16 July 2018 - 5 Av 5778 - ה' אב ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Israeli audio content platform attracts Japanese investment E-mail

In June, Israeli AI-powered (Artificial Intelligence–powered) audio content platform Audioburst announced the launch of its cross-platform API (Application Programme Interface), along with the completion of a US$6.7 million Series A financing round.

The round was led by Advanced Media Inc., a speech recognition technology company in Japan, with participation from additional investors, including Flint Capital, 2BAngels and the Mobileye consortium of investors.

Audioburst aims to change the way people consume audio content in a connected world by automating the process of indexing, organising and discovering audio segments in real time. Audioburst listens to millions of minutes of live and pre-recorded audio content each day, transforming it into searchable bursts wrapped with rich metadata.

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Catalyst CEL Fund invests in genetic drug development company Eloxx E-mail

Catalyst CEL Fund announced that it had invested in Eloxx Pharmaceuticals Limited, a clinical-stage company developing therapeutics for genetic diseases caused by so-called “nonsense” mutations. In the US$24 million investment round, Catalyst CEL Fund is one of the lead investors, together with Israeli life sciences venture capital fund Pontifax and other leading industry players.

Eloxx Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company committed to treating patients suffering from rare genetic diseases caused by [jargon alert!] premature termination codons nonsense mutations. The company is focused on the discovery, development and commercialisation of compounds for the treatment of genetic diseases, including cystic fibrosis and cystinosis.

Yair Shamir, Managing Partner of Catalyst CEL Fund, said: “We believe that Eloxx is on track to become the innovative leader in the development of drugs addressing rare and ultrarare genetic diseases, based on the company’s unique abilities to restore full-length functional proteins in genetic diseases.”

Silvia Noiman, Founder and CEO of Eloxx said: “The company aims to initiate multiple clinical studies for ELX-02, our lead development candidate. Importantly, we anticipate achieving substantial clinical milestones over the course of 2017 and 2018, particularly in our lead clinical programs in cystic fibrosis and cystinosis patients carrying nonsense mutations.”

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Israeli and Japanese companies sign MOU on cyber know-how E-mail

Israel and Japan signed two co-operation agreements in May to enhance economic and industrial collaboration between the countries.

Israeli cyber companies will be involved in a new training programme led by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry for Japanese cyber companies. The programme involves the integration and assimilation of technologies and know-how from Israel.

In the framework of this co-operation, Israeli companies will present cyber risks to Japanese companies, while exposing them to systems developed in Israel for protection against such attacks.

The Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Hiroshige Seko and his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, signed the agreements during the Japanese minister’s visit to Israel. “The agreement of understandings concerning cyberspace includes joint cyber exercises by companies from Israel and companies from Japan, an exchange of know-how and technologies in this field, and the possibility of integrating companies from Israel in cyber protection in Japan, especially in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Japanese regard Israel as a pioneer in cyberspace, and they need us to help prepare for the Olympic Games,” said Dagan Alony of Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry Foreign Trade Administration.

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Team8 co-hosts cybersecurity event in Singapore E-mail

Team8, an Israeli cybersecurity think tank and venture creation foundry, co-hosted its thought-leadership series in Singapore last month, in partnership with Temasek, Singtel, CIO Academy and SGX.

The global series, currently held in four cities (New York, San Francisco, Tel Aviv and London), gathers prominent CIOs and CISOs to explore the rapidly evolving cyber technology arena.

Team8, established in 2014, combines strategic thinking with cutting-edge interdisciplinary technological and go-to market capabilities, all run by Israel’s brightest talent from the IDF’s elite intelligence unit, 8200 (Israel’s NSA).

Bringing decades of collective experience in cyber intelligence, Team8 was founded by veterans of Unit 8200: Nadav Zafrir (former Brigadier General of Unit 8200), Israel Grimberg (former head of its cyber division) and Liran Grinberg (former distinguished officer), who have first access to an evergreen flow of top Unit 8200 alumni, many of whom independently are responsible for Israel’s startup nation and flourishing technology ecosystem.

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Japanese firm ORIX buys stake in Ormat Technologies E-mail

Geothermal energy company Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced in May that ORIX Corporation will acquire an ownership stake in Ormat.

ORIX will be purchasing approximately 11.0 million shares of Ormat common stock from FIMI ENRG Limited Partnership, FIMI ENRG, L.P. (collectively, FIMI), Bronicki Investments, Ltd., and senior members of management, representing in the aggregate an approximately 22.1% ownership position in the company.

Under the terms of a new Commercial Cooperation Agreement between the two companies, Ormat will have exclusive rights to develop, own, operate and provide equipment for ORIX geothermal energy projects in all markets outside of Japan. In addition, Ormat will have certain rights to serve as technical partner and co-invest in ORIX’s geothermal energy projects in Japan. Also, ORIX will assist Ormat in obtaining project financing for its geothermal energy projects from a variety of leading providers of renewable energy debt financing with which ORIX has relationships in Asia and around the world.

Ormat was originally founded and established by Israelis Judith and Yehuda (Lucien) Bronicki in 1965. Its main business is geothermal energy – both the construction of geothermal power plants for customers and the operation of its own plants. In recent years the company has expanded its activity to energy storage.

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