Last week’s top story was with no doubt Microsoft’s bid to acquire Yahoo. The plot was full of twists and drama, saved only to”Jurassic Park” style M&A deals like this one. Israel didn’t stand still last week, so I’ve gathered the most interesting startup and venture capital headlines of the week in my bitesize format.
uTest’s SaaS (Software as a Service) Testing Platform allows companies to look to the community for QA services, leveraging a larger, social network of software testers and tech savvy individuals to find and report bugs within their websites. uTest’s service uses a pay-per-bug model that serves as incentive for the software testers and keeps costs low for the client.
With 28 million unique visitors a month and after having raised $300 million last August, Metacafe’s Eyal Hertzog is teaming with mobile entertainment companies to deliver short-form videos through mobile devices. partners include Buongiorno USA Inc., Israel-based Dyuna and Mobile Streams Inc.
Israel-based Velingo, a Content Recommendation engine and recent participant of the Israel Web Tour, has announced that its Spotlight technology is now available both as a Firefox add-on and as a widget for any search engine. Nicky Pappo, Velingo’s CEO said: “If we know exactly what we are looking for, we can find wonderful content on the web. The problem is, however, that in many cases, we don’t know the correct terminology and the importance of the content. By analyzing how users create and use content, we can help them select the right keywords and spot the significant content”. Download the Firefox Plugin here.
Yahoo chose the Matam Business Center in Haifa as its Israeli hub. Conveniently located next to its competitors (or future owners…), Yahoo is taking its first steps in the holy land. The 350 square meters office was leased by Yahoo for two years, with an option to extend for two additional years. To give you an idea of the real estate prices in Israel, Yahoo is going to pay 21,000 shekels a month for the office (~ $5000). Any takers?
BlogTV, the online streaming platform and a proud participant of the Israel web tour, now offers all its live streams for free, without any installation of software for all major mobile carriers. Take Mobile BlogTV for a spin by visiting m.blogtv.com on your mobile phone. Also, see a video interview with Nir Ofir, BlogTv’s CEO.
On a related note, BlogTV were present in a talk at Yahoo, when Yahoo announced the launch of a competing live broadcasting platform – Yahoo Live.
Surpassing Rihanna, Britney Spears and hip-hop titan Timbaland, Yael Naim gains the top spot on one of the music industry’s most important sales charts – iTunes. Yael Naim is the voice behind “New Soul” the catchy song played in Apple’s Macbook Air Ad. Represented in the US by Atlantic Records, the singer is scheduled to begin a French concert tour at the end of March.
Israel-based startup ooVoo, is a face-to-face client desktop communication. It combines email, IM and IP phone in one platform, with up to six people at once. I’ve gotten to post about this article a bit late, but it truly resembles Israel’s ekko.tv (still in stealth). Another distinctive feature is the ability to leave video-voice mail, that can be played by users that don’t have ooVVoo. This is in someway similar to another Israeli startup, SeeToo. I wonder how founder Yoav Ilan feels about it.
Israel based Fring is adding some impressive tools to its arsenal. In addition to using your cell phone’s data plan or WiFi connection to make free Internet calls, you can now send music, videos, or documents from your cell phone to other Fring users or anyone on MSN Messenger through 3G GSM and Edge mobile data networks as well as over WiFi. The promising startup has already raised $12 million in a B round led by North Bridge Venture Partners, VenFin, Pitango, Veritas, and Yossi Vardi.
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