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Ezequiel Vidra (Eze) is an entrepreneur at heart who founded the VC Café ( in 2005, which reviews Israeli startups and venture capital deal flow with a spotlight on Israel. Currently, Eze is a Senior Manager in AOL Europe, where he oversees product management for Web... More
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  • Only 11 Israeli companies exhibit at CES 2010

    the largest consumer electronics show in the world, is taking place in Las Vegas this week from today to January 10th. Despite the huge publicity opportunity, only 11 Israeli companies have rented a booth this year. Perhaps it is the distance from the consumer electronics market, or the difficulty achieving economies of scale when manufacturing and selling remotely, but the fact is that most of Israel’s high-tech companies are focused on services and infrastructure, rather than packaged goods. Let’s take a look at the Israeli companies that will be exhibiting in this year’s CES show.

    The Israeli representatives of CES 2010

    Celeno –  provider of high performance Wi-Fi chips for HD multimedia and entertainment home networking applications:
    - Internet Video streaming
    - Wireless HDMI use cases
    - Over the top HD video IP streaming
    - IPTV over Wi-Fi
    - Multi-room DVR

    Compulab - making highly-integrated wireless mobile devices and miniature low power PCs. Since 1992, CompuLab is a leader in making miniature System-on-Module cards that are used in thousands of OEM products ranging from consumer electronics to airborne systems.

    Cool product?Compulab’s leading product is fit-PC is a miniature, low power PC the size of a paperback and absolutely silent, yet fit enough to run Windows XP or Linux. fit-PC is the greenest PC on the market today, consuming only 3-5W.

    Jungo - provider of connectivity solutions to silicon manufacturers and OEMs. Its products include USBwareTM, an advanced embedded USB stack, and DriverCore™ PC drivers, which extend device communication interfaces to a wide range of OSs and platforms.

    Cool product? Jungo’s flagship product USBware™, offers a complete, high quality and small footprint embedded USB software protocol stack, allowing device manufactures to easily incorporate standard USB connectivity in their designs.
    Morel - manufactures a wide range of award-winning speakers and raw drivers for the car and home, delivering high sound quality at competitive prices.

    Cool product? Morel’s speakers won several awards, including its high-end “fat lady” loudspeaker, which received the 2009 CES Design and Innovation Award in the high-end performance category.

    Who is going to be there?

    Prime Sense – the company that needs the least introduction due to its part in Microsoft’s project NATAL, Prime Sense evolutionizes the way digital devices see the world. By giving digital devices a 3D perception of reality, Prime Senses breakthrough technology enables inexpensive, accurate, 3D sensing and understanding capabilities for virtually any digital device.

    Cool product? The Prime Sensor, a System on Chip (SoC) and a complete reference design for a three dimensional sensing and understanding device. The Prime Sensor reference design utilizes a standard image sensor, a light source, optical components and the Prime Sense IC which is the digital brain of the system. The Prime Sensor can be connected to a variety of host devices using a standard USB interface. It is plug and play and USB powered.

    RCS Rampal Cellular Stockmarket – RCS-the leading international distributor of mobile phones, digital cameras, LCDs & other electronics & creator of the online trading platform

    Siano Mobile Silicon – Siano leads the mobile TV market with its multi-standard, single-chip receivers offering highly integrated solution with superior mobility performance and low power consumption. Siano’s system-oriented design approach guarantees fast time to market at reduced design costs – enabling TV EVERYWHERE.

    Cool product? the SMS1140 – Lowest Cost MDTV Receiver Chip for Multi-Standard Mobile / Portable DTV.  CEO Alon Ironi will be there.

    Spetrotec - specializes in development, design and manufacturing of advanced security systems, tracking & fleet management systems all for the automotive industry.Our 3 main fields of work are: High security automotive systems; Fleet management and tracking systems; OEM products.

    Valens Semiconductor -Valens’ HDBaseT-compliant semiconductor products enable the convergence and distribution ofuncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power and control signals through a single standard 100m/328ft LAN cable.

    Walletex Microelectronics – Walