Published On: Wed, Jan 3rd, 2018

What Happened to Oded Kobo and Roman Abramovich’s Shellanoo Group?

Shellanoo group, a two-year-old startup which describes itself as “one of the most attractive technology companies in Israel,” has suddenly been gone. Instead, there is now an Asian identity which promises to be revealed in March 2018.

It also mentions the company is “Technology Venture Builder” with offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore. The only mention of the company’s history is that Shelanoo was founded in 2014 by “industry-leading investors and partners.”

The company that has developed mobile apps, one of its most well known and most controversial called Blindspotת was billed for adolescents to send messages anonymously quickly turned gound for cyberbullying. Model Bar Refaeli’s brother Dor Refaeli promoted Blindspot, which was in the center of a legal proceeding.

 

The Shellanoo group, a two-year old startup once described as “one of the most attractive technology companies in Israel,” has suddenly disappeared from the Israeli scene. Instead, the company now appears to have an Asian identity, with Hongkong and mainland China connections.

Shellanoo, which in Hebrew means “Ours”, was founded by its then CEO Oded Kobo and one of its sponsors was reported to be the prominent Russian billionaire investor Roman Abramovich. The company announced last August it was planning an IPO, very early in its history, and sought to raise NIS 95 million on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), at a company value of some NIS 600 million. According to Israeli media at the time, Shellanoo had precisely zero revenues and had lost $15 million in the first half of 2016.

But just 10 days after filing, the company withdrew its plans and laid off at least 20 of its employees, all apparently due to problems regarding its then sole products, a pair of Apps which not yet been launched at the time of the offering and which were reported to have a number of problem issues. Now, five months later, on its new website, there is no trace of the company’s Israeli origins, no mention of its original founder and CEO Oded Kobo, nor of Roman Abramovich either.

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Reports indicate the company is now a “Technology Venture Builder” with offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore. The only mention of the company’s history is that Shellanoo was founded in 2014 by “industry-leading investors and partners.”

The company had developed a couple of mobile Apps, the best known of which called called Blindspot – which was designed for teens to send messages anonymously, but became the focus of a legal proceeding. Its other App, called Music Messenger, which sends free musical messages and give users access to music bases and creation of playlists, apparently drew the attention of a number of celebrity investors from the music industry.

For its part the Huffington Post later reported that the company sold its two Apps for $32 million to a Chinese buyer. Currently the Blindspot website shows that the application can indeed be used only in China. Israeli “Globes” has reported that, on making enquiries, it was told by email that “The Shellanoo Group closed its Israel branch and operation in mid-2016, shortly after being acquired. The Company has no operations or activity in Israel.”

According to Globes, they were also informed that the Shellanoo parent company “Shellanoo Investment Group” (SIG) has now invested $40 million during 2017 in the formation and construction of new technology incubators in Asia. SIG is reportedly led by Amy Hong, Simon Chen, Peter Ma, Sam Andari and Robert Burrow.” The company’s own website stated that the company was indeed led by Hong, but her name has since been removed from that website.

 

 

 

 

 

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