17 January 2018 - 1 Shevat 5778 - א' שבט ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Air India also eyeing Israel fights Print E-mail

With so many Asian carriers currently in the process of launching direct flights to Israel, Air India recently announced a new route as part of its expansion plans.

Air India is to launch flights to Tel Aviv, the carrier’s chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani has announced. Speaking at the unveiling of the airline’s new mobile application, Lohani said: “We are going to connect Washington, Africa, Tel Aviv and many others.”

Lohani’s announcement comes as no surprise. Earlier this year he met with Ministry of Tourism director general Avi Halevy to discuss direct flights to Israel by Air India. The new route will be more competition for El Al Israel Airlines Ltd, which operates weekly flights between Tel Aviv and Mumbai. The possibility of the new route comes hard on the heels of news that Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific will be operating flights between Tel Aviv and Hong Kong starting in March 2017.

(Issue Dec 2016)


Package tours offered to Hua Hin Print E-mail

EL AL Israel Airlines announced recently that it is launching package tours to the Hua Hin coastal resort in Thailand, in co-operation with Eshet Tours.

The package deals will include an El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Bangkok and back, plus transportation on the twoand–a-half-hour journey to Hua Hin on the Malay peninsula, 200 kilometres southwest of Bangkok.

This is the first of several destinations throughout Thailand that El Al and Eshet will be offering. Thailand is an extremely popular destination for Israelis, but El Al marketing manager Einat Yanai stressed that few in Israel have heard of Hua Hin, which is likely to make the packages attractive. The region around Hua Hin is rich in beaches, nature reserves, markets and resort attractions.

(Issue Dec 2016)


OurCrowd opens Singapore office for Asian expansion E-mail

Israeli equity crowdfunding company OurCrowd announced recently that it has opened an office in Singapore, its seventh office worldwide. The new office will serve the growing community of Asian investors interested in funding early-stage high-growth companies.

Jerusalem-based OurCrowd has appointed Denes Ban, a successful entrepreneur and technology executive, as Managing Partner Asia and head of OurCrowd’s Singapore management company.

The move follows OurCrowd’s announcement earlier this year that it has partnered with United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Sassoon Investment Corporation (SassCorp) to pursue equity crowdfunding for startups and SMEs in the region.

In August 2016, OurCrowd also received a formal licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to begin operating in Singapore.

OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved said: “Asia is one of our fastest-growing markets and following our launch in Singapore, we will be looking to take OurCrowd further into the ASEAN market. Our business in Asia has grown five times since 2014, in terms of both the number of investors on the platform and the amount of investment dollars committed on our platform.”

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Catalyst CEL Fund invests in SatixFy Limited E-mail

Catalyst CEL Fund recently announced its investment in SatixFy Limited, a leading provider of satellite and quasi-satellite communication technology. Catalyst CEL Fund is the lead investor in a US$25 million investment round, which will be completed by the end of the year.

The Fund aims to support the long-term growth of innovative Israeli companies and promote the development of China’s high-tech industry. The investment highlights the focus of investors on one of Israel’s strongest markets, satellite communication. SatixFy designs its own silicon chips, thereby radically reducing the cost, size, weight and power consumption of user-terminals, and the cost of air time for satellite communications.

The company targets multiple markets such as the Internet of Things (“IoT”) and M2M (machine-to-machine) applications, which are at the forefront of satellite communications innovation today.

The company’s management team is led by Founder & CEO Yoel Gat, founder and former Chairman and CEO of Gilat Satellite Networks Limited. The company recently opened its new research centre in the UK after receiving a significant grant from the UK Space Agency through the European Space Agency.

Yair Shamir, Managing Partner of Catalyst CEL Fund, said: “Under Yoel Gat’s leadership, SatixFy became a global leader in its field. The management’s experience in the market of satellite technology is exceptional. Their previous experience in China joined with the expertise of our partners at China Everbright Limited secure a meaningful entry to the Chinese market for the company.”

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Sarine Technologies launches new colour technology for the global diamond industry E-mail

Israel-based Sarine Technologies Ltd, which develops and manufactures advanced systems for diamond producers, traders and retailers, announced its new groundbreaking technologies in November: the first-of-its-kind, automated, objective and consistent Clarity and Color measurement and grading systems.

The Sarine Clarity and Sarine Color technologies, which complete Sarine’s scientific solutions focusing on the 4Cs and beyond in diamond quality, will serve to enhance confidence in both an individual diamond’s valuation throughout the entire diamond pipeline, and consumer trust at the point of sale.

A result of the company’s annual R&D expenditures of over US$10 million, Sarine’s technology for grading the Clarity of polished diamonds is currently in advanced large-scale testing in India. With commercialisation expected towards the middle of 2017, Sarine Clarity will significantly simplify the Clarity grading process, and hence polished diamond sorting and sourcing, in much the same way as Sarine’s DiaMension family of systems transformed Cut measurement and grading in the global diamond industry. Along the entire diamond pipeline, Sarine technology touches the majority of diamonds worldwide.

The company has also developed the automated Sarine Color evaluation technology, with lab-grade accuracy that is currently being tested in India. Commercialisation is scheduled for mid-2017.

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