24 September 2019 - 25 Elul 5779 - כ"ה אלול ה' אלפים תשע"ט
AudioBurst receives investment from Japan E-mail

Israeli AI-powered voice search platform AudioBurst announced last month that it has raised US$3 million from Nippon Broadcasting System Inc.

This brings the Tel Aviv based company’s Series A financing round to US$14.4 million, led by Samsung Ventures and including investments from Japanese speech recognition technology company Advanced Media Inc., Flint Capital, 2BAngels and a consortium of Mobileye investors.

Nippon Broadcasting System and Audioburst will form a partnership for supporting and building new voice technology products relying on Audioburst’s AI-based voice search platform, especially for the Japanese market.

Audioburst is a voice search platform that harnesses the power of AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing) to listen, understand, segment and index millions of minutes of daily talk content from thousands of top audio sources, including radio, podcasts and TV. Audioburst enables the delivery of news and infotainment in a personalised, original, voice and screen-free way to consumers and businesses through partnerships with creators, media platforms and consumer brands, including Samsung, Harman and Bose.

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Philippine Navy test-fires Israeli-made missile E-mail

The Philippine Navy testfired its first ship-borne missile in August, successfully striking a target six kilometres away.

The Israeli-made Spike ER missile is expected to give the Philippine Navy the ability to “strike a punch” at sea. The Philippines faces maritime challenges from China, which is expanding its military presence in the South China Sea, and from pirates in its southern waters.

Navy personnel aboard a multipurpose attack craft, or MPAC, operating in waters off Lamao Point in Bataan, launched a Spike Extended Range missile at a target, according to an announcement by the Philippine Navy. “The target was hit dead centre even if the sea state condition was moderately rough with a wave of at least one metre high but within the normal firing conditions of the missile,” Navy public affairs chief Commander Jonathan Zata told reporters.

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Trax Image Recognition raisies more capital funding E-mail

Trax Image Recognition, an Israeli-Singaporean company whose image-recognition technology is used by retailers to track their business, announced in July that it had completed its largest investment round to date, raising US$125 million.

The transaction was led by Boyu Capital, one of the largest private equity investment firms in Greater China. DC Thomson, a leading media organisation from the UK, also joined the investment round. A portion of the transaction will be used to buy the shares of some early investors.

Headquartered in Singapore, Trax is revolutionising the retail industry by delivering a single source of data for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies and retailers. Founded in 2010, the company was founded by Israelis Bar-El and Dror Feldheim. It employs 350 people, 150 of them in Israel.

To date, the company has raised approximately US$235 million in total funding and operates in over 50 countries with more than 175 client engagements.

Trax provides in-store execution, market-measurement and data-science solutions for CPG brands and retailers by harnessing its cutting-edge computer vision platform to process photos taken in store with mobile devices to deliver real-time, granular shelfand store-level insights.

“We could not be more thrilled to have Boyu Capital as a major backer of Trax alongside Warburg Pincus, our largest shareholder,” said Joel Bar-El, Trax CEO and co-founder. “Their experience and insights into the scale and pace of China’s retail technology environment will be incredibly valuable. The injection of funds from Boyu will allow us to drive continued innovation of our technologies at our computer vision center of excellence in Tel Aviv, Israel and to explore establishing an additional engineering center in China.”

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Israel Water Week in Vietnam E-mail

The Israel Water Week event took place in Hanoi from 9 to 13 July, with a range of activities designed to promote the sustainable management of water resources.

The event was organised by the Israel embassy and relevant agencies in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

At a conference on 13 July, Israeli and Vietnamese experts shared their experience in sustainable water-resource planning and management, and innovation in the water sector.

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IDE Technologies acquires stake in Sorek desalination plant E-mail

Israel’s desalination company IDE Technologies is strengthening its grip on the water desalination sector, announcing the exercise of its first refusal rights to acquire the holdings of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Water, its partner in the Sorek desalination plant franchise (49%), for NIS 195 million before adjustments, as reported by Globes.

The announcement of the sale comes six months after Hutchison Water selected the bid submitted by the Noy Fund to acquire its share in the desalination facility. Noy Fund, which wanted to acquire a foothold in the hot water desalination sector, confirmed the report, saying: “We have been notified by Hutchison that IDE has decided to exercise its first refusal rights. We are studying the decision and its consequences.” Following the completion of its acquisition, IDE will hold 100% ownership of the franchise for the desalination facility for Sorek (the SDL company).

The Sorek facility is the largest desalination plant in Israel and among the largest in the world. It is located one kilometre south of the Dan Sewage Reclamation (Shafdan) Project, close to the Sorek River in the sandy area of Rishon Lezion. Construction of the US$400 million plant began in January 2011. The plant, which has supplied drinking water since August 2013, has an annual production capacity of 150 million cubic metres.

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