Israel Innovation 2.0

Inside Israeli Technology

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During the past week it was revealed that ICQ-founder Yair Goldfinger’s latest startup Dotomi is in acquisition talks with AOL. LiveU raised $11 million for wireless live video streaming and Cotendo introduced a web site optimization service that uses Google technology. For these stories and more, see this week’s headlines below.

Cleantech
1. Ready to reap a potential windfall

Investment
2. Yair Goldfinger on verge of $100m exit – report

3. Adap.tv snags $4.5M to deliver video ads online

4. LiveU Lands $11 M for Wireless Live Video Streaming

5. SecondMarket’s activities to focus on technology

Information Technology
6. Cotendo Unveils Page Speed Automatic Web Site Optimization Service Powered by Open Source Technology Developed at Google

7. Google Israel’s Chief Geek Yossi Matias Offers a Peek Inside the R&D Center

Miscellaneous
8. High-tech company aims to be first Israeli firm to hire Palestinian engineers

9. Oleh to drastically reduce nation’s water usage

10. ‘Start-up nation’ becomes better place to do business

11. Kinect: Apple’s loss is Microsoft’s gain

labpixiesGoogleIsraeli business newspaper, Globes has reported that Google acquired Israeli app publisher LabPixies. The purchase, which is estimated to be at $25 million, is Google’s first in Israel. LabPixies will be integrated into Google’s R&D office in Tel Aviv which focuses on web and mobile development, such as YouTube Annotations and Google Trends, and will focus on iGoogle efforts in the Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The acquisition is expected to also help Android app efforts.

Below is a timeline with some of the major events showing Google’s road to Israel and its acquiring LabPixies.

**The following relates to the enterprise but is not directly related to technology companies or people in Israel.**

Trusteer_logo.jpg

Every so often I like to share my thoughts on Facebook’s future and where I think it is going in regards to the enterprise and in general. My biggest prediction in the past has been that in the race to gather the world’s information, Facebook and Google are at opposite ends of the information spectrum when it comes to social and computerized gathering and are bound to clash at some point. In light of Facebook’s recent failed attempt to buy Twitter, here are three things Facebook is likely to do or should do in the future based on this recent and other not so recent news.

1. Enhanced human-powered search, via Twitter-style comments and features
As mentioned, the inspiration for this post is that in recent days there has been talk of Facebook’s failed attempt to purchase the social networking/micro-blogging site Twitter in exchange for stock options. The exact plans Facebook had for integrating Twitter, which is primarily used by business and technology professionals to communicate with one another and who commonly share links to relevant information on the Web, may be unknown, but it is safe to assume that Facebook would have somehow integrated the rest of the technology into its status feature (which currently only enables users to comment on them). Twitter’s appeal is that being a site that relies on user interactions and content, it is the ultimate way to share information and help people find useful information on the Internet.

Regardless of the failed deal, it seems that Facebook will continue to develop Twitter-like technology on its own and roll it out as soon as it can. As it already has the status feature, and comment feature, its first focus will probably be to add a way to search your own past statuses as well as those of your friends.

2. Enterprise-friendly collaboration. Goodbye GMail.
Ever since companies started creating networks on Facebook, I’ve been waiting for Facebook to announce its creation or plans for creating a special platform for enterprises. The platform could serve as a low cost intranet system for companies and allow for better collaboration and communication among employees within such companies. If Facebook changed its messaging system into a full email application it would already have the other communication means, such as chat and video chat apps available to make collaboration easier and possibly a little more fun.

Also, if Facebook wanted to take GMail straight on, it could partner with Microsoft (who it partners with for search results and advertising) and develop an online version of MS Office that it could offer on its enterprise platform for collaboration. Of course, back in October 2008, co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz and colleague Justin Rosenstein left the company with the desire to build an online “enterprise productivity suite” that will from the outside (using Facebook Connect) complement the non-work-related social aspect of Facebook.

3. Calendar
Who doesn’t like Facebook’s events feature? It’s easy to create, access and share. Most important though is the access. Unlike Google Calendar or other calendar applications, the events are integrated throughout Facebook making it easy to access from the search bar or when you’re on the homepage after signing in to see what upcoming events there are for that day and the next few. While it is great the way it is, Facebook Events can still be improved to act as a full personal planner by making it possible to synchronize non-Facebook events with Facebook as well. Perhaps one way this could be done is with an “Share to Facebook Events” widget that could be placed on other websites.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

About the author: Lisa Damast is the Membership Manager of ebizQ.net and currently resides in Israel. Any questions or inquiries regarding this blog or ebizQ membership services can be directed to her via email at ldamast (at) ebizq (dot) net. She can also be followed on Twitter, where she covers additional Israeli technology companies and Israel-related headlines and topics.

