From NEWS TO EVENTS

January 15

Braunschweiger Zuführtechnik has chosen Axonize powered Deutsche Telekom's IoT platform

Connected Things Hub: Optimizing monitoring and management of sensor data

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January 10

Investors in 2019 expect automation technology to be a key to competitiveness

Now that the technology has begun to mature and be tailored to a range of particular industries, a number of startups using AI and machine learning to gain a competitive edge seem poised for breakout in 2019, investors say.

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January 10

Daimler Partners with Otonomo to Provide Connected Car Drivers with New Services

Daimler Partners with Otonomo to Provide Connected Car Drivers with New Services while Delivering on the Promise of Data Privacy

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January 03

Tal Slobodkin on Globes discussing Israeli AI chip makers

Thanks to artificial intelligence, the chip industry in Israel is getting warmer

Thanks to artificial intelligence, the chip industry in Israel is getting warmer

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December 18

AVANAN RAISES $25 MILLION TO REVOLUTIONIZE HOW BUSINESSES SECURE SAAS EMAIL AND COLLABORATION

Avanan is the only multi-vendor security app store to protect businesses using SaaS in the workplace

Avanan, an enterprise security provider for SaaS-based email and collaboration platforms, announced today that it has raised $25 million in Series B funding from existing investors StageOne Ventures, Magma Venture Partners and Greenfield Partners (a TPG Growth investment platform). Avanan’s customer base has increased 10-fold in the last 12 months, protecting over 1M end-user accounts in organizations across all industries, from startups to Fortune 100. Avanan plans to use the new funding to further accelerate its growth. Read More

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October 17

Cnbc Unveils Its Annual List of 100 Promising Start-ups to Watch

The Upstart 100 is CNBC’s exclusive list of promising young start-ups, featuring a diverse group of companies that are building brands and breaking industry barriers on the path to becoming tomorrow’s household names. Selected from more than 500 nominees, each one was scored on eight equally weighted quantitative metrics (read more about our methodology here).

While there’s always focus on the billion-dollar-plus unicorns, there is now increasingly more investment activity taking place among younger start-ups. Venture capitalists poured a record $11.5 billion into early stage companies in the second quarter of 2018, according to PitchBook, while the average deal size reached a 10-year high of $18 million. Many companies that received some of that funding have made it onto this list.

The companies that made this year’s Upstart 100 list represent nearly every sector of the economy, from enterprise software and finance to insurance, health care and retail. They come from nine different countries and 13 U.S. states, and 19 of the 100 are led by women. All of them are less than five years old, but 28 are less than three years old and six were founded just last year.

And all of the 100 companies on the list have quickly become entrepreneurial success stories worth keeping an eye on.

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October 17

Apprente Is Fully Automating Drive-thru Ordering With Voice-based Artificial Intelligence Agents

AI Technology Enables Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) to Automate Customer Orders, Improve Order Throughput and Customer Engagement Efficacy; Enterprise Solution Demoed at FSTec2018 Apprente, Inc., an artificial intelligence company transforming speech-based interaction between humans and customer service applications, will be demonstrating its intelligent enterprise solution at FSTec2018 (booth #715), being held at the Rosen Centre Hotel (9840 International Drive) in Orlando, Fla., October 1-3.

Apprente helps businesses and their employees minimize customer wait times, boost service productivity and improve consumer experiences. The company is currently focused on the QSR space, developing systems that completely automate customer food ordering processes at drive-thru stations, kiosks and on mobile devices.

“Research shows that more than half of all fast food revenue is generated by drive-thrus,” said Itamar Arel, Ph.D., CEO and founder of Apprente. “But fast food is not always fast and bottlenecks at ordering stations result in lost sales. Our conversational agents deliver human-like interactions with technology-driven efficiencies, allowing restaurants to improve customer engagement. With virtual agents, QSRs can easily improve order throughput and menu order fulfillments, and shorten queue lines by leveraging multiple drive-thru stations.”

Unlike conventional speech-to-text solutions that transcribe audio signals, Apprente’s patented sound-to-meaning technology leverages proprietary artificial intelligence mechanisms for learning and processing of speech signals to directly infer meaning from audio.

The company’s virtual agents provide an engaging, informative, natural language understanding of complex conversations, including handling corrections and revisions to ordered items, such as, “Can you make that first drink extra-large?” Additionally, Apprente’s solution offers a more consistent and pleasurable customer service experience with its virtual agents never sounding tired, annoyed, unhappy or angry.

