IzBiz: the Israeli company helping electric planes take to the skies

A fortnightly round-up of the latest from Israel's booming business sector


Compiled by
Jeremy Seeff

Helping electric planes take to the skies

Epstein Rosenblum Maoz (ERM) was able to use its experience as an international-calibre law firm on cross-border matters, especially those involving the UK, in a recent investment into electric aircraft.

Timon Ltd put around £7.6 million into Eviation, a New York-listed Israeli firm developing medium-range electric planes. The transaction also required the negotiation of a debt-restructuring.

ERM regularly advises clients on a range of corporate, finance, real estate and energy matters, amongst others.

The car that distinguishes your voice from the noise

Voice recognition technology developed by an Israeli start-up company that can separate out background noises like wind and the roaring of an engine in order to identify specific voices has helped secure funding from Korean carmaker Hyundai.

The Israeli firm, Kardome, was established only a year ago. Hyundai — which runs a Tel Aviv innovation hub called CRADLE TLV — is expected to incorporate the technology into its cars, where it will prove particularly useful for hands-free services.

Equity fund now playing at Fortissimo

One of Israel’s most successful private equity firms, Fortissimo Capital, has raised its fifth fund, securing commitments of £504 million.

This is its biggest fund to date, demonstrating increased investor appetite from institutional investors around the world.

The new fund will focus on more mature technology.

During the 15 years of the firm’s operation, Fortissimo has raised a total of £1.2 billion in commitments, and recorded many successful exists, including the IPO of SodaStream.

Looking for better ways to use our data

Data storage company Seagate, which is listed on the Nasdaq and headquarted in Dublin, has chosen Israel as the base for the site of its first innovation centre outside of the United States.

Lyve Labs Israel will be used by Segate to scout for technologies and develop commercial ventures with local businesses.

Seagate is hoping to focus on finding innovative ways to use and store data.

Tel Aviv’s housing scene is on the up once again

A slow 2019 saw housing prices stagnate and even fall in certain months in the Tel Aviv area, even though there was an overall annual rise of 5.7 per cent.

But 2020 is seeing house prices in Tel Aviv return to rates of increases not seen in several years: the rate of transactions is demonstrating an upward momentum and pushing prices up.

By contrast, Jerusalem saw a 14 per cent drop in 2019, though whether that trend will continue is yet to be seen.

IzBiz is compiled every fortnight for the JC by Jeremy Seeff, partner at ERM, a cross-border law firm based in Tel Aviv for corporate, finance and real estate matters. Read previous editions of IzBiz here.

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