During the week of July 6, 2008, news broke that Ness Technologies plans on selling its Israeli unit to SAP and there was a rumor that Google plans on buying VoIP service, Jajah. Virtualization companies Xeround and Ceedo were active, while in cleantech, environmentalists claimed that solar panel pricing is wrong. While these are some of the stories that stood out, they weren’t the only ones. Check below for the full list of the 21 Israel-related technology headlines from the week of July 6, 2008.

Cleantech
Environmentalists: Solar panel pricing wrong

Israel helps China with wave power

For most Israeli contractors, green isn’t an issue

Funding rises for clean-tech start-ups

Deals and Partnerships
Jacada Signs Material Contract with Nationwide Insurance

PicScout Teams up with Splash News to Give Bloggers Access to the Hottest, up-to-the Minute Celebrity Photos at picapp.com

InstallFree signs SaaS OEM agreement with Click Manageware

Ness Technologies set to sell Israeli unit to SAP

Google Buying Jajah?

Information Technology
Mellanox
InfiniBand Adapters Provide Leading Storage Connectivity to Galactic
Computing’s Line of VSTOR Storage Systems and Gateways

Virtualization is “Xeround” The Corner With An Extra $16 Million

VMware sets up new R&D centre in Israel

Hagemeyer Chooses Ceedo Virtualization Technology to Reduce Enterprise Costs and Streamline Day-to-Day Operations

Microsoft Going After MSN Israel Ltd.

MSN Israel employees had little warning of Microsoft moves

Miscellaneous
Israel’s global firms employ 63,000 overseas

Walla, ICQ launch new communications program

Digital photo co PhotoFree raises NIS 2.84m

Oil hits record ($145.98) above $147 on Nigeria unrest, Israel / Iran tension

Sightix Offers B2B Social Networking Search Solution [Israel Media Tour]

Meet BreadCrumbz, An Israeli Finalist of The Adroid Developer Challenge


About the author:
Lisa Damast is the Membership
Manager of ebizQ.net and currently resides in Israel. Any questions or
inquiries regarding this blog or ebizQ membership services can be
directed to her via email at ldamast (at) ebizq (dot) net. She can also be followed on Twitter, where she covers additional Israeli technology companies and Israel-related headlines and topics.

Israel’s hi-tech scene was in a bit of a lull during the week of June 29, 2008, perhaps because of July 4th in the United States. The biggest news was about Google AdWords killer, Peer39, which has a semantic search engine that brings back more accurate results and can thus display better ads. It also has the ability to differentiate between positive and negative contexts of words. After Peer39, Microsoft made headlines with two announcements. The first announcement was that it has partnered with Ben-Gurion University and the second was that MSN Israel will now be controlled fully by Microsoft and no longer jointly with Internet Gold. There was also a lot of technology investment-related news that took place. For these and the rest of the 12 technology-related headlines from the week of June 29, 2008, as well as a special bonus check below.

Technology
Microsoft and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announce agreement

A First Look Inside Peer39 & Its Semantic Advertising Technology

Microsoft to take full charge of MSN Israel

Alvarion® Sets Off First Mobile WiMAX™ Internet Service in the U.S.

Business
Cleantech Index (CTIUS) Expands Globally, Adds 33 New Companies

Israel’s high-tech culture must rejigger, VC says

Options trade points to stronger shekel

VMware Completes Acquisition of B-hive Networks

IncrediMail and Google Sign AdSense Direct Agreement

Metalink files to raise $25m

Miscellaneous
What Determines the Price of Oil?

Destination: San Francisco. And Still NoGoBoingo

Bonus
This past Tuesday, popular Israel Web 2.0 blog, the.co.ils hosted its annual web startup competition, TWS2008. Ten Israeli Web 2.0 companies were selected by an impressive list of judges and gave brief presentations about what they do. Some of the winners included, Nuconomy, Dapper, HiveSight and WorkLight. WorkLight securely brings personalized Web 2.0 into the enterprise. Here are two video clips of part of WorkLight’s presentation:


About the author: Lisa Damast is the Membership
Manager of ebizQ.net and currently resides in Israel. Any questions or
inquiries regarding this blog or ebizQ membership services can be
directed to her via email at ldamast (at) ebizq (dot) net. She can also be followed on Twitter, where she covers additional Israeli technology companies and Israel-related headlines and topics.

