JTA NEWS
22 November 2017 - 4 Kislev 5778 - ד' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח
JTA NEWS :
Business
Israeli companies help boost milk production in India E-mail

Israeli firm AlefBet Planners Ltd is starting a surrogate cow farm near Mumbai to help meet the growing demand for milk from India’s surging middle class.

The farm will house 40 Holstein cows that serve as egg donors, and some 450 surrogates that will carry the embryos — impregnated with bovine sperm from the US, Europe and, possibly, Israel — to term. Calves born at the farm will be sold to Indian farmers when the calves born at the farm are six months pregnant, they will be sold to Indian farmers, the company said in a statement.

India’s milk production continues to fall short of demand, which is rising with growing incomes and urbanisation, according to a report by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. India’s dairy industry is considered a low-output system, made up primarily of small farmers with fewer than five cows or water buffalos, the report said. Low genetic potential is one of the key factors affecting cows’ productivity.

Maxximilk, an Israeli company that is collaborating on the Mumbai-area farm with Alef- Bet and India’s Godrej Group, specialises in in-vitro fertilisation of cows. The process can enable dairy farmers to bypass decades-long breeding programmes and grow herds of champion milk-producing cows within 32 months, the company says on its website.

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Kryon taps investment from Asia E-mail

Kryon Systems, an Israelbased provider of intelligent Robotic Process Automation (RPA), has closed a US$12 million Series B funding round led by Aquiline Technology Growth (ATG) and Asian based Vertex Ventures.

As part of the investment, Michael Cichowski of ATG and Yanai Oron of Vertex will join Kryon’s Board of Directors. The fresh capital will be used to accelerate the development of Kryon’s next-generation RPA platform as well as drive the company’s global market expansion. Its solutions use patented visual recognition and deep-learning technologies to enable enterprises to offload process execution to a virtual workforce and drive digital transformation throughout the organisation.

The market for RPA services is expected to grow to a capitalisation of US$5 billion by 2024, according to a media release from the firm. This Series B investment follows the appointment of Harel Tayeb as Kryon CEO in March this year. “In addition to growing the company, we will increase our focus on R&D and drive the company’s global market expansion. The rapid acceleration of our North American office and establishment of new regional offices in Asia and Europe will support our increasing global presence Revand customer base,” said Tayeb.

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Philippine education app represented at Start Jerusalem 2017 E-mail

An education technology startup based in Cagayan de Oro City in the Philippines, which provides a cloud-based grading platform to schools, won the Pitch Jerusalem competition and will represent the country in a global startup competition in Israel, “Start Jerusalem 2017”, from November 5 to 11.

Wela School Systems’ grading platform allows teachers to upload their existing class record spreadsheets and automatically generate the necessary reports and analytics needed by the school and the Department of Education (DepEd).

“With our platform, we have improved their efficiency and productivity from weeks to an average of two days,” John Vincent Fiel, Co-Founder of Wela School Systems, said in an interview. “Teachers will now have more time for their students and family. They don’t have to go overtime in school. They can access the platform anywhere.”

Apart from the cloud-based grading platform, Wela also provides radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems to schools.

“The student taps their RFID/ID to the kiosk/RFID device, and then our system will notify the parent whether their student/child went in/out of the school. The parent will be notified via our mobile app,” Fiel added.

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Fosun Group invests in Israeli fintech company BondIT E-mail

On 27 October, China-based Fosun Group announced a strategic investment of US$14.25 million in Israeli FinTech company, BondIT. This marks the Group’s first Fintech investment in the country. Upon completion of the transaction, Fosun will be a major shareholder of BondIT including representation on its Board of Directors.

Headquartered in Herzliya, BondIT provides an intelligent solution to fixed income traders and their portfolios. BondIT’s leading technological capabilities and global market network empowers investment managers to create and optimise bond portfolios with sophisticated yet easy-to-use automation tools powered by proprietary machine learning algorithms.

BondIT’s unique breakthrough lies in its ability to leverage data science and artificial intelligence (AI) learning to overcome the complexity and inefficiencies often experienced in fixed income products. Its intelligence enables investors to quantitatively optimise the risks and returns of their fixed income portfolios.

Guo Guangchang, Chairman of Fosun said: “Innovation is key to development, and crucial to the future of humanity. As such, we are embracing the opportunities arising from the latest technological breakthroughs in AI and Industrial 4.0. We believe BondIT complements the Group’s own financial ecosystem and as well as playing an important role in the upgrading of wealth management institutions with its disruptive technology. This investment also marks a continuation of our investment into the Israeli market, a market the Group remains optimistic on.”

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Israel-China Accelerator Program launched E-mail

Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry, in conjunction with ShengJing Group, China’s largest fund of funds manager and consulting firm, has teamed up to launch the very first China-Israel Accelerator Program in Beijing. Deadlines for the companies to participate are currently being finalised.

The programme aims to help five Israeli high-tech companies penetrate the China market. ShengJing Group is also expanding its involvement in the Israeli ecosystem and will provide tailor-made accelerating services to selected Israeli companies.

ShengJing Group, through its global investment division, Peakview Capital, has invested almost US$20 billion, including FoFs (fund of funds) and direct investments in China, the US and Israel.

In Israel, ShengJing has already invested nearly US$100 million in recent years, including investments in leading Israeli VC and Private Equity funds such as JVP, Vintage, Viola and Canaan Partners. The firm has also made direct investments into Israeli startups, the winners of its Global Innovation Awards Competition (GIA), for which the Israeli segment was led in 2015 and 2016 by JVP.

“The next step for us to further engage with the Israeli ecosystem is naturally the opening of the Israel-China Accelerator Program. We are proud to partner with the Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry in this initiative, said Sherrie Wang, Senior Partner at ShengJing Group.

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