News Archive - September 2017

28 September 2017 - CVC pulls out of talks to buy 40% Super-Pharm stake. The parties could not agree about CVC's involvement in managing Super-Pharm. The chain is not currently negotiating with any other party. Full article

28 September 2017 - Phytech Raises $11m - Scaling Plant-demand Digital-farming Deployment. Digital farming company Phytech announced today the closing of series B investment led by Tencent Holdings Limited, with participation of existing investors Syngenta Ventures and others. The investment will support the on-going growth and commercial deployment in current and new geographies.  Full article

28 September 2017 - Cathay Pacific to begin daily Tel Aviv - Hong Kong flights. Demand has exceeded expectations according to the airline, and in response the route has increased frequency from four flights per week to daily flights. Full article

27 September 2017 - Temasek Leads $25 Million Investment Round in Integra Holdings. Integra Holdings, an investment company exclusively focused on life science innovations originating from the Hebrew University, today announced the first closing of a $25 million investment. Temasek led the round with $15m, and was joined by Arie Capital, with an initial investment of $2M, as well as The Israeli Teachers' and Kindergarten's Study Funds. Dr. Liana Patt, CEO Integra Holdings stated, "This strategic investment reinforces the global recognition of the Hebrew University's exceptional contribution to life science innovations and Integra's robust and growing portfolio." Full article

27 September 2017 - New CFDA Medical Device Classification Catalogue. Marking its first update in 15 years, the new catalogue will come into effect on August 1, 2018. The revised catalogue lowers the risk level of 40 types of devices, reduces the number of device categories from 43 to 22, reclassifies several devices, and makes the classification system more transparent by offering significantly more details and examples. Full article

26 September 2017 -     Electric Socks Startup Raises $1 million. Investors in the round included Israel-based, Singapore-listed venture firm Trendlines Group ltd., Israel’s governmental technology investment arm, and Singapore-based venture capital Pix Vine Capital. Israel-based ElastiMed develops and manufactures socks that compress and simulate blood flow using electrical pulses. Full article

26 September 2017 - Thousands of Chinese construction workers set to arrive in Israel. An agreement to allow 20,000 Chinese construction workers into Israel looks to be taking shape. The arrival of a first phase of 6,200 workers is set to start in October, with the first few dozen arriving by October 15th and 1,000 per month arriving after that. At this time there is no date for the following phases, allowing the remaining 13,800 workers to enter Israel. It is reported that Israel is working on authorizing Chinese infrastructure workers as well. Full article

26 September 2017 - Ofo Pedaling to Bar-Ilan Univ. The Ofo-Mobike competition continues overseas, in Israel specifically. The Chinese bike-sharing company is reportedly in advanced talks with Bar-Ilan University, which is expected to be the first site in Israel to operate Ofo bikes. Ofo is expected to launch a Facebook campaign inviting users in Tel Aviv to try its bikes for free. Full article

24 September 2017 - Mystery solved: CVC close to purchasing 40% of Super-Pharm. As reported on 14 September, Super-Pharm was in talks with an unnamed "international fund" for the sale of 40% stake in Super-Pharm. It is now known that the fund is CVC Capital Partners. The aim of the sale is to enable overseas growth with a partner that will help it to expand its business in China and Poland. Full article

24 September 2017 - Sisram Medical (formerly Alma Lasers) raises $112m in Hong Kong IPO. $88 million is going to the company, while the rest came from an offer for sale by Fosun Pharma subsidiary Magnificent View Investment, which controls Sisram. Trading began on September 19, and share price as of 24 September was 1.2% lower than opening price, reflecting a $490 million valuation. Fosun Pharma acquired Alma Lasers in 2013 at a valuation of $240 million valuation. Full article

23 September 2017 - Wahaha CEO to set up AI lab at Univ of Haifa. Zong Qihou will invest at least $10 million over five years to build labs and purchase high-end equipment. The research center will focus on improving the camera lens behind driverless cars and will address other AI fields, including bio-technology, big data applications and biometric identification. Full article

21 September 2017 - China's Baidu launches $1.5 billion autonomous driving fund. The “Apollo Fund” will invest in 100 autonomous driving projects over the next three years. The fund aims to create technology for completely autonomous cars, which it says will be ready for city roads in China by 2020. Full article

20 September 2017 - First third of Chinese-built Tel Aviv Red Line completed. NTA CEO Yehuda Bar-On is confident that the Tel Aviv light rail Red Line will be operating by 2021, and three lines will be operating in 2024. Of the Chinese bid winners for several parts of the project, Bar-On said the companies won based on both price and European-standard quality. He said, “Israeli companies have much to learn from the Chinese." Full article

