Israel technology headlines

During the past week, Answers.com announced that it was acquired by Summit Partners for $127 million in cash and will be going private. Israel’s Cabinet approved an emergency plan to increase desalinated water production and Geekmedia revealed the creation of an Israeli startup incubation business modeled after Y Combinator. For these stories and more, see this week’s headlines below.

Cleantech
1. Italy’s Solergy Headed by Israeli From the Global Village
“Reared in California by Israeli parents, and married to an Italian wife, Yoav Banin speaks to his two young sons in Hebrew while raising them in Rome. This 38-year-old trilingual Silicon Valley veteran is co-founder and chief executive officer of Solergy, founded in 2007 to create and manufacture advanced concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technology. Using optics to focus sunlight over 500 times onto special photovoltaic cells, CPV increases solar energy conversion efficiency while reducing the amount of expensive materials that often hamper the practicality of this field…”

2. Cabinet approves 420m cu.m. desalination plan
“The cabinet today approved an emergency plan to increase desalinated water production to 420 million cubic meters in 2013, in order to deal with the water crisis and ensure a reliable supply of water to the population, while protecting natural water sources. The production target is larger than the amount of water drawn annually from the Kinneret…”

Investment
3. Chinese money seeking Israeli technology
“Jay Young, who is currently visiting Israel, is a partner at a Chinese investment firm looking for business opportunities for High Net Worth Individuals…”

4. Q&A Site Answers.com Acquired By AFCV Holdings For $127 Million In Cash
“Q&A platform Answers.com has been acquired by AFCV Holdings, a portfolio company of Summit Partners, for $127 million in cash or $10.50 per share. AFCV will be delisting Answers, which was a public company, from the NASDAQ and taking the company private…”

5. Venturegeeks will incubate startups in Israel
“Geekmedia, the company that operates Israeli technology blog newsgeek.co.il, is getting into the startup incubation business with a new program called Venturegeeks…”

6. Outbrain Buys Surphace From AOL
“Outbrain bought the content recommendation system Surphace from AOL for an undisclosed sum. Surphace is a reincarnation of Sphere, a startup founded by Martin Remy and Steve Nieker in 2006 as a related content plugin and was later acquired by AOL in April 2008 for a rumored sum of $25 million. In October 2009, AOL re-branded the service to Surphace and launched a self served solution for related content called S4. Since launch, the self served solution has attracted over 3,000 publishers and around 1 million page views a day…”

Information Technology
7. Rounds, Steroid Driven Video Chat, Anounces New Features
“The people at Rounds who sired the interactive video chat platform, have reason to be happy. Last August the company launched a Facebook application, that has grown to over 300,000 monthly users. The Rounds Facebook community has joined forces using the photo booth feature to take, no less than, 2 Million chat snapshots since then. Now Rounds have announced their plans for the coming months…”

Miscellaneous
8. Cabinet Approves National Plan to Reduce the Dependence on Oil in Transportation
“The Cabinet today (Sunday), 30.1.11, approved a national plan to develop technologies to reduce the global use of oil in transportation. The Government will invest approximately NIS 1.5 billion over the next decade and will work to raise billions of additional NIS from outside sources…”

9. GE and start-ups: Dancing with elephants
“GE Healthcare has three units responsible for seeking technologies outside the US: in Russia, Japan and Israel…”

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