TechNation: Women Fill Just a Quarter of Key High-tech Jobs in Israel

Outbrain signs agreement with Microsoft for MSN sites; XJet raises $25 million from Israel-Chinese fund.

Hagai Frid

Women fill just a quarter of key high-tech jobs in Israel

Women fill just a quarter of key jobs in Israel’s high-tech workforce, mainly because they are less likely to study relevant subjects at university, the Finance Ministry reported this week ahead of International Women’s Day on Tuesday. About 100,000 women worked in the sector in 2014 – more than a third of the total – but nearly two thirds of them were not employed as engineers or in other posts at the heart of the business but rather in  administration and human resources. The treasury said girls account for almost half the students taking the five units (the most demanding level) of math in high school, but far fewer of those taking five units of physics or computer science. Women make up 56% of all undergraduates in Israel, but account for only 25% of those in engineering faculties. “The small number of women in the industry comes at a cost to innovation and creativity that trained women would be able to contribute,” the treasury said. (Inbal Orpaz)

Outbrain signs agreement with Microsoft for MSN sites

Israel’s Outbrain signed an agreement with the U.S. high-tech giant Microsoft on Monday to use its content-recommendation service on MSN websites, TheMarker has learned. That will put it into competition with its Israeli archrival, Taboola, which signed a non-exclusive agreement with Microsoft in January covering  MSN websites in 50 countries. The deal with Microsoft comes a week after Outbrain acquired Los Angeles-based Revee and launched a product that lets web publishers know how much revenue individual articles are generating in real-time. Outbrain and Taboola are two of the biggest players for supplying the “recommended by” articles on sites such as CNN and ESPN. Founded in 2006 by Yaron Galai and Ori Lahov, Outbrain has raised $149 million in seven investment rounds, according to data from the technology website TechCrunch.
(Nati Tucker)

XJet raises $25 million from Israel-Chinese fund

XJet, which develops technology for 3D printing of metal parts, said last week it raised $25 million in a funding round led by Israeli-Chinese private equity fund Catalyst CEL and the U.S. design software maker Autodesk. Israeli serial entrepreneur Benny Landa, the U.S. company Applied Materials and the venture capital fund Gemini were return investors. Originally developed for the solar-panel industry, XJet’s technology has been used in manufacturing since 2013. “The more complicated and exacting a component needs to be, the more relevant this technology is. The auto industry is very interested,” said Yair Shamir, a Catalyst CEL partner. The latest financing will be used to launch XJet’s products in global markets, in particular in China, where  Catalyst CEL said it expected to help the company to penetrate China’s manufacturing sector. Since it was founded in 2005, the company has raised $82 million from investors.  (Eliran Rubin)

OurCrowd ties up with Singapore bank

Singapore’s United Overseas Bank is investing $10 million in the Israeli crowdfunding platform OurCrowd in a move that will also help both Israeli and Asian startups raise equity funds. Under the agreement announced last week, accredited investors among UOB’s clients will be able to invest in OurCrowd’s portfolio of mostly Israeli startups. At the same time, Asian technology companies will now be able to use OurCrowd’s equity crowdfunding platform.” It can be challenging for small businesses to obtain financing, particularly equity financing, in the early stages of growth. Because of this, UOB has partnered with OurCrowd, to connect smart ideas with smart money,” explained Janet Young, Head of Group Channels and Digitalization, UOB. OurCrowd has invested over $200 million in 93 portfolio companies and has seen four exits since its 2013 launch. (TheMarker Staff)