TechNation: Israelis Are the World’s Top Social Media Users

Tmura collected $502,000 from exits in 2018 ■ Tel Aviv the No. 18 tech city ■ Healthy.io raises $18m

A customer tests a smartphone during the launch of the new iPhone XS and XS Max in Moscow, Russia, September 28, 2018.
Reuters

Israelis use social media more than people in any other country and are the second-biggest users of smartphones, according to a survey published this week by the Pew Research Center. Some 77% of Israelis said they used social media of all kinds, putting them slightly ahead of South Korea (76%) and Sweden (73%), and 10 percentage points above the median for all developed countries surveyed, Pew said. Israelis have smartphones in greater percentages than in any other country apart from South Korea. Pew said 88% of Israelis had a device while 10% had an ordinary cellphone (which could be due to the ultra-Orthodox community’s ban on smartphones), while just 2% had no cellphone at all. By comparison, 95% of South Koreans had a smartphone and 5% an ordinary cellphone. On average for developed countries, 76% of the population had a smartphone, 17% an ordinary cellphone and 6% nothing at all. (Sagi Cohen)

High-tech charity Tmura collected $502,000 from exits in 2018
The Tmura public service venture fund collected $502,000 last year as proceeds from exits by high-tech companies. The fund, which was formed in 2002 to raise money for education and youth-related charities, collects donations in the form of shares in young high-tech companies and cashes out when they are sold or conduct an initial public offering. The biggest earner for Tmura last year was from Salesforce.com’s acquisition of Datarama in June, which yielded $90,000 in cash as well as Salesforce stock that Tmura subsequently sold. Seven other companies did exits last year that generated income for Tmura, including Canon’s acquisition of the Israeli video-analysis startup BriefCam. That brought in $97,000 in cash, Tmura said. Proceeds in 2018 were lower than in previous years, but Tmura said its portfolio was growing. (Ruti Levy)

Tel Aviv No. 18 in ranking of world tech cities
Tel Aviv came in 18th among 30 global cities in the Savills Tech Cities index released by the real estate services firm this week. That put Tel Aviv ahead of Dublin, Hong Kong and Barcelona, but right behind Beijing. This time, New York edged out San Francisco for the top spot. In the previous survey, Tel Aviv was 15th but only 22 cities were included, so the city didn’t really fall in the rankings, which take into account over 100 metrics like the number of days needed to start a business. Regarding real estate costs for techies, Tel Aviv was right in the middle at 15th place: A week’s rent for a “mainstream” apartment was $460 and the cost of desk space at a co-working center was $310 on average, versus medians of $350 and $590. (TheMarker)

Healthy.io nabs $18m for cellphone urinalysis
Healthy.io, an Israeli startup that calls itself the “pioneer of the medical selfie,” said Tuesday it had raised $18 million. The round was led by the Israeli venture fund Aleph, with contributions from Samsung NEXT and private investors. The company has developed a urinalysis test kit using a smartphone camera to scan a dipstick. Results are sent directly to doctors and integrated with medical records. The system is used by over 100,000 patients via strategic partnerships in Europe and Israel. Proceeds will be used to scale operations in the United States and to continue the service’s rollout in Britain, Healthy.io said. One in three adult Americans are at risk of kidney disease, with 100,000 developing kidney failure every year. Early detection makes an enormous difference in avoiding complications from kidney disease, thus people at risk should have their urine tested for protein at least once a year, the company says. (TheMarker)