- Startup of the Week: Zippin’s checkout-free shopping
- Startup of the Week: IXDen, security for critical infrastructure
- UAE: Gateway to half the world
- Congratulations to our friend President-elect Herzog
- Moodify: You know it makes scents
- Sprout’s new CEO finds his place in New Zealand
- Hailo, Lanner Partner to Support AI Applications at the Edge
- Neuroscience startup CorrActions raises $2.7M seed round
- Zippin CEO: Let’s democratize investing with OurCrowd
- Stellar Cyber increases visibility and control against threats
- More than 1,200 high-tech jobs
Startup of the Week:
IXDen: Reliable security for critical infrastructure
Cyberattacks on the Colonial oil pipeline in the US and a municipal water supply in Florida have again highlighted the vulnerability of vital infrastructure lifelines. IXDen has created the world’s best technology to protect our water, electricity, gas, oil and other critical infrastructure systems against attack, tampering and failure. IXDen was chosen by Israel’s Mekorot water company to protect its network – perhaps the world’s most relentlessly attacked system. Its software-only technology predicts and rapidly detects cyberattacks and sensor problems, allowing network operators to take timely corrective action. IXDen uses a proprietary combination of behavioral and mathematical algorithms, AI, machine learning, and statistics to establish “normal” behavior for a group of sensors and actuators. Deviations in behavior trigger an alert so that operators can determine the cause and fix it. The company is already generating revenue and is in talks with Enel, an Italian electricity and gas manufacturer and distributor, for whom it successfully completed a PoC. The company forecasts a five-fold increase in orders by 2022 and has profit margins of 60-70%. IXDen was founded by experienced entrepreneurs who established and managed startups and held senior positions in Amdocs, Fundtech and Microsoft. This $5M Series A-1 round is being led by Israeli VC firm HIVE 2040 at a pre-money valuation of $11M.
UAE: Gateway to half the world
The UAE is a gateway to the other half of the world, to billions of people who Israel has not been able to reach with our products and services from our startup nation, I told the Global Investment Forum in Dubai this week, sponsored by OurCrowd and hosted by The Jerusalem Post and the Khaleej Times. Israel and the UAE led the world in vaccinations, and I predict that we will continue to work together to lead global efforts on many fronts, powered by innovative high tech. OurCrowd is expanding its operations in the Gulf, led by Dr. Sabah al-Binali, Venture Partner and Head of the Gulf Region.
Congratulations to our friend President-elect Herzog
We are delighted to welcome the election of Isaac Herzog as Israel’s next President, capping a lifetime of distinguished professional and public service. He has a deep understanding of angel investing and Israel’s technology sector. Addressing the opening session of the Global Investor Summit in 2020, Herzog warmly praised OurCrowd’s achievements in gathering so many people from all over the world “to strive for a better world together in advancing all technologies that can help humanity.” We wish him success and look forward to working closely together in the future.
Moodify: You know it makes scents
Technology that cancels out the stench of cat litter and cigarettes could also revive drowsy drivers or calm nervous students. Lab tests show that digitized scents created by OurCrowd portfolio company Moodify can keep drivers alert, slow a nervous person’s racing heart and improve sleep. Toyota AI Ventures, the innovation arm of the Japanese car giant, is among the marquee investors betting millions of dollars that Moodify’s “active scent technology,” developed over years of research at the Weizmann Institute, can improve driver behavior and road safety. “The sense of smell gets into your brain faster than any other sense,” says Tal Landman, chief operating officer of Moodify, which is working with a wide range of Fortune 500 companies to incorporate its digital scents into their products. Smell can influence behavior and feelings, and even trigger physical responses, he says. In a test with a leading carmaker, the Moodify Red formulation woke drowsy drivers from their sleep within a few seconds. Chemicals released by the system stimulated the trigeminal nerve in the face, sending signals to the brain and increasing the adrenaline level. “This could be incorporated into cars to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel,” Landman tells The Times of Israel. “It could even replace coffee or energy drinks.”