18 September 2017 - Trendlines collaborates with China's Haier to develop medtech, agritech startups. Under the MOU signed by Trendlines and Haier on Monday, both parties will jointly invest in and develop new medtech and agritech solutions. The MOU will support Trendlines' portfolio companies in China and simultaneously support Haier's entrepreneurs in Israel. Full article

15 September 2017 - Further Guidelines on Chinese Outbound Investments. In August the government issued Guidelines dividing outbound investments into “encouraged,” “restricted” and “prohibited” categories. Recently defined “irrational” investments will now be subject to pre-approval by relevant government departments. The article’s author states the Guidelines do not appear to be temporary and may remain in force for an extended period of time. Full article

15 September 2017 - $60m for StoreDot. The fundraising round, which values StoreDot at close to $500 million, was also backed by China’s Lucion Venture Capital and financial institutions from Israel as well as existing investors such as Samsung Ventures and Norma Investments (Roman Abramovich). Full article

14 September 2017 - China says 'irrational' outbound investment curbed. China's state council said in August that China will limit overseas investment in property, hotels, entertainment, sports clubs and film industries. Dalian Wanda Group and HNA Group for example have scrapped sizable overseas investments as a result. Alongside restrictions on outbound investment, inbound investment is opening up. China has pledged to further open up its economy to foreign investors, including allowing investment into previously restricted industries. Full article

14 September 2017 - Super-Pharm in talks with international fund on sale of 40% stake. The aim of the sale is to enable overseas growth through a buyer with global connections. The company seeks a partner that will help it to expand its business in China and Poland. Full article

14 September 2017 - Sirius Int'l buying Delek Group's Phoenix stake in stages. In recent reports, Delek proposed to potential investors to buy 4.9% of shares immediately (to avoid regulatory approval) and to purchase the rest of the shares upon regulatory approval. This time, the nominated buyer is Sirius International which, according to the description by the seller and the buyer, is "an international company with insurance licenses in the US, Sweden, and the UK." Sirius is currently controlled by China Minsheng. Full article

13 September 2017 - Israel picks new chief scientist to steer innovation policies. Ami Appelbaum, with a career in industry and defense, to serve as the next chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority. He will be working as a team with the CEO of the authority, Aharon Aharon. Full article

13 September 2017 - Israel found an unlikely buyer for its lab-grown meat: China. With the $300 million green-tech trade agreement announced on 11 September, opportunity abounds for high-tech vegan meat companies in the $10 billion Chinese market. Three of eight companies in the world working to produce a scalable version of vegan meat are in Israel. On Tuesday (Sept. 12), the state-run China Science and Technology Daily published an article (in Chinese) that discussed embracing lab-made meat for reasons that included food safety, food security, and environmental reasons. Full article

13 September 2017 - China’s Role in Katz’s Artificial Gaza Island Project. Yisrael Katz, Israeli Minister of Transport, has long had proposed his brainchild project to create an artificial island off the coast of Gaza Strip. He sees China and Russia as potential investors that could help create the island. Professor Yan Mian from the Center for the Study of International Relations at China’s University said, “If this project will help improve the situation around Gaza Strip ... then China will consider taking part in such a project.” Full article

12 September 2017 - Ctrip and Israeli Tourism Bureau sign strategic cooperation. The cooperation with Ctrip, China's largest online travel agency, leverages Ctrip's advantages in travel products, big data, precision marketing and other aspects of deep cooperation. Marketing initiatives and more non-stop flights between the two countries have supported a 66% increase in Chinese tourists to Israel in July 2017 compared to the previous year. Full article

12 September 2017 - Hayotzer winery to build an $8 million facility in central China. Hayotzer has signed a preliminary agreement with the Pen Dun Group to build the joint project. Owned by Arza, Hayotzer will hold a 20-25% stake in the project and will advise on winemaking and viticulture of the proposed venture. Full article

12 September 2017 - Hainan Airways launches Tel Aviv-Shanghai flights. The route will operate 3 flights per week. Full article

11 September 2017 - Israel and China ink $300m 'clean-tech' trade deal. The deal "will allow the parties to expand economic activity between the two countries to other environmentally friendly technologies, including advanced agricultural technologies and smart, green energy technologies, which the Chinese government want to adopt using Israeli experience and expertise." Full article

11 September 2017 - Israel co-host and country of honor at Mianyang High-Tech Expo. Sixty Israeli companies attended the Sichuan-based expo for B2B meetings, a record number for Chinese expos according to Israeli Consul General (Chengdu) Amir Lati. On the occasion, Sichuan Province and the Consulate of Israeli in Chengdu  agreed on an action plan to promote cooperation in 10 industries including AI, new-energy vehicles and aerospace. Full article

