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CTech’s Weekly Israeli Tech News Roundup

CTech’s Weekly Israeli Tech News Roundup

Marshall Islands to issue national cryptocurrency. Didi Chuxing to scout Israel for investments, partnerships

CTech  :  2018-03-02T14:07:12..

Marshall Islands to issue national cryptocurrency. Israeli entrepreneur Barak Ben-Ezer wants to make cryptocurrencies go mainstream. He paid close attention when the U.S. tax authority said it defines a currency as the legal tender of a sovereign country. He drafted a list of small countries that don’t have their own currency, eventually deciding on the Marshall Islands because of its democratic rule and strong ties to the United States. The next step was finding a path to the hearts of the leaders of the tiny Pacific republic. Marshal Islands announced this week it would raise money by issuing a national cryptocurrency. Read more

Didi Chuxing to scout Israel for investments, partnerships. A senior delegation from the Chinese ridesharing company will arrive for a one week visit in the country mid-March, looking for Israel-based companies in the domains of smart mobility, autonomous driving, and electric vehicles. Read more 

Didi Chuxing Didi Chuxing's ride-hailing app. Photo: Bloomberg Didi Chuxing

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins to visit Israel, launch digitization hubs. Mr. Robbins will participate in the launch of Cisco’s country digitization acceleration (CDA) program, Cisco’s social initiative to digitize Israel’s peripheral communities and connect them with the country’s economic and technological center in Tel Aviv. Read more

LeadCoin raised $50 million in an ICO. Promoting itself as an alternative to Google and Facebook, LeadCoin is developing a blockchain-based web marketing service for business leads. In the LeadCoin network, companies will get to own and trade the consumer they generate through digital advertising. On Thursday, the company said it raised $50 million through a public offering of its cryptocurrency. Read more

Shared office company Mixer raises $40 million. Founded in 2016, Mixer currently operates an upmarket coworking location in Tel Aviv. The round was led by Puma Brandenburg, the investment firm headed by British businessman Howard Shore. Mixer plans to expand in Israel and open locations in New York and Berlin. Read more

Open space is broken. All hail the open conference room. When she started her new startup, serial entrepreneur Iris Shoor wanted to do away with the nearly ubiquitous open space and decided to open the conference room doors to all employees. “In theory, an open space office sounds like a great way to encourage teamwork and open discussion. However, most open spaces are quite noisy and are not that conducive to actual discussions,” Ms. Shoor writes. Read more 

Report traces the evolution of the Israeli gaming industry. Until the mid-2000s, Israel was largely absent from the gaming industry despite having a robust tech scene and a ready supply of art and music professionals. By lowering entry barriers mobile phones and social media created opportunities for newcomers, and Israel is now home to 170 gaming companies employing around 4,000 people, according to a report by Deloitte. Read more

Teva to repay due loans with a junk bond private offering. The company is looking to repay some of its outstanding debt with a private offering of senior notes, the company announced Wednesday. Through two of its Netherland-based finance subsidiaries, Teva is offering 1 billion euros worth of euro-denominated notes and $2.25 billion worth of U.S. dollar-denominated notes. Moody's Investors Service, which downgraded Teva to junk bonds in January, has assigned a Ba2 rating to both offerings, with a stable outlook. Read more

Israel’s Bezeq appoints acting CEO; boardroom power struggle rages on. On Thursday, Bezeq announced the appointment of Yakov Paz, the company's vice president, and business division manager, as acting CEO. Mr. Paz, 54, will be stepping into the shoes of CEO Stella Handler, who is under house arrest at the moment as part of an Israel Securities Authority probe into the telecommunication company. Bezeq's controlling stakeholder and formal chairman Shaul Elovitch has been under arrest since last Sunday due to his involvement in both the authority's investigation and Case 4,000, a bribery-related investigation involving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While Mr. Elovitch is trying to push forward a deal to sell Bezeq’s parent company to cover debt, activist investor Elliot fund has different plans. Read more 

London, Toronto, Singapore eyeing the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The stock sale of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is on track: multiple exchanges expressed interest in buying into the exchange, including the London Stock Exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Singapore Exchange. In January the exchange announced that shareholders agreed to sell 71.7% of their shares, for an aggregated value of around $147 million. Read more 

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