Israelis selling on eBay stand to profit from rise in U.S. duty-free exemption
Israelis who sell their wares to private individuals in the United States could benefit from a recent easing of customs duties. Global sales platform eBay announced this week that it expected a surge of orders by Americans for goods from overseas sellers after the ceiling on duty-free personal purchases by Americans shipped via the U.S. Postal Service was increased from $200 to $800.
The Israel business unit director at eBay Israel, Elad Goldenberg, said Israelis have been very successful at selling their products on eBay and the new ceiling would exempt most of the sales that they make. The adjustment in the duty-free ceiling is the first since 1993, even though American travelers returning to the United States have generally had the benefit of the $800 customs exemption since 2012. Now the mail order duty-free ceiling will be brought into line with that. The new customs exemption will also be linked to the rate of inflation. (Hadar Kaneh)
Cloud computing firm Stratoscale raises $27m from investors including Qualcomm
Herzliya-based Stratoscale, which develops cloud-based data storage software, announced Wednesday that it had secured $27 million in the Series C financing round. Existing investors including Intel Capital, Cisco Investments and SanDisk were joined by Qualcomm Incorporated through its venture investment group Qualcomm Ventures.
Including the latest round, Stratoscale has raised more than $70 million since it was founded in 2014. CEO Ariel Maislos was a co-founder of Anobit Technologies, which Apple bought for a reported $390 million. Stratoscale’s products are aimed at allowing companies to manage their own technology infrastructure, rather than outsourcing data management and storage to companies such as Amazon and Microsoft. (Eliran Rubin)
HOT to raise TV and Internet service prices, three months after fight with regulator
Cable television provider Hot Telecommunications Systems announced this week that it would be raising its cable television and Internet service prices, a move that it had announced in December but which was delayed by objections from the Council for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting.
The company says television subscribers will see an increase of 5% in their bills on average, while Internet subscribers will be paying 10 shekels ($2.60) more per month. The hike in Internet fees represents a price increase of about 10%. The company said the affected customers would be notified. The price increases come despite Hot’s loss of 4,000 multichannel television subscribers in the fourth quarter of last year. (Amitai Ziv)
Feedvisor joins the tech companies renting space in Ramat Gan’s Amot Atrium tower
Feedvisor, whose software enables online retailers to adjust prices automatically to reflect changing market conditions, has leased the entire 11th floor — approximately 1,500 square meters (16,150 square feet) of floor space — in the Amot Atrium tower in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan.
The company, which is just the latest in a number of high-tech firms making a home in the building, is expected to move into the its new premises in August from offices in Tel Aviv. The company recently raised $5 million.
Over the past several months, several other tech firms have rented space in the building. These include software application security company Checkmarx, which leased 3,000 square meters of floor space and Clicktale, which rented 4,500 square meters of office space. QLogic leased 2,000 square meters of floor space in the building, as did venture capital fund Singulariteam. The highrise office building is attracting tenants outside of high-tech as well. The corporate headquarters of the British-based international bank HSBC will be moving into Amot Atrium from its current offices on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard. (Raz Smolsky)