“Our technology is closer to how the human brain processes and understands speech,” Arel said. “Audio signals are administered and directly invoke representations in Apprente’s models that are mapped onto decisions, enabling faster, more robust human-machine interaction.”

Apprente’s domain-customized conversation simulator augments collected data with realistic synthesized samples, which enables a high degree of accuracy, as well as easy introduction of custom words into the order-dictionary.

Additional features of the technology include:

  • Robustness – Operational in challenging real-world conditions, including noisy environments and poor language and grammar used by customers.
  • Real-time engagement – Deployable in diverse settings, without relying on uninterrupted cloud connectivity or heavy computing hardware.
  • Customization – Compatible with legacy infrastructures ranging from point-of-sale platforms to call center systems.
  • Natural interaction – Eliminates the need for wake words or the requirement to speak carefully and clearly.
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July 20

Endpoint Security Firm Minerva Labs Raises Investment Round

Minerva Labs has raised a seed round investment led by StageOne Ventures and accompanied by private investors to facilitate the company in its quest to bring a new paradigm to the malware detection problem. Minerva Labs has developed a low-footprint endpoint security and malware prevention platform using an approach it has coined as “prevention without detection”. This methodology utilizes malware’s evasive nature to neutralize a threat and prevent attacks before they occur. Yuval Cohen, Managing Partner of StageOne Ventures, will join the company’s board of directors.

Enterprises face growing security threats that are becoming stronger and more ubiquitous over time. The spectrum of security challenges continuously widens due to heightened connectivity, and IT professionals are faced with more sophisticated viruses, trojans and other malware, which can inflict irreparable damage to an organization. The current generation of malware is evolved, evasive and can bypass most endpoint and network security products on the market.

According to a recent report, it takes an average of 243 days to detect a security breach. The havoc that can be wreaked on an organization in that time span is tremendous, and cost estimates to an organization are averaged at $3.5M, not to mention lost productivity and growth, and will continue to grow at a 15% rate per year.

Three veterans of Israel’s cyber security arena founded Minerva Labs in 2014, Eddy Bobritsky, Erez Breiman and Omri Moyal. Eddy Bobritsky (CEO) has been a cyber and information security expert for over a decade and has developed a deep specialization in endpoint security in both the management and the hands-on deployment of important cyber security projects in large enterprises. Eddy has served as a freelance cyber consultant for the Israeli military, government and banking sector throughout his career and worked on a number of projects in a product management capacity. Erez Breiman (CTO) has been a Software Architect and Developer Expert for over a decade specializing in security and has extensive hands-on experience in implementing and integrating endpoint security projects in large and complex working environments. Omri serves as the company’s VP of Research and brings extensive experience in the testing of advanced malware solutions in both laboratory and enterprise production environments. For the vast majority of his career, Omri has served as a malware analyst and threat intelligence expert for a wide spectrum of organizations whether military, industrial, intelligence, communications and financial services.

“StageOne management’s belief is that Minerva Labs’ solution might have a major impact on the entire industry by improving current solutions and, in the long term, could replace some of the incumbent anti-virus vendors,” stated Yuval Cohen, Managing Partner at StageOne Ventures. “We do believe the founders have the right background to tackle the challenge and the market void, and bring valuable know-how and technology to the table.”

About Minerva Labs Minerva Labs is an early stage security company that offers a low footprint endpoint protection platform. Minerva Labs brings a completely new paradigm to the malware detection problem by focusing on preventing malware execution by using the malware’s strengths against it. The security platform simultaneously empowers existing security products and improves detection rates, thus improving the customer organization’s overall return on security investment. Time is of the essence, so when it comes to data breaches there is often significant damage by the time a threat is detected. Minerva Labs’ patent pending solution utilizes the malware’s nature to neutralize the threat.

About StageOne Ventures
StageOne is an early stage technology fund, focusing on enterprise and communications software ventures. The fund was founded by a professional management team, and enjoys the support of leading Israeli and international institutional and private investors. StageOne is now investing out of its second fund, StageOne II, after a successful run with its first fund that had six successful exits and provided returns that ranked top-quartile globally. StageOne’s team of professional executives represents numerous years of experience in the high-tech industry, which translates into a deep understanding of start-up executive management, IT proficiency, VC management, investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, as well as IPO’s. StageOne is distinguished by its proven ability to create value, making the fund a magnet for the most highly qualified entrepreneurs.

