11 December 2018 - 4 Tevet 5779 - ד' טבת ה' אלפים תשע"ט
OurCrowd makes first investment into China E-mail

Israeli venture capital platform OurCrowd has made its first Chinese investment, participating in the nearly- US$60-million financing round of the Chinese in-destination service booking platform company Klook. The Series C financing was led by Sequoia China, Goldman Sachs and existing investor Matrix Partners.
OurCrowd Managing Partner Asia and head of Our- Crowd’s Singapore management company Denes Ban said: “The investment further solidifies Israel’s pivot towards Asia, and in such an exciting sector. ln-destination travel services is the segment with the largest business potential in online tourism. OurCrowd is pleased to co-invest alongside top VCs, and this represents a unique investment opportunity for our high-net-worth investors in Asia and beyond. We plan to leverage our unparalleled access to Israeli frontier tech such as artificial intelligence to help Klook in its further development of travel tech.”

Jerusalem-based OurCrowd manages over US$450 million in assets from family offices and high-net-worth individuals from over 100 countries. Managed by a team of investment professionals based in Israel and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd vets and selects opportunities, invests its own capital and brings companies to its accredited membership of global investors.Please login or register to see the full article
Israel-Japan VC fund invests in joy and wellness E-mail

A Herzliya-based company Joy Ventures is looking to create an ecosystem for neurowellness products. The US$50 million joint Israeli-Japanese VC fund hopes to find ways to help people calm down easily, using their much-loved smartphones or other digital devices.

“The modern Western population suffers from a lot of stress, even if there is prosperity and a high quality of life,” said Avi Yaron, the CEO of Joy Ventures. “Unfortunately, this high quality of life does not necessarily translate into wellbeing, and Joy Ventures caters to this niche.”

Joy seeks to help individuals with neuro-wellness products by enhancing their resilience, he said. “People don’t necessarily look after themselves, they don’t sleep enough, and they don’t eat the most healthy foods. You can’t really stop or change their way of life. We want to help, not with medicines, but with neuro-wellness,” said Yaron. “Joy Ventures wants to allow people to support that change in an easy and fun way, using the advanced knowledge of brain sciences to lower stress, improve moods and raise the feeling of wellbeing.”

Joy Ventures is a privately funded investment company founded by Corundum Open Innovation, a VC fund that invests in Israeli tech companies. The fund is backed by Japanese corporations and has offices in Israel and Japan. “Our investors were looking to focus on both the brain and consumer products — so we decided we needed to create a new framework — something completely different that allows us to foster these kind of companies, but also build a whole new ecosystem in Israel, because the field is so new,” said Gilad Peleg-Lorberbaum, the managing partner for Corundum.

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IAI forms joint venture in South Korea with Hankok Carbon E-mail

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has formed a new company, called Korea Aviation Technologies, with Hankuk Carbon (HC) to develop drones with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities (VTOL). Its products will be aimed at both the military and civilian markets in South Korea.

The two companies signed their joint-venture agreement in October at the International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition in Seoul. Each will hold a 50% stake in the joint venture. State-owned IAI is one of the world’s leaders in drone technology, while Hankuk Carbon will provide manufacturing expertise.

Moon-Soo Cho, CEO from Hankuk Carbon, said that “both companies have established a firm relationship within a short period of time, and the result will be passed on to the HC-IAI joint venture. The UAS system with innovative hybrid propulsion system produced under KAT’s name will set up a new standard of the UAV industry.”

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Haier Electronics opens innovation centre in Tel Aviv E-mail

Chinese appliance-maker Haier Electronics, part of Haier Group, opened an innovation centre in Israel in October, with a focus on smart home technologies.

The company said it is looking for smart household goods technologies to integrate into its product line, and also aims to help Israeli companies looking to expand into China.

Wang Ye, vice president and general manager of the Advanced Innovation Center in Haier’s appliance group, said: “The decision to open an in-novation centre is fully aligned with Haier’s strategy: the world is our lab.” Haier Group acquired General Electric Co.’s appliances unit in 2016 in a deal worth US$5.4 billion.

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Lab-meat technologies come to China E-mail

In September, China signed a US$300 million trade deal to import Israeli lab-meat technologies, VegNews reported. Two Israeli companies – SuperMeat and Future Meat Technologies – are currently working to replace meat animals with “synthetic labgrown cultured” meat.

China signed the deal as part of its effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the impact of cows and other animals that emit methane. Cows are considered the most dangerous source of greenhouse gases on the planet.

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing has been investing heavily in US food-technology firms Impossible Foods and Hampton Creek. The latter firm plans to start marketing its lab meat as early as 2018.

In July, SuperMeat reached its US$100,000 crowdfunding goal, and has recruited awardwinning biomedical engineer Yaakov Nahmias of the Hebrew University and Prof. Shulamit Levenberg from the Technion to develop a meat-making machine that would use animal cells to produce “real meat without harming animals”.

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