Sprout’s new CEO finds his place in New Zealand
“They said: ‘It’s a joke, right?’ Israel is one of the biggest hubs, there’s a ton of deal flow, and you want to move to New Zealand? It’s just sheep and cows!” recalls Gil Meron when he told friends he was moving to New Zealand to head Sprout, OurCrowd’s agritech incubator created in partnership with Finistere, Fonterra and the New Zealand government. It is “an opportunity like no other,” Meron, a veteran of IBM, the World Bank and the Boston Consulting Group, tells AgFunder News.
Top Tech News
OurCrowd portfolio company Hailo, which makes the most powerful and efficient edge-computing chip on the market, is partnering with Lanner Electronics to launch groundbreaking AI inference solutions for real-time computer vision at the edge, The Fast Mode reports. Hailo has combined its Hailo-8 AI acceleration module with Lanner’s edge computing boxes to create high-performance, compact devices to support the demands of emerging AI applications at the edge. Smart cities, retail, and industrial operations require hundreds of cameras generating video streams that need to be processed locally, quickly, and efficiently with minimal latency. Scaling AI to meet this challenge requires ultra-high performance and easy-to-deploy solutions. “Our expertise in creating effective purpose-built hardware platforms, combined with Hailo’s unparalleled AI module performance, will provide industries with a reliable vision-based solution that is low power, low latency and cost-effective,” says Geoffrey Egger, VP and GM of Lanner Intelligent Edge BU.
Neuroscience startup CorrActions raises $2.7M seed round
CorrActions, a noninvasive neuroscience startup based at OurCrowd’s Labs/02 incubator that uses sensor data to evaluate a user’s cognitive state due to drowsiness, alcohol, fatigue and other issues, raised a $2.7M seed round with backing from VentureIsrael, Operator Partners and the Israeli Innovation Authority, TechCrunch reports. The idea is to use touch sensors wherever humans may interact with machines – a fighter jet’s cockpit, a car or wherever knowing a user’s cognitive state could prevent potentially catastrophic errors. “Using sensors that already exist in nearly every electronic device like smartwatches, smartphones and even steering wheels and joysticks, CorrActions is the first in the world to be able to read a person’s cognitive state at any given moment by analyzing micro changes in their muscular activity,” says Eldad Hochman, the company’s co-founder and CSO.
Zippin CEO: Let’s democratize investing with OurCrowd
“Zippin needs to continue to get access to investment capital as we continue to scale up our business operations and grow into new markets. We believe that OurCrowd deserves to be part of that future growth,” writes Zippin CEO and Founder Krishna Motukuri. “I believe that Zippin is the future of checkout-free retail, and we expect to see significant growth in the near future as we continue to ramp up our partnerships with retailers and venue operators. The pandemic has accelerated the evolution of frictionless shopping and contactless experiences. As the economy continues to reopen and the pandemic hopefully continues to subside, all of the elements are in place to help Zippin have an even brighter future.” OurCrowd is investing in the company now.
Stellar Cyber increases visibility and control against threats
OurCrowd portfolio company Stellar Cyber introduced Stellar Cyber Central to its Open XDR platform – enabling centralized management and visibility in its Command Center. It enables users to see potential threats and consolidate user management at multiple sites from one single console under a single license, and without having to log into those sites individually – reducing complexity, improving performance, segmenting data to comply with GDPR or other privacy requirements, and reducing the time it takes to identify security incidents, HelpNet Security reports. “The whole idea of security analytics is control over where the analytics come from and where they go,” says Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research. “Unifying multi-site Open XDR deployment under one interface improves visibility and control, which in turn improves overall threat management.”
Your portfolio gets stronger when the OurCrowd network gets involved. Visit our Introductions page to see which of our companies are looking for connections that you may be able to help with.
1,100 High-Tech Jobs
Read the OurCrowd High-Tech Jobs Index Q1 2021 here.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, there are hundreds of open positions at our global portfolio companies. See some opportunities below:
- BI Developer for Zebra Medical Vision (Israel)
- Senior Manager, Revenue Systems for DailyPay (New York)
- Junior Product Manager for Freightos (Spain)
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