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StartUps

Israel High Tech Scene February 19 – 25

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv at sunset, Israel Startup Israel

New Startups / VC Funding
Chain Reaction Raises $115 Million for Blockchain Tech
Chain Reaction, an Israeli semiconductor startup focused on “disruptive” blockchain and privacy hardware, came out of stealth mode with a $70 million raise in a Series C round of funding led by Morgan Creek Digital with participation from Hanaco Ventures, JVP, KCK Capital, Exor, Atreides Management, and Blue Run Ventures. The company has now brought in a total of $115 million to date, so at least there is some good news these days for Startup Nation Israel which seems to be seeing more cutbacks and layoffs than new investments these days.

Founded in 2019 by CEO Alon Webman and CTO Oren Yokev, Chain Reaction boasts that they are engineering the future of disruptive blockchain… Read More Here

Armis Reaches $100 Million AR, Ledge Raises $9 Million
Armis, an Israeli internet of things IoT startup and a unicorn, passed the $100 million threshold in annual recurring revenue (ARR). Also, Ledge, an Israeli fintech startup that offers an automated payments command center, raised $9 million in Seed funding led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), as well as Vertex Ventures, FJ Labs, and existing investors Picus Capital.

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Armis was founded in 2015 by Yevgeny Dibrov, Nadir Izrael and Tomer… Read More Here

Techtonic Building Massive New $140 Million Data Center
Techtonic, a new Israeli firm, announced that it will build a new high powered data center in the Brosh industrial zone in Beit Shemesh at a cost of $140 million. The firm said that the center, to be called TITAN4, would be “missile proof,” which is especially important since the Gaza based Hamas terrorist group has missiles capable of reaching that part of Israel.

The new center will be one of the largest in Israel at 15,000 square meters (161,000 square feet). It will also use a massive amount of energy at 16 MW – 2×16 MVA electrical capacity: a main power supply and backup power supply, offering customers a capacity of 10.5 MW IT. Techtonich expects… Read More Here

PayPal Invests in Israeli Fintech Startup Chaos Labs
Chaos Labs has recently announced the successful completion of its seed funding round, raising $20 million led by Galaxy and PayPal Ventures, with participation from Coinbase, Uniswap, Lightspeed, Bessemer, Hashkey, and top angels such as Balaji Srinivasan and Naval Ravikant.

The funding will be used to expand Chaos Labs’ offerings and build out its suite of risk and security products.

Founded in October 2021 by CEO Omer Goldberg, Chaos Labs… Read More Here

IPOs and Unicorns
Liquidity Group Hits Unicorn Status At $1.4 Billion Valuation
Liquidity Group, an Israeli fintech startup that offers technologies that make it easier for people to handle investments, has now reached unicorn status with a new valuation of $1.4 billion. According to a report in Calcalist, the firm hit this coveted status when it brought in another $40 million in funding from Japanese banking giant MUFG Bank.

MUFG Bank is Japan’s largest bank and one of the world’s largest, with offices throughout Japan and in 40 other countries. MUFG… Read More Here

Israeli Unicorns Looking Abroad For New Hubs in Wake Of Judicial Reform Controversy
A number of Israeli unicorns – startups with a valuation of more than $1 billion – are looking outside of their own country for new places to have centers for innovation and so forth. Israel’s Kan 11 television news reported that Cyprus and Greece are in the running for such a new hub, with Spain and Italy possibly also interested. This is all due to the ongoing political drama in Israel over the judicial reforms being promoted by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This is more bad news for Startup Nation Israel which has seen the Shekel slide in the past few weeks against foreign currencies and even some of its own firms like Pagaya are taking their money abroad out… Read More Here

Science
NASA to Launch Israel’s First Space Telescope
Israel’s first space telescope mission, the Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite (ULTRASAT), is set to be launched into space by none other than NASA. Led by the Israel Space Agency and Weizmann Institute of Science, ULTRASAT is planned for launch into geostationary orbit around Earth in early 2026. In addition to providing the launch service, NASA will also participate in the mission’s science program.

