Wizz launches 6th Romanian route

Hungarian airline Wizz Air is to operate a new route from Sibiu in Romania to Tel Aviv starting July 14. Wizz Air already operates direct flights to Israel from Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Craiova, and Iasi.  79,000 tourists visited Israel from Romania in 2017.

BriefCam acquired by Canon

I’ve reported previously on Israel’s BriefCam and its innovative video content analytics platform. BriefCam has just been bought by Japanese giant Canon Inc. to help it expand its video technology and solutions to global customers and partners.

Investment in startups up by 50%

181 Israeli startups raised $1.52 billion in the first quarter of 2018 – 50% more than in the first quarter of 2017.  The upward trend continued in April.

Tourism smashes records again

Israel welcomed 949,000 tourists in the first 3 months of 2018 – up 29% on the same quarter of 2017. March’s year-on-year increase was 34%, with the biggest increases from Poland (136%), Sweden (90%), Spain (68%), Germany (55%) and France (49%).

Israeli sensors for driverless BMWs

I reported previously on Israel’s Innoviz and its LiDAR (Light detection and ranging) sensors for autonomous vehicles. Now BMW is to employ Innoviz sensors in its upcoming autonomous vehicle production platforms. BMW aims to launch self-driving cars by 2021.

3rd China-Israel route for Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines is to begin a direct route to Tel Aviv from the Chinese city of Guangzhou. The airline already flies direct from Tel Aviv to both Beijing and Shanghai. In its first year of operation Hainan flew over 76,000 passengers between Tel Aviv and Beijing.

Video goes into reverse

In 2012, electronic giant Cisco Systems bought Israeli video software company NDS for $5 billion. Cisco is now focusing on core business and has sold the NDS unit back to its original controlling shareholder Permira Holdings for $1 billion.  NDS’ original CEO Abe Peled will become its new Chairman.

Alibaba founder visits Israel

Chinese business magnate and investor Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba arrived in Israel with a delegation of 35 people. He is to receive an honorary doctorate at Tel Aviv University and tour the country. Alibaba has invested in several Israeli companies and is opening offices in Tel Aviv.

Big demand for grasshopper protein

I reported previously on Israel’s Hargol which aims to solve the world’s protein shortage with its farmed grasshoppers. Hargol already received $5 million worth of orders from customers in the U.S. and Europe and interest from Ikea, Whole Foods, Diego (Guinness) and Pepsico.

The US’s 5th largest convenience store business

Israel’s Arko Holdings has completed a complex deal for the purchase and lease of 267 US fuel stations and convenience store sites, including E-Z Mart. Arko’s GPM subsidiary now controls 1,224 sites and fuels another 138 stations in 22 states – the US’s 5th largest operator.