8 September 2017 - Chinese investors eye massive investment in Israeli green tech. Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin went to China to bring together Israeli and Chinese green tech firms. Elkin met with industry officials who plan to invest around $520 million in green technologies. Initial investment agreements were already drafted ahead of the seminars. Officials also discussed the possibility of establishing a joint Israeli-Chinese center for the advancement of clean technology in China. Full article

7 September 2017 - Qingdao set up a Center for Business and Commerce in Tel Aviv. Qingdao City and the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce signed an MOU for the establishment of an international economic partnership focusing on promoting agri-tech, renewable energy, bio-med, and water tech, among other areas of exchange and cooperation. Full article

7 September 2017 - Sisram Medical (formerly Alma Lasers) to raise $200m in Hong Kong IPO. The company is seeking to raise $140-200 million at a company value of $400-500 million, compared with the $240 million price at which it was acquired by Fosun Pharma. Full article

7 September 2017 - Autonomous drone maker Airobotics raises $32.5M. The Series C round was led by BlueRun Ventures China. The company plans to use the funds to expand into the defense sector. Full article

7 September 2017 - Innoviz Technologies Raises $65M. The LiDAR sensing solutions provider announced it has raised a $65 million Series B round. Participants include China's Glory Ventures. A second closing of this round is expected to be announced soon, introducing additional strategic partners. Full article
FinSMEs interviewed CEO Omer Keilaf.

6 September 2017 - Israel sets up one-stop-shop to help foreign firms beat the red tape. “We want to make Israel the best business environment, with less regulation and less bureaucracy, so that the investment process will be smooth,” said Ziva Eger, head of the Invest in Israel arm of the Ministry of Economy and Industry. The idea is to “make multinational corporations feel it is worthwhile to set up their business here, not only for R&D but also for manufacturing.” Full article

6 September 2017 - Axonius raises $4m seed round for launch. The round was led by YL Ventures, with participation from Vertex Ventures and Emerge Capital. The device management company plans a general release in early 2018. Full article

6 September 2017 - Elastifile closes $6m round. The enterprise hybrid cloud data management company raised funds from new and existing investors, including CE Ventures. Full article

5 September 2017 - Freightos in Alibaba Cloud Competition Finals. The logistics information startup won the Alibaba Cloud Startup Contest in Tel Aviv on 4 September, taking home $50,000 in Alibaba Cloud credit, and will go to Shanghai in October to participate in the global finals. Judges included investor Edouard Cukierman, Ze'ev Lavie of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, and Tel Aviv University's Yesha Sivan. Full article

5 September 2017 - First Israel Automotive and Smart Transportation Business Seminar held in Shanghai. The event was held by the Foreign Trade Administration, Israel Economic Trade & Investments Mission to China and the Israel Export Institute. The aim is to foster potential cooperation between Chinese car manufacturers and Israeli automobile component companies. Full article

5 September 2017 - IDB signs MOU for Clal Insurance sale. The potential buyer of IDB Development's 45% stake in Clal Insurance is Hong Kong-listed Huabang Financial Holdings. Full article

5 September 2017 - Oral insulin co Oramed receives positive FDA feedback. If approved, Oramed would have 12 years marketing exclusivity for its oral insulin formulation ORMD-0801. The FDA confirmed the company’s ability to use insulin from different suppliers like HTBT (Hefei Tianmai Biotechnology Development Co., Ltd., Hefei, China) in the Phase III study. Full article

5 September 2017 - Tel Aviv enhances status as int'l R&D center. Tel Aviv Global CEO Eytan Schwartz said, "We understand that for our high-tech sector to grow, it must open the market to foreign talent. Tel Aviv Global is working with our governmental partners on continuing the process of: attracting international R&D centers; opening international accelerators; encouraging foreign entrepreneurs to work in the city; and promoting the activity of global corporations with an emphasis on Chinese companies."

4 September 2017 - Israel forges financial links with Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong. Securities Authority Chairman Prof. Shmuel Hauser has been meeting with senior officials in Hong Kong and Singapore to promote mutual recognition and dual listing. The Securities Authority said that these meetings "were designed to prepare the spadework for long-term working relations and cooperation between the Israeli capital market and the Far Eastern capital markets..."

3 September 2017 - China-made light rail model car displayed in Tel Aviv. The model weighs about 30 tons and was manufactured at the world's largest train factory in Changchun, China by CRC for NTA. The light rail car is in its final planning phases with colors being finalized and production planning approvals. Full article

1 September 2017 - Alipay Launches 'Smile to Pay' for Commercial Use in China. Is mobile payment already becoming a thing of the past in China? “Smile to Pay” debuted at a KFC’s new, healthy-food concept restaurant, called KPRO, in Hangzhou. Users can authenticate payments through facial recognition and mobile phone numbers. Full article

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