As every month, VC Cafe is re-posting the “Invest in Israel” Newsletter, published by the investment promotion center of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, which offers many helpful tools for prospecting investors. For the Invest in Israel archive, click here.
Below are the headlines for December 2011 (mid month update!)
MICROSOFT ACQUIRED ISRAELI START UP VIDEOSURF
Microsoft bought visual identification video search engine Videosurf, which developed a technology that locates video clips on the Internet.
The company, which was founded in 2006 by four Israelis in Silicon Valley, indexes over 250 million videos from various sites such as YouTube, CNN and Facebook and is used by major websites such as CBS and Warner Brothers. Its technology scans video clips quickly, implements a thorough search of their content, including faces and events, and tags the various clips. As of April 2011, the site claimed more than 20 million visitors a month, up sharply from the 1.5 million it was claiming in 2009.
LEADING US COOPERATIVE CHS BUYS ISRAEL’S SOLBAR
CHS, a diversified energy, grains and foods cooperative owned by farmers, ranchers and co-ops across the United States, is acquiring Solbar Industries Ltd, a global leader in specialty soy proteins and soy isoflavones, for $113 million.
Solbar, headquartered in Ashdod, provides soy protein ingredients to manufacturers in the meat, vegetarian, beverage, bars and crisps, confectionary, bakery, and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries. The soy products company has manufacturing and logistics facilities in Ashdod and Ashkelon in Israel as well as in South Sioux City, Nebraska, and Ningbo, China.
CHS, a Fortune 100 company, supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain, livestock feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services.
ISRAELI MODELITY WINS TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION AWARD
Israeli financial modeling company Modelity won the Structured Products Magazine’s technology innovation award for a second consecutive year. Modelity, which develops and markets software for the financial market, combining innovative technology with advanced financial knowledge, was chosen from among the world’s leading financial technology companies.
What they offered was unique, and it seemed the logical choice for RBS” said Zak de Mariveles, managing director at RBS Global Banking & Markets.
Modelity’s software follows a structured product through its life stages including the offering, initial marketing, reporting performance to the customers, and culminating with the expiration date. Modelity’s clients include most of Israel’s and some of the world’s leading financial institutions such as Barclays, RBS, Rabobank and Danske Bank.
ISRAEL’S EVATURE WINS TRAVEL INNOVATION AWARD
Evature, a leading provider of free-text search technology for the travel industry, has won the DEMO award for the most game-changing travel innovation at the fourth annual Travel Innovation Summit in Miami as part of the industry-leading PhoCusWright Conference.
At the event, where Evature was also recognized as the most innovative international company, the Israeli start-up demonstrated its revolutionary B2B service – Eva, enabling travel companies to offer their customers the ability to search for travel using free text.
Evature’s web service is base on innovative Natural Language Processing algorithms, specifically designed for “travel language”, delivering a never before possible user experience.
KEY DRUG COMPOUND FOR FA TREATMENT DEVELOPED IN ISRAELI LAB
OX1, a key drug compound that was developed by Dr. Daniel Chain while heading the Israeli company Mindset BioPharmaceuticals, has resulted in a $126 million global licensing deal for Manhattan-based Intellect Neurosciences which he currently heads as chairman and CEO.
OX1 is a highly potent multimodal, metal-binding antioxidant molecule, which has been demonstrated to protect nerve cells from highly oxidizing neurotoxins. ViroPharma plans to develop and commercialize OX1 as a treatment of Friedreich’s Ataxia and possibly other neurodegenerative diseases for which OX1 may qualify for orphan drug designation.
FROM THE INNOVATION PIPELINE: MEDIGUS RAISES $2.5 MLN FOR WORLD’S SMALLEST MEDICAL CAMERA
Israel’s Medigus has raised 9.3 million shekels ($2.5 million) in order to progress with regulatory approvals for its medical procedure video camera. At 0.99 mm in diameter, the camera is the world’s smallest video camera.
The miniature cameras are designed specifically for small-diameter disposable endoscopic devices, and are used in various medical fields including: cardiology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, gynecology, otolaryngology, bronchoscopy and robotic surgery.
FROM THE INNOVATION PIPELINE: ISRAELI WEBSITE REVOLUTIONIZES SHARING OF MEDICAL DATA ONLINE
Treato, an Israeli web site that aggregates and analyzes user-generated data is said to revolutionize the way patients, physicians and drug companies share info about medications.
The site, which has been four years in the making, was launched in September and is expected to give a broader analysis of consumer-related data on the prevalence of drug side effects, especially when used with other drugs, as well as a variety of medical conditions, thereby expanding on any information currently available through pharma companies.
The Treato site covers 13,000 conditions and 11,000 medications. Of the 10 billion patient discussions, Treato indexes just over 800 million of them from 23 million patients.