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April 17

Axonize Wins Deutsche Telekom Investment for Innovative Iot Orchestration Platform as Part of a $6 Million Round a

Offers unique service provider features, including cross-application orchestration and unbeatable development times per application

BONN, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Axonize, an Israeli start-up company specializing in IoT services based on Microsoft Azure, has secured a substantial investment from Deutsche Telekom. The $6 million Round A was led by Israeli Venture Capital firm Meron Capital and included existing investors StageOne Ventures and U.S.-based Cornerstone Venture Partners.

Axonize and its IoT orchestration platform were chosen for this strategic investment following a rigorous selection process, due to its unique service provider capabilities that include cross-application orchestration and management, and very fast development times per application.

“Axonize has developed a unique IoT orchestration platform which addresses our and our customers’ IoT requirements,” said Anette Bronder, head of Digital and Security Department of Deutsche Telekom. “Apart from our investment, we see great collaboration potential because Axonize ideally complements Deutsche Telekom Group’s IoT platform ecosystem worldwide.”

“We are excited to continue investing in Axonize in this funding round. We have seen the management team take this company from an idea to accomplishing impressive milestones. This investment by Deutsche Telekom is another vivid demonstration of their ability to create substantial value for service providers,” said Tal Slobodkin, board member at Axonize and Managing Partner at StageOne Ventures.

“The backing of Deutsche Telekom for our IoT orchestration platform is a strong validation for our unique service provider capabilities,” said Janiv Ratson, CEO of Axonize. “Their IoT business is both visionary and extremely practical and will have a transformative impact on digitization of their enterprise customers.”

Axonize is purpose-built for IoT service providers. Among its unique capabilities is the ability to orchestrate, connect, and manage multiple IoT applications, granting service providers management capabilities across all applications. The company has a unique architecture based on a pre-built, highly flexible AnyAPP™ application layer that resides on a robust and secure Microsoft Azure cloud.

Instead of developing an entire application for every customer, its pre-built application can be customized to specific customer needs. This reduces IoT build time to a handful of days, rather than months, enabling IoT service providers to offer their customers a much higher ROI on IoT projects. Another benefit of the architecture is that Axonize is completely open to any sensor, hardware, protocol, or system from any industry.

Axonize will use the funding from this round to invest in further enhancement of its platform and accelerate the ramp-up of its sales team. Deutsche Telekom is demonstrating its IoT orchestration capabilities based on the Axonize platform at Hannover Messe April 23-27 in hall 6, booth F16.

About Axonize Axonize offers an IoT orchestration platform purpose-built to provide speed and scale for service providers developing and managing IoT applications. Based on a unique multi-application architecture that requires configuration rather than development, launching a full-fledged IoT project on Axonize requires only days, not months, and yields high ROI. www.axonize.com Add News Story here

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March 17

Serverless Application Monitoring Co Epsagon Raises $4.1m

The Israeli company’s AI technology swiftly identifies where the problems are located, providing customers with 100% visibility into their systems.

Israeli serverless application monitoring company Epsagon has announced the completion of a $4.1 million seed round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, StageOne Ventures and Ariel Maislos. The proceeds will be used to expand R&D efforts and develop the Tel Aviv-based company’s marketing and sales units.

Founded in 2017 by IDF cyber intelligence unit veterans, Epsagon provides automated end-to-end performance monitoring technology for serverless architectures. The startup has built an artificial intelligence-powered performance monitoring platform for serverless architectures that can predict performance issues before they occur, allowing any company, large and small, to eliminate downtime by proactively identifying and flagging potential problems.

Epsagon’s AI technology swiftly identifies where the problems are located, providing customers with 100% visibility into their systems, enabling them to understand how different events are connected as well as the ability to quickly troubleshoot, and eliminate, issues. Epsagon cofounder and CEO Nitzan Shapira said, “For serverless architecture, the name of the game today is all about understanding what is going on inside your system in a manner which not only gives you the ability to easily troubleshoot when needed, but that can predict problems you don’t even know exist yet. We have built a dedicated solution that answers the unique needs that serverless architectures demand – and the feedback we have received from our pilot customers indicates that we are solving a major challenge for their respective businesses.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on March 8, 2018

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