15 December 2018 - 8 Tevet 5779 - ח' טבת ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Japan’s Daiso stores to enter Israel E-mail

Japanese retail chain Daiso has announced it will open the first of two stores in Israel this summer. Union Group, the franchise holder for H&M and COS in Israel, which is the official importer for Japanese cars Toyota and Lexus, will operate the stores.

Daiso, founded in 1977, is a chain of stores using the model of “every item for a dollar”. In Israel, it will compete with chains such as Max Stock and Hastock, due to its combination of large stores and cheap products.

The chain is expected to market up to 100,000 products at a fixed low price, including design and accessories products for different areas of the home. Most of the products to be offered in the stores are made exclusively for the Japanese chain’s private label.

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NTT Docomo Ventures invests in Otonomo E-mail

Japan’s NTT Docomo Ventures Inc recently announced a US$3 million investment in Otonomo, an Israeli developer of personal car data systems, which provides a cloud-based platform.

NTT Group says Otonomo complements its connected car platform business and vehicle data service development, and thus it is expected to contribute to future business creation. Based in Herzliya and California in the US, the Israeli company is developing a connected car ecosystem to share and integrate vehicle data.

Ultimately, Otonomo will sell that data to insurance companies, retailers, car manufacturers, municipalities, etc. Founded in 2015, the company raised US$25 million last year, and with the latest investment has raised US$41 million to date.

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Data platform provider iguazio sets up Asia-Pacific office E-mail

Israel-based data platform provider iguazio has opened its first Asia-Pacific office in Singapore, opening up a range of opportunities for cybersecurity, IoT, smart city and other initiatives in the region.

In September last year the company announced that Singapore- based transportation service Grab was its first marquee customer. Since then, the company has been growing its customer base across industries such as finance, automotive, IoT and telecommunications. The company says its customers demand real-time data processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

In July 2017 iguazio raised US$33 million in Series B funding from investors including Verizon Ventures and Dell Technologies Capital. This funding has helped to expand iguazio’s opportunities in Asia-Pacific.

The company also sees potential in artificial intelligence. Global market intelligence firm IDC predicts that the value of big data solutions that underpin AI and machine learning will grow to US$203 billion in 2020.

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Israel awards gas exploration licence to a consortium of Indian state firms E-mail

According to India’s Economic Times, Israel has awarded an exploration licence to a consortium of Indian state firms led by ONGC Videsh in an auction of its offshore gas fields that saw a tepid response from global companies.

The decision to award the licence was made in December, ahead of the recent visit to India by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This has been seen as another step in energising relations between the two countries.

The consortium of ONGC Videsh, Bharat PetroResources and Indian Oil will be granted an exploration licence, while Greece’s Energean will receive five licences, Israel’s Energy Ministry said in a statement.

The Indian consortium and the Greek firm were the only bidders in the 1st Israeli Offshore Licensing Round that closed last month.

A high-ranking delegation from India, the world’s thirdbiggest oil consumer, visited Israel last year to discuss taking part in the tender for blocks in the Mediterranean Sea. “We will definitely bid for Israel’s oil and gas blocks,” said Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Many oil majors have been hesitant to enter the Israeli market, fearing a backlash from oil-rich Arab states hostile to the country.

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Game-changing Israeli technologies boost business in Hong Kong and China E-mail

Two recent networking events, one in Hong Kong on 18 January and one in Beijing on 19 January, focused on how game-changing and disruptive technology companies from Israel can help strengthen Hong Kong’s position as an international business centre, and how the companies’ technologies can strengthen the quality of life in Hong Kong and China.

The events were organised by China Israel Synergy Holdings (CISH) and Deloitte. Speaking at both events were Uri Rapoport, CEO and founder of Aspect Imaging, and Yaky Yanay, Co-CEO and President of Pluristem Therapeutics and Co-Chairman (Life Science) of IATI (Israel Advanced Technology Industries).

The two companies are among the leading hi-tech companies in Israel. Aspect Imaging offers a new approach to MRI in terms of safety, point-of-care and accessibility, and Pluristem Therapeutics is a leading developer of placenta-derived cell therapy products.

Also speaking at both events was Amir Yaar, CEO of CISH, who presented a talk about “Phi lanthropy by Technology”.

In attendance at the Hong Kong event was Ahuva Spieler, Israel’s Consul General to Hong Kong. Opening remarks at the event in Hong Kong were given by Nicholas W. Yang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government, who spoke about Hong Kong as an innovation and technology centre.

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