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CTech’s Daily Israeli Tech News Roundup

CTech’s Daily Israeli Tech News Roundup

Alibaba’s Jack Ma plans May visit to Israel. OurCrowd launches $50 million sports tech fund.

CTech | 18:42, 01.02.18

Alibaba’s Jack Ma plans May visit to Israel. The founder and chairman of China’s largest ecommerce company plans to visit Israel in May to meet with local venture capital funds and startups. In recent months Alibaba finalized a deal to buy the assets of Israel-based QR codes startup Visualead, and in October the company announced plans to set up offices in Tel Aviv as part of a $15 billion global research and development push. Read more
Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma.Photo: Bloomberg Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma.Photo: Bloomberg Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma.Photo: Bloomberg

OurCrowd launches $50 million sports tech fund. A joint venture of OurCrowd and Berlin-based leAD Sports Accelerator Management, the fund will invest in 15 early-stage startups in the domains of sports, fan engagement services, online athletic communities, eSports and fantasy sports. Read more

Iran uses “independent companies” to mask the source of cyberattacks, according to former Israeli lawmaker. Iranian cyberattacks targeting Israel, European countries and the U.S. originate in “eleven independent companies” operating “from different countries,” former lawmaker and member of the Israeli parliament cybersecurity subcommittee, Erel Margalit, said Wednesday. The founder of Jerusalem-based venture capital firm Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Mr. Margalit announced his retirement from the Israeli House of Representatives in October, returning to his former position as JVP chairman. Read more

Chinese regulation may hinder Playtika's sale from one Giant interactive unit to another, according to the Wall Street Journal. In July 2016, the Israel-based company was sold for $4.4 billion to a Chinese consortium that included an offshore affiliate of Giant Interactive. Now Giant is looking to buy Playtika from the consortium for $4.8. The deal has run into regulatory opposition over concerns that Playtika's games promote gambling, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Read more

Koch Industries completes investment in medical device company InSightec. In December, Koch Industries led a $90 million round for the Israel-based company. The second and final closing of the round was completed for a total sum of $150 million, according to a filing submitted Wednesday to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Read more

Aleph Venture Capital leads $15 million round for AI-based catering startup Platterz. Established in 2015, Platterz offers corporations a ‘predictive meal builder’ that takes into account headcount, budget parameters, and dietary preferences before offering personalized take-out options. The company counts Apple, Salesforce and ecommerce company Shopify among its clients. Read more

Insurer AmTrust taps Israel’s startup hub. The company hired Yair Smith as vice president of strategic development to spearhead its technology scouting efforts in Israel and partnered with Israel-linked startups. Read more

STMicroelectronics launches Israel startup accelerator dubbed ST-Up. The accelerator will select 3-5 local chip companies for its 18-month program by spring. Read more

GroupM’s Rob Norman joins Playbuzz board. In September, Playbuzz announced it had raised $35 million in a Series C funding round led by Israel-based Viola Growth Management Fund. Read more

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