Israel is known as Startup Nation for its high-tech sector. But the country is also known for its advanced scientific research, including in the fields of physics and space exploration. Israel has even launched its own satellites… Read More Here

Israeli Breakthrough on Breast Cancer
In a new study from Tel Aviv University published in the journal Nature Cancer, researchers identified and characterized a new mechanism that facilitates the formation of brain metastases of breast cancer tumors and found that impairing this mechanism significantly reduced the development of brain metastases in mice. In the study, the researchers used models of melanoma and breast cancer brain metastases in an effort to reveal the mechanism by which neuroinflammation is activated in the metastatic niche in the brain.

The findings are relevant to patients with brain metastatic disease: High levels of… Read More Here

Other Business Stories
Bank of Israel Raises Interest Rate To 4.25%
The Monetary Committee of the Bank of Israel has raised the interest rate by 0.5 percentage points to 4.25 percent. The reason, of course, is the continuing problem of inflation. While Israel has posted lower inflation rates than either the US or the EU, it is still seeing a rate well above 5% and this is not good for any economy.

In explaining its decision the Bank of Israel cited the fact that inflation over the preceding 12 months in Israel was above… Read More Here

Shekel Nose Dives after Passage of Controversial Judicial Reforms
The New Israel Shekel (NIS) dropped sharply on Monday against the Dollar, falling by 2.414% in value. The exchange rate set by the Bank of Israel at the end of the day marked a three-year low for the Shekel at 3.6490 to $1. The Shekel also dropped 3.064% against the British Pound and 1.889% against the Euro.

In addition, all of the major indices on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange… Read More Here

Bank of Israel Expected To Step In and ‘Save’ Shekel
As the Shekel continues to slide against major foreign currencies, financial experts are saying that it is only a matter of time now before the Bank of Israel steps in to do something proactive to try and prop up Israel’s currency. Bank of America has even issued a report saying that it expects just that.

Citigroup predicted that the Shekel would drop to a low of…. Read More Here 

Israel Closes $100 Million APC Deal
Head of the Israel Ministry of Defense Procurement Mission, Brig. Gen. (res.) Michel Ben Baruch signed an agreement with Oshkosh Defense to produce hundreds of hulls for the IDF’s new wheeled APC valued at over 100 million dollars, financed by American aid funds.

Developed by the Merkava and Armored Vehicles Directorate in the IMOD, the “Eitan” APC (armored personnel carrier) is also known as an AFV (armored fighting vehicle). It is the first vehicle of its kind on wheels and…. Read More Here

Synamedia Fires 200, Fireblocks Also Making Cuts
Synamedia, an Israeli video software provider formerly known as NDS that was once owned by Cisco, is set to lay off 12 percent of its employees, or roughly 200 people. February is almost over and the reversals of fortune and firings still keep on coming in Startup Nation Israel. And Fireblocks, an Israeli fintech startup that specializes in cybersecurity, is letting go of 5% of its entire staff.

The move by Fireblocks comes just a little over a year after the company hit an $8 billion valuation with a $400 million raise. And just… Read More Here

Israel and UAE Unveil Jointly Produced Unmanned Navy Vessel
In yet another sign of the growing relationship between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Monday the two nations revealed a new jointly developed autonomous marine defense vessel at the NAVDEX Naval Defense & Maritime Security Exhibition, part of the IDEX defense exhibition currently underway in Abu Dhabi.

The new naval vessel is unmanned, making it sort of a drone of the sea. It was developed in cooperation between Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), ADSB (Abu Dhabi Ship Building) and the… Read More Here

Israel First-Ever National Pavilion at Abu Dhabi Defense Exhibition
For the first time in history, Israel has its own pavilion at the Abu Dhabi Defense Exhibition in the United Arab Emirates. The Israel Ministry of Defense inaugurated the first-ever national pavilion at the “IDEX” defense exhibition on Monday. The ministry said that the participation in IDEX is part of joint efforts to “strengthen defense relations” with the Abraham Accords countries.

SIBAT, the Israel Ministry of Defense’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate, is leading the delegation of Israeli defense industries participating in the event. The national pavilion was inaugurated by the Head of SIBAT, Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Yair Kulas, together with additional senior… Read More Here

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