions will give significant value-added to the internet as well as emerging Internet of things markets, such as smart homes, autonomous vehicles and digital health devices,” said CEO Gilad Rosen. Celeno employs 150 in its Ra’anana headquarters as well as in offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia. (Iran Atzmon Schmayer)