Israeli startups raised a huge total of $1.55 billion during the first quarter of 2019. It represents a 28% increase on the first quarter of 2018. The strongest sectors were software and life sciences.
Israel’s ELTA Systems has won several contracts in the Caribbean (for Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados) to upgrade national coastal surveillance systems and provide radar systems to offshore oil rigs. ELTA also is to supply radar systems to Mexican offshore oil rigs.
The Israeli Transportation Ministry is piloting a scheme, initially with 500 drivers, to try to reduce traffic congestion. Each driver can earn up to NIS 2,000 if he/she doesn’t drive during the rush hour. More money can be obtained by giving lifts to carpoolers and by using public transport.
Walmart has partnered with Israeli-founded Kidbox to sell customers $48 boxes of leading children’s fashion brands at 50% discount to their regular retail price. The Israeli-developed software assesses the child’s preferences and taste, the time of year, and the latest fashions.
US retail electronics chain Best Buy has partnered with Israel’s TycoCare. US customers on-line and at stores in 4 states can purchase TycoCare’s all-in-one digital diagnostics kit consisting of thermometer, stethoscope, otoscope, tongue depressor and remote consultation service.
I reported previously on Israel’s Bringg when it began dispatching and tracking orders for US caterer Panera Bread. Bringg now helps Panera process over a million orders a month. It has just raised $25 million of funds to “level the playing field in the age of Amazon”.
120 entrepreneurs from 80 Israeli startups attended Calcalist’s Mind the Tech conference at the New York center of Tel Aviv-headquartered innovation hub SOSA. They presented to industry leaders including Amazon, American Express, Comcast, Goldman Stanley, and TechStars.
I reported previously on Israel-based maritime startup accelerator TheDock Innovation Hub which offers startups funds, offices, mentors and networking with partner companies. TheDock has added Singapore-based port operator PSA International to existing partners that include Maersk.
The Israel Innovation Authority has allocated $50 million for setting up innovation incubators to encourage local entrepreneurship in Israel’s rural areas. The incubators in Israel’s periphery will provide workspace, support from academic institutes, mentors and links to investors and clients.
Israel’s reserves of foreign currency increased by half a billion dollars during April to another new record of $118.7 billion.