Markets plummeted this week, evaporating millions of dollars in value for well established public companies.
- But what does it mean for startups? Here’s what the VCs have to say: Ron Conway, Sequoia (Rip Good times ppt), Benchmark and Israel’s Danny Cohen (Gemini), Walden and Michael Eisenberg.
- Joongel, the TC50 Demopit presenter (previously covered on VC Cafe) has secured a $100K seed investment from Dr. Yossi Vardi. The team is going to allocate the funding towards a new product mysteriously called “Modular Patterns”. Congrats and good luck! (TechCrunch)
- Israeli Cleantech startups are headed to the Valley this week to create some buzz and raise investments. “it can be a concerning time to be a cleantech investor” – Glen Schwaber, a general partner at venture-capital firm Israel Cleantech Ventures thinks that the window might be closing for Cleantech VC funding. (PE Hub)
- Startups, entrepreneurs and developers, Yahoo! BOSS is throwing a hack day in Israel on Nov 6th and you’re invited! The event details & RSVP info can be found at: http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/1223198/
- On the event front, The Ernst & Young Israel 12th annual Journey Conference 2008 that opens on November 3 at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv.
- Itamar Weisbrod and Avi Elias, co-founders of Cellogic, launched the Israeli startup FlyScreen last month. The service gathers updates from social networks, weather, sports and RSS feeds – while your phone is asleep. According to the website: “Funded by Yossi Vardi and other private angels, Cellogic was founded in 2007 and has since grown into a 6 member team, including former Symbian engineers, and well known-mobile bloggers.” (Center Networks)
See the demo:
- Semantinet, the ambitious Israeli semantic search engine, launched Headup, a browser plugin that uses semantic web capabilities to provide related content to the page that is being viewed. The pluging is developed in MS Silverlight 2 technology, which stores information locally, hence maintaining user privacy. According to the press release:Browsing for a music CD on Amazon.com using headup might include an overlay with the
* Your Facebook who friends like this band
* A sample of the band’s latest music streamed via Pandora
* Band pictures on Flickr
* The best tickets for the concert in your city via Zvents
* Your friends who are using Twitter or FriendFeed to discuss the upcoming concert
* The restaurants near the concert hall that are top-rated by Yelp
- Lior Delgo, a friend, and the founder of Yahoo! Farechase, launched Israeli startup VideoSurf in beta last month – It’s an impressive video search engine that enables searching for the content in the video, not just the keywords around it. Wicked smart team composed of scientists and mathematicians worked on the technology. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet. (PR Newswire)”Using computer vision and fast computation, VideoSurf’s technology can see inside videos and interpret the content. With search based on visual content, rather than text only, VideoSurf’s computer vision search engine returns more relevant results, allows users to visually navigate results, and provides better ways for users to find and discover videos from across the Web.”
- Layoffs in Israeli startups:
- Avatar creator Gizmoz fires 30% of employees only six months after raising a $7 million round.
- Yoomba, the client agnostic IM service lays off 75% of the team in Israel. 17 out of 23 employees were sent home months after raising seed funding from USVP (Calcalist)
- Delver lays of 20% of its workforce in Israel. CEO Liad Agmon blames it on the weakening dollar and says that he has learned the lessons from the previous bubble – “sometimes a 5% cut is not enough” (TheMarker)
- TopSpin, a medical device company developing high-resolution MRI software, fires entire Israeli staff (Globes)
- Israeli scientists develop a beautification engine for images.
- Four Interesting Israeli startups will present their pitches on Wed, October 29th in New York, as part of the TechAviv event organized by former Pando co-founder Yaron Samid.
This week’s lineup includes:
- Elementool – Yaron Sinai, Founder & CEO
Elementool develops SaaS project management tools
- Innovid – Zvika Netter, Founder & CEO
Innovid (covered on VC Cafe) creates impressive in-video brand advertising. Click into the video and engage with objects.
- MyHound – Ardy Khazaei, Founder & President
A free, personalized newsletter that alerts on your favorite performers and artists: new CD and book releases, concerts, tour dates, and other events
- Tweegee – Shay Bloch, Founder & CEO
A TC50 finalist, Tweegee is a portal for Tweens (kids aged 7-15) offering a safe environment for email, multiplayer games, web site creation and many other activities.
- Elementool – Yaron Sinai, Founder & CEO
Despite the bad news in the market, overall Israeli startups are holding their ground. Is the worst still ahead?