On 1st Feb, OurCrowd, a leading global equity crowdfunding platform, held its largest annual investor conference in Jerusalem. 10,000 attendees from over 90 countries; 1,000 startups, 500 multinationals and 500 venture capitalists. See Jon Medved’s video preview.
Kai Beckmann, CEO of Performance Materials at German giant Merck, stated that Israeli innovation is behind almost half of Merck’s healthcare revenues. Merck has just opened a new technology innovation laboratory at its subsidiary, Qlight Nanotech in Jerusalem.
A Honda Xcelerator representative identifies the innovative Israeli technology that Honda is seeking and cultivating.
Israeli-founded home remodeling and design company Houzz has just acquired Tel Aviv-based IvyMark, a startup developing online business management tools for interior designers.
I reported previously about Israeli startup Weissbeerger and its technology to monitor beer taps in a bar. Weissbeerger has just been acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the makers of Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois.
Israeli flavors and fine ingredients company Frutarom has just bought Israel’s IBR (Israeli Biotechnology Research) for $21 million – Frutarom’s 32nd acquisition since 2015. IBR produces active ingredients for cosmetics and dietary supplements.
Israel’s Ori Allon founded Compass in 2012. It has been reshaping the real estate market in the US with its algorithm-based platform. Having sold his Orion search algorithm to Google and his Julpan social analytics company to Twitter, Ori says that he will hold onto Compass this time.
Israel’s reserves of foreign currency jumped by a record $4.6 billion to a new high of $117.6 billion at the end of January, compared to the end of December.
Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has reaffirmed Israel’s credit rating at its third highest “investment” grade, with a positive outlook. S&P praised Israel’s prosperous and diverse economy, strong external balance sheet, and flexible monetary framework.
Tourism to Israel is booming with hotel overnights by overseas tourists totaling 10.6 million in 2017 - 23% more than in 2016 and the highest since 2007. The nationwide hotel occupancy rate in 2017 was 67%, compared with 62% in 2016.