The main headlines coming from Israel’s hi-tech scene during the week of June 15, 2008 were primarily related to water technology and future investments in Israel. It was announced that Los Angeles joined Israel on water research and Germany-based RWE made a bid for Israel’s Negev solar plant. The MSCI index announced that it will be upgrading Israel from an emerging market to a developed one, joining the ranks of the United States and the UK among others. While being considered “developed” sounds nice, Israel will now be vying against these more established economies for funds. Although this was covered extensively in the media around the world (and is covered in it’s own section on this list), there were plenty of other Israel technology-related headlines from the past week. Check out the full list of this week’s 21 Israel-related technology headlines below:

Cleantech
BP seeks more Israeli cleantech investment

Arison’s water venture gets name, launch date

Environmentalists unite against Red-Dead canal

Los Angeles and Israel to cooperate on water research

RWE reportedly makes bid for Negev

Investments (VC)
Neocleus Raises Over $11M in Series B Financing

Get with the consumer program, say Israeli VCs

Tax breaks urged for venture lending cos

Redpoint Gets Some Answers

Investments (Israeli Market)
A worrying look at the future of Israeli hi-tech

Markets slide on financial, oil fears

High-tech industry sees slowdown loom

Tel Aviv Bourse to Stay Independent, Forgo Alliances, CEO Says

Israel, S. Korea Have Emerged

Information Technology
Amdocs and IBM Introduce Unified Data Management Solution

Magic Software Nominated for SYS-CON’s “SOA World Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards”

ICQ – Ten Years After

Miscellaneous
Israeli telecom start-ups find success in Asian road show

TI in Israel says it “believes in fabs”

Walla! gains on Google

Partner launches video-on-demand service

About the author: Lisa Damast is the Membership
Manager of ebizQ.net and currently resides in Israel. Any questions or
inquiries regarding this blog or ebizQ membership services can be
directed to her via email at ldamast (at) ebizq (dot) net. She can also be followed on Twitter, where she covers additional Israeli technology companies and Israel-related headlines and topics.

As mentioned in my previous post, I attended the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem this past Thursday. One of the sessions that I attended was a panel discussion entitled, “The Revolution of the Internet and the New Media.” The panel was moderated by Yossi Vardi and the panelists included, Yahoo! President, Susan Decker; Google Co-founder, Sergey Brin; Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO, Maurice Levy; News Corporation Chairman and CEO, Rupert Murdoch; and Windsor Media Chairman and CEO, Terry Semel. The question posed to the panelists was “What is the future of the new Internet media?”

While the panelists were able to paint an overall picture of what the relationship between the Internet and media will probably look like in the future, only Susan Decker’s comments really stood out. She began by mentioning that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” She discussed the importance of the Internet for essentials and mentioned that while Yahoo! currently covers the “breadth” of the Internet, the future is in the “depth,” such as processing speed, low costs storage, mass media distribution.

In relation to mass media distribution and the role that it will play, she emphasized the personal connection that will be widespread in the future, and how it will affect news and TV in the future. This new media, dubbed “we” media, will allow individuals to define news and entertainment and receive it for themselves based on their own personal interests and then to share it with their entire social graph. What role Yahoo! will play in this, is still a major question. In reference to that, Decker concluded by stating that with over 500 million users, Yahoo! is both the largest social network and the least useful, and that the social graph will be used in the future to prioritize one’s information and interactions with others through it.

The means of attaining this in the future are what IT professionals should keep an eye on and try to really understand:
1. Creating open experience – figuring out the how and where.
2. Highly personal filters that are user generated and customized.
3. The connection of the online and off-line worlds and the digitization of everything.

beforeConference.jpg(Note: Picture is of the stage before the panelists arrived.)

Israel Innovation 2.0′s weekly Israel-related technology headlines are back by popular demand. What happened during the past week of March 30, 2008? There wasn’t any news about any major investments and M&A (in Israel), but there sure was plenty of news about Israeli solar companies signing deals, Telecom announcing partnerships and Information Security… securing. This past week, it was revealed that sustainable energy stocks are lead by solar, Motorola unveiled a new Israeli-developed device and IncrediMail reported record revenues that increased 72% in 2007. To find out more about these stories and what the rest of this week’s 21 Israel-related technology headlines are, check out the list
below.

Cleantech
US Army fund seeks Israeli water tech

Solar Leads Sustainable Energy Stocks

Luz II signs deal with California energy giant

Solel to add solar facilities in Spain

‘Green our lever to move Israel from 2nd to 1st World’

In Israel
Facebook, Google founders to attend Jerusalem conference in May

Economy added over 100,000 new jobs in 2007

Incubators in north and south excel

Telecom
Is you is or is you ain’t WiMAX

Motorola unveils new Israeli developed device

Metalink Unveils Operating Expense Reduction Plan

InfoGin and Comverse in technology partnership

Motive and Red Bend Help Operators Overcome Barriers to Mobile and
Converged Service Delivery



Information Security

Safend Provides New Data Leakage Prevention Offerings with Latest Release

Secure Enterprise 2.0 Forum Sets Course for the Future

Commtouch CEO to Present at Americas
Growth Capital Information Security Conference at RSA

Miscellaneous

Elron Highlights AqWise and Galil Medical Developments

IncrediMail Reports Record Revenues, Increasing 72% in 2007

N-trig Hires New Vice President of Research, Development and Engineering

XFONE Completes Acquisition of Story Telecom, Inc.

Olive Software Announces Availability of ActiveMagazine 3.0,
Next-Generation Digital Magazine



About the author: Lisa Damast is the Membership
Manager of ebizQ.net and currently resides in Israel. Any questions or
inquiries regarding this blog or ebizQ membership services can be
directed to her via email at ldamast (at) ebizq (dot) net. She can also be followed on Twitter, where she covers additional Israeli technology companies and Israel-related headlines and topics.

Last night, at the Jerusalem Business Networking Forum (which I co-organize), I had the opportunity to hear Orna Berry — a Gemini Israel Funds Venture Partner and the Israel Venture Association (IVA) Chairperson — give an overview of the VC process and discuss what VCs can offer Israeli businesses.

During the Q&A session, I asked her if she agreed with her Gemini colleague, Daniel Cohen’s Op-Ed in VentureBeat last fall that explained why Israeli companies that have been founded in recent years don’t reach their full potential and beyond, and if she thought that despite the current climate, there are companies that can reach the Nokia-level.

Her response was that she did agree with Daniel Cohen, but she only gave examples of successful companies that were established before the creation of VC funds in Israel, such as Comverse and Amdocs. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to follow up with her about this after the meeting and so, I am still left wondering, do any Israeli companies founded in the past 10 years have the potential to grow into a Nokia or Google and, if so, which?

I have set up a poll below with four Israeli companies that I have covered in recent months that seem to be very promising. Which one, if any, do you think can make it?
 

Think a different Israeli company not in the poll is more promising. Share your opinion in the comments below.

Related ITGumbo content:
People information and networking… Shouldn’t the next big thing be from Israel?
Company in Focus: Red Bend Software
Company in Focus: Gemini Israel Funds
Company in Focus: Voltaire, Ltd.

About the author: Lisa Damast is the Membership
Manager of ebizQ.net and currently resides in Israel. Any questions or
inquiries regarding this blog or ebizQ membership services can be
directed to her via email at ldamast (at) ebizq (dot) net. She can also be followed on Twitter, where she covers additional Israeli technology companies and Israel-related headlines and topics.

Israeli email company, IncrediMail announced last week that Google has dropped the company from its AdSense program. According to TechCrunch, IncrediMail’s stock dropped 40% and lost about 1/3 of its value on the Nasdaq in direct response to the news. The reasons for Google’s suddenly ending the partnership is currently unknown, but IncrediMail may have “been dropped for fraud.”

Last month, Zack Miller of BloggingStocks.com interviewed IncrediMail founder and CEO, Yaron Adler. One of Zack’s questions for him was what the company’s business model was, to which Adler responded that the company relies heavily on viral marketing (though it is not the main means).

This is probably not the viral marketing that Adler had in mind.

It’s unlikely though that this is the end for IncrediMail and not just a relatively minor setback for it. Israeli VC Michael Eisenberg has an interesting take on this in a post on SeekingAlpha.com, as does Zack Miller’s buddy, Aaron Katsman, on BloggingStocks.com.