S-Capital Raises $120 Millions for Israeli Early Stage, Deep Tech Startups
Israeli venture capital investment firm S Capital raised $120 million for its second direct investment fund called S Capital II which focuses on early-stage and deep tech startups. It will invest across a broad range of technology sectors including insurtech, fintech, machine learning, AI, enterprise software, cyber-security and IT.
MigVax raises $12M for itsCOVID-19 vaccine efforts
MigVax, an Israeli startup that’s affiliated with the Migal Galilee Research Institute, thinks it can speed up this process to create a vaccine for COVID-19 by quite a bit, because it had already worked on building a framework for the Infectious Bronchitis Virus, a corona virus that infects chickens, and that has proven to be safe in animals. Crowdfunding platform OurCrowd is putting $12million into MigVax to help the team accelerate its efforts to develop an oral vaccine.
“The experiments we have carried out so far show that because the vaccine does not include the virus itself, it will be safe to use in immune-suppressed recipients, and has fewer chances of side effects,” said David Zigdon, CEO of the Migal Galilee Research Institute
Covid-19 Victim: Israeli Startup Engie is closing
Israel-based remote auto diagnostics startup Engie is closing shop. Established in 2014,Engie Motors Ltd. developed a device that connects via Blue-tooth to a vehicle’s onboard computer to monitor its performance, detect malfunctions and recommend nearby auto mechanics. The company had raised a total of $10 million in three funding rounds.
Engie had to fire roughly half of its employees in 2019 and currently employs only a handful of workers in Israel.“During the last two months we were in the process of bringing on investors from the Asian market, which unfortunately stalled due to fallout from the corona virus crisis that forced the investors to make cutbacks,” Hendelman told Calcalist.
“We employ eight worker sand both Gal Aharon and I will continue to try and save it.” Hendelman said.
Two AI cities: The connection to Israel's surveillance network
While the facial recognition systems installed at Qalandia and 26 other checkpoints last summer have drawn the ire-of human rights advocates, Habyeab remarked on its effectiveness in comparison to the long waits in previous years when security guards manually checked IDs. The facial recognition scanners were developed by Israeli artificial intelligence(AI) security startup AnyVision, which has ties with Redmond-based Microsoft. Microsoft’s venture capital fund, M12, came under fire for participating in a $74 million investment in the AI security company last June.Seattle and Israel’s AI ecosystem have long had close ties, from Microsoft’sand Amazon’s acquisitions of Israeli startups to ongoing academic collaborations.
Israeli Startup Tries to “Clearthe Air in”
Israeli startup Aura Smart Air Ltd is putting its air purification system to the test,launching a trial at the Central Israel Sheba Medical Center in an effort to filter out the corona virus (Covid-19) in the hospital’s surgical ward. On the heels of successful antibacterial laboratory trials that saw its system kill off 99% of influenza viruses, Aura Air, has shown the potential to filter out the airborne virus, according to company statements. Aviad Schneiderman,Aura Air’s CEO, and founding partner said in a statement said “In light of our impressive results on the anti-bacterial front, Aura Air is in the final stages of approval for funding by the European Union, who set a goal to find solutions for closed-space infections, with a special emphasis on the corona virus.”