18 June 2019 - 16 Sivan 5779 - ט"ז סיון ה' אלפים תשע"ט
OurCrowd signs investment, partnership agreement with South Korea’s KEB Hana Bank E-mail

Global equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd entered into a further partnership in Asia in January by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with South Korea’s KEB Hana Bank, a subsidiary of the Hana Financial Group. The deal adds to its previous partnerships in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and India.

As part of the inked agreement, KEB Hana will become OurCrowd’s latest institutional investor in Asia and will be granted an equity stake in a range of current and future OurCrowd portfolio investments. The MOU agreement also seeks to create strategic relationships for Korean corporations that are looking for innovative technological solutions.

OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved said: “The high-tech co-operation between Israel and South Korea is quickly evolving into an economic powerhouse.”

“We are delighted to welcome KEB Hana to a front-row seat at the table, as we provide diversification of venture capital opportunities across the globe to the bank, and ultimately to a wide audience of impressive corporations and accredited investors in South Korea. This latest step forward, in addition to the partnerships we have established in Korea, will help leverage incredible commercial potential as we deepen the interface between the two countries’ industrial collaborations in various high-tech fields,” he added.

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ICL signs long-term potash agreement in India E-mail

Israel Chemicals Limited (ICL) has signed, for the first time, a five-year supply agreement with Indian Potash Ltd. (IPL), India’s largest importer of potash.

According to Globes, under the terms of the agreement, Israel Chemicals will supply IPL with 600,000 tonnes per year in 2019 and 2020, increasing to 650,000 tonnes per year in 2021-2023, including options.

Prices for the quantities to be supplied under the framework agreement will be determined in accordance with the prevailing market prices in India at the relevant date of supply.

The long-term agreement was signed by the parties in a ceremony held in New Delhi that was attended by Israel’s Ambassador to India Dr Ron Malka, IPL’s managing director Dr P.S. Gahlaut and Israel Chemicals CEO Raviv Zoller.

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Ben-Gurion University to establish entrepreneurship centre E-mail

The Council for Higher Education in Israel has awarded an NIS 6 million grant to BenGurion University (BGU) of the Negev for the establishment of Yazamut 360°, an interdisciplinary centre for entrepreneurship that will host activities in a new facility.

The centre will be chaired by Professor Carmel Sofer of the Departments of Cognition and Brain Sciences and Industrial Engineering Management, who was a hi-tech investor for 25 years, and led by Dana Gavish-Fridman, the University’s Head of Entrepreneurship.

It is at the heart of BGU’s long-term plan to enhance the university’s innovation ecosystem. It is also surrounded by a wealth of applied-oriented academic departments and will act as a facilitator of various new initiatives such as Cactus Capital, the university’s student-run venture capital investment fund, and Forum 80-20, a voluntary organisation led by student entrepreneurs from BGU’s Industrial and Management Engineering Faculty and dedicated to expanding students’ connection to the business world and to providing first-hand business experience to complement their academic studies.

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Fourth Israel-Chinese protocol signed E-mail

An Israeli-Chinese financial protocol agreement seeking to boost Israeli exports to China and worth US$500 million was signed in December by Accountant-General Rony Hizkiyahu and Chinese assistant Finance Minister Xu Hongcai.

The protocol, the fourth of its kind between the two countries, provides an insurance platform for expediting Israeli exports through the provision of government export guarantees.

The new protocol comes as existing guarantees worth US$1.3 billion are close to being fully utilised. Under the framework of the latest agreement, Israeli banks will finance government-backed long-term credit agreements with Chinese importers purchasing Israeli goods.

Since the first bilateral protocol was signed in 1995, more than 340 transactions worth a total of US$2.1 billion have been completed under the programme in the fields of health, agriculture, renewable energy, education and more.

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Samsung Ventures looking to acquire Corephotonics E-mail

Korean tech-giant Samsung is in advanced negotiations to acquire Israeli company Corephotonics for US$150US$160 million, according to Globes.

Corephotonics has developed a camera with dual-lens technology for smartphones, which is designed to improve the quality of smartphone images. According to Israel Venture Capital, the company, which was founded in 2012, has raised a total of US$50 million.

Corephotonics was founded by CEO David Mendlovic, a professor of electrical engineering at Tel Aviv University, and former Ministry of Science and Technology chief scientist and chief development officer Dr Gal Shabtay. The main investors in Corephotonics are Samsung Ventures, one of Samsung’s investment arms in Israel; Foxconn, a large manufacturer of electronic components; Taiwanese company MediaTek, the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile communications chips; Israeli fund Magma Venture Partners; the Amiti Ventures fund; Horizon Ventures, controlled by Chinese billionaire Li Ka Shing and Solina Chau; crowdfunding platform OurCrowd; flash memory company SanDisk, and Chinese telephony provider CK Telecom.

Corephotonics works with all of the large smartphone companies. Shabtay once told The-Marker that the company had realised that “There are several large gaps, above all an optical zoomlens.Realzoomdoesnot exist in a smartphone camera, which only has a digital zoom that is actually a manipulation of the image.”

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