TechNation: Television Ratings Agency to Add Internet Viewership to Measures raises $23 million for AI tools to monitor networks ■ Race is on to win the army’s cellular service contract ■ Innovation Authority has given $15m in aid to Israeli-Arab tech

Panel at TheMarker's conference: the economy in Arab society in Nazareth, Nov 15 2017
Rami Shllush

Television ratings agency to add internet viewership to measures

Israeli viewership ratings will no longer measure only television audiences but online ones as well, the Israel Audience Research Board decided in a unanimous vote on Wednesday. The board of the quasi-governmental body approved terms for a new tender for supplying ratings that will require the winner to measure who was viewing content online as well as on TV. Including internet viewership ratings promises to shake up the media landscape in Israel where TV broadcasters have been losing advertising to the web. “This is an important and welcome strategic move aimed at broadening our rating to additional platforms. The goal is to present the strength of programming across all screens, which is what we need to do in the new era” said IARB Chairman Zvika Lieblich. The tender will be issued within the next several months, with the first ratings under the new system to be released in October 2019. (Nati Tucker) raises $23 million for AI tools to monitor networks

Exactly a year after it raised $16 million, the U.S.-Israeli startup said on Wednesday it raised another $23 million in a round led by Boston-based OpenView Venture Partners. Also joining in the round were 83North Venture Capital, Giza Venture Capital and a new investor, Vintage Investment Partners., which develops artificial intelligence tools to help companies find critical faults in their computer networks, said the proceeds would be used to develop additional products for its 400 customers, which include Oracle, Intel, British Airways and Turner Media. It added that it plans to double staffing at its U.S. headquarters in Boston over the next year, to 50. The company has a research and development operation in Tel Aviv. Since it was founded in 2014 by CEO Tomer Levi and Vice President for Products Asaf Yigal, has raised $47 million. Last year, the company played a major role in helping the internet company Dyn cope with the largest ever denial-of-service attack. (Eliran Rubin)

Race is on to win the army’s cellular service contract

The race to win the second-biggest contract for cellular telephony began on Wednesday when the Israel Defense Force issued a tender for a contract to provide services to some 60,000 officers.  Only the government’s contract to supply service to all of Israel’s civil servants is bigger. Since 2012 Cellcom Israel, the country’s second-largest mobile provider, has had the contract, having won its away from Mirs with a price of 5.1 agorot (1 cent) per minute. At the time, that was a very low rate, but shortly afterward Golan Telecom and others entered the cellular market, setting off steep price cuts in the market. Two years later, responding to complaints from the army, Cellcom revised the plan, to 99 shekels a month including the phone or 46 shekels without. In the 2012 tender, Partner and Pelephone opted not to submit bids, but this time they are expected to join in, making the competition for the contract more intense. (Amitai Ziv) 

Innovation Authority has given $15m in aid to Israeli-Arab tech

Israel’s Innovation Authority awarded 54 million shekels ($15.3 million) in research and development grants to Israeli-Arab high-tech entrepreneurs since 2012, Naomi Krieger Carmy, head of the agency’s societal challenges division told a conference on Arab society sponsored by TheMarker on Wednesday. Israeli Arabs are underrepresented in the tech industry, but Krieger Carmy said that is changing. “There are people who have reached high-profile positions and the young people see it. ... Today, 8% of the country’s workforce is in high-tech, and the industry is crying out about a labor shortage,” she said. “The demand is there and it’s drawing  in Arab society.” Ziyad Hanna, the chairman of Tsofen, an Israeli nonprofit organization that promotes Arabs in high-tech, said he hoped to see Israeli Arabs accounting for 10% of Israel’s tech workforce in a decade. He said the key was early education. “We have to remove internal barriers. A big part of that is a change in attitude, including teachers,” he said.  (Eliran Rubin)