Tourism to Israel is booming with hotel overnights by overseas tourists totaling 10.6 million in 2017; Canadian and Israeli Transport Ministers have signed an expanded air transport agreement; Israel’s 420 cybersecurity firms raised a record $814.5 million in 2017, and much more.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Highest hotel occupancy in a decade
Tourism to Israel is booming with hotel overnights by overseas tourists totaling 10.6 million in 2017 – 23% more than in 2016 and the highest since 2007. The nationwide hotel occupancy rate in 2017 was 67%, compared with 62% in 2016.
More flights from Canada
Canadian and Israeli Transport Ministers have signed an expanded air transport agreement that will allow designated airlines to operate up to 19 passenger flights per week between the two countries (up from 12). Air Canada and Air Transat are launching or increasing services from Montreal and Toronto. http://cija.ca/press-release-cija-commends-expanded-canada-israel-air-transport-agreement/
$814.5 million raised by cybersecurity firms
Israel’s 420 cybersecurity firms raised a record $814.5 million in 2017 – a massive 16% of global investment in cybersecurity and 28% more than in 2016. There were 14 exits totaling more than $1.4 billion. Several major international security companies opened Israeli R&D centers.
Fund for AI startups
Jerusalem-based OurCrowd global equity crowdfunding platform has launched Cognitiv, a specialized $100 million global fund focused on early-stage companies in artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and digital manufacturing.
Million-dollar startup competition
Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) is offering $1 million to the winner of “The New York Play” competition for startups wishing to move between New York and Israel. Specialty areas include AI, big data, cyber, fintech, mobile, storage, cloud tech, IoT, media, agritech and digital health.
A map of the Israeli retail startup scene
There are over 250 retail technology startups operating in Israel currently. Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Nielsen Innovate Fund (NIF), Deloitte and The Shelf have published a map of the Israeli retail technology landscape, featuring the sector’s 100 “most promising startups.”
TaKaDu’s global expansion
I’ve reported previously (several times) about Israel’s TaKaDu and its water-saving systems for water utilities. It has acquired new customers in Australia and its first one in Vietnam. Meanwhile, its first US customer Knoxville Utilities Board is already showing major benefits. Inspiring video.
CollPlant to list on NASDAQ
Israeli human tissue repair company CollPlant is shortly to list on NASDAQ. Collplant uses tobacco plant DNA to develop and manufacture collagen-based regenerative medical treatments and bio-ink used in 3D printing of human tissues and organs.
$150 million for InSightec
Israel’s InSightec’s MRI-focused ultrasound (see here) is curing patients of tremors, prostate cancer and fibroids. It has just raised $150 million of funding.
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