Saturday, November 17, 2007

Read It On VC Cafe First: Six Israeli Startup News That You Probably Missed This Week

It's earnings season and it's hard to keep up with all that's been going on with Israeli companies this week. Want to catch up with the latest news? Below is a bite-size summary of the latest VC and start up news from the holy land.

  1. eSnips, an Israel-based "social content-sharing site" released 'Social DNA'. Social DNA is a series of quick 'tests' that allow users to find like minded people. The concept is not new as it is implemented by many dating sites and Facebook Apps such as: compare people , similar friends and many online dating sites. eSnips' CEO Yael Elish reported to have approximately 13 million monthly users, out of which 200K are Israelis [Sources: Techcrunch, The Marker]

  2. New VC Fund focused on India-Israel investments. Footrpint’s focus is to invest $2-4 million in lifestyle, retail, financial services, security, education, clean technology and life sciences companies in the India-Israel-India corridor. Footprint is led by Neill Brownstein, co-founder of Bessemer Venture Partners, as well as Linda Brownstein, Josh Bornstein and Shalini Elassery. Footprint already signed an agreement in July 2006 with Infinity—an Israeli-Chinese technology fund with $350 million in its current fund—to invest in Israeli companies and technologies that target Indian markets. [via LiveMint and VC Circle]

  3. Electric Cars in Israel? Following Shai Agassi's and Idan Ofer's "Project Better Place", Israel is attracting foreign investments related to electric cars. French car maker Renault SA is studying a possible plan to build a manufacturing plant for electric cars in Israel. [via Businessweek]

  4. JaJah loves Jangl - Israeli VOIP Platform JaJah recently announced a series of new deals. It started with an ad for minutes campaign, enabled by a partnership with Oridian (also Israeli). The geographically targeted ads allow JaJah to monetize while providing a free service to its users. Now, JaJah announced a partnership with Jangl, a VOIP platform that enables users to get a virtual telephone number on the web. Jangl will help JaJah to extend its reach to Jangl's 40M users and Jangl will in turn use JaJah's monetization platform and gain entry to the 122 countries in which JaJah is active. [via Mashable]

  5. Video discovery made simple - Israel based Taboola wants to enable content discovery style 'Stumble Upon' for video sites. EverGreen believes in the idea - it will finance a round of $1.5M to make it happen. Taboola allows users to integrate ads onto a site's video player using java script tags. Israeli has been testing the service and it reported a 23% increase in watched videos and 53% increase in session length since it started the test. [via NewTeeVee]

See an example of Taboola (click on related, bottom left):

  • Ukraine planning to create free trade zone with Israel. Among the priorities of Ukraine's development the president identified the development of industry, specifically machine building, space- and aircraft construction, and chemical industry. [via]

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