Israel Innovation 2.0

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Browsing Posts tagged vc funding

SolarEdge PowerBox PV optimizer solar

SolarEdge recently secured $25 million in VC funding that it will use to maintain its lead in the PV optimizer market despite steep competition from companies within Israel and abroad.

Unaffected by a global decrease in venture capital investments in cleantech, Israeli solar energy company SolarEdge has successfully raised $25 million in a Series C round from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Opus Capital, Genesis Partners and several other investors.

SolarEdge, which has created “intelligent panels” that work together with a central Power Box to enable the production of up to 25% more energy, plans to use the funding to increase its production capacity and market growth.

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During the week of November 1, 2009, financial software company, Finjan was acquired by M86. The Cleantech Group ranked Israel number 5 in its list of top10 cleantech countries of 2009 and Start-up Nation, Saul Singer and Dan Senor’s analysis of Israel’s economic success, was released (headlines below video).

Cleantech
1. The top 10 cleantech countries of 2009

2. The 2010 Eilat Eilot Renewable Energy Conference Looks To Carbon-Free Energy

3. Israeli firms aim to plug world’s water leaks

Investment
4. M86 Security Buys Finjan

5. We Are The Startup Nation

6. Local VCs cut investment in start-ups

Information Technology
7. How Cloud Computing Has Transformed Small Business Software (SAManage)

8. Global from Day One: MoodBase knows what the web is feeling

Miscellaneous
9. Israeli film ‘Ajami’ wins at Montpellier festival

10. JNF aims to turn Israel diamonds from rough to ready

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During the Week of August 16, 2009, DroidSecurity was revealed to be developing consumer and enterprise security software for Android phones and netbooks. Wanova raised $13 million for its new breed of desktop virtualization software and Israeli researchers demonstrated how DNA evidence can be fabricated. For these stories and more, check below for this week’s 11 Israel-related headlines.

Cleantech
1. The Taga Hybrid Bike-Stroller Goes from Road to Whole Foods Shopping in 30s Flat

2. A Mighty Hot Wind for Solar

Investing
3. Wanova raises $13 M for a new breed of desktop virtualization software

4. Oracle Invests in Israeli Startup ComAbility

Information Technology
5. Start-up DroidSecurity tackles Google Android security

6. Bsafe Adds AIX Support to Auditing and SIEM Product

7. eSafe SmartSuite offers intelligent inspection of all inbound and outbound Web and mail traffic

Miscellaneous
8. Figures show fewer jobless, but even fewer jobs

9. DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Research Says

10. Modu going touchscreen, confirmed for UK 2010

11. Real-Time Navigation a Reality with Waze

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During the week of June 7, 2009, research showed that the recession has impacted VC plans, which was long suspected and that cleantech investments faired the best of the different sectors. It was revealed that Intel’s recent acquisition of Wind River Systems includes an R&D center in Israel while the investment and Israeli startup series on Israel Innovation 2.0 continued with a closer look at Answers.com. For these stories and more, check below for this week’s 10 Israel-related headlines.

Cleantech
1. Giving New Meaning to ‘Electric Avenue’

2. Flower Power: World’s First Hybrid Solar-Gas Turbine Turning on Soon

Investments
3. Deloitte survey shows recession hit on VC plans

4. All that glitters / Nothing ventured, nothing lost

5. Israeli startups during the economic crisis: Answers.com

Information Technology
6. Intel acquisition has Israel center

7. Peer39 Digs Deep With Semantics

8. The ‘Final’ Frontier of Algorithmic Trading

Miscellaneous
9. Nike to Introduce Shoe Recycling Program in Israel

10. Madonna announces second concert in Israel this summer

techaviv_logoSince I attended TechAviv two weeks ago, in which nearly half the startups there were early stage and pre-seed, I have been thinking a lot about the discussions on getting funded that took place there and earlier that day at Eze Vidra’s VC Cafe breakfast and in general.

It has been clear for several months now that VCs are being more conservative in choosing companies to fund and that those that do get funding, are generally receiving less than they would have in good times. Additionally, somewhere along the way in the past few years, VCs have become more concerned with the capital aspect of what they do which has led them to invest in fewer “ventures.” They are taking less risks, such as by not investing in ideas, and are looking more for “ventures” that have already proven themselves a little – in many cases, by already becoming profitable or developing the technology. Whether this is good or bad, it’s just the way it is.

Since an angel investor panel, which included Yossi Vardi, at TechCrunch50 in September 2008 discussed what the decrease in VC funding would mean for them, I have constantly heralded angel investments as an alternative to VC funding and one that would still thrive… then the stock market and economy crashed. While that was already a few months ago, The New York Times had an article earlier this month titled, Angels Flee From Tech Start-Ups, about how bad it has really been and is for them. 

So, hypothetically removing VCs and Angels from the startup funding equation, what other sources of funding are there in Israel? For more established startups, close to nothing. 

For small startups and individuals though, here is a list of nine alternative funding programs:

  1. Israel Internet Society Research Grants
  2. US-Israel Binational Industrial R&D Foundation (BIRD)
  3. US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)
  4. Intel-Annual Research Grants Program
  5. Technion Research and Development Foundation
  6. Israel Science Foundation
  7. Incubators (Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor Office of the Chief Scientist)
  8. Call for proposals (Israel Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport)
  9. Yozma Group

The latest Israeli start-up to enter the cleatntech boom is XJet Ltd. The Globes is reporting that the company, currently operating in stealth mode, has raised $9 million from Gemini Israel Funds, Swiss investment fund Good Energies, Taiwanese semiconductor equipment manufacturer Spirox and private investors. The company will focus on solar cell cost efficiency to help reduce costs and improve production.

It will be interesting to see which companies XJet, Ltd, will work with, specifically how many of them will be Israeli companies and how many projects will be done in Israel. While Israel still has a high dependency on fossil fuels for energy, a day when Israel is no longer reliant on it seems more conceivable lately with solar advancements such as this, Shai Agassi’s Project Better Place and other recent cleantech advancements.

What are some economic benefits of using solar energy in Israel? According to an article on RenewableEnergyAccess.com a Greenpeace report presented to Israel’s Ministry of Infrastructure in 2005 estimated that solar power stations in Israel could provide:
- a profit of NIS 810 million annually
- 5,000 new jobs
- and, solidify Israel’s position as a world leader in the export of renewable technology to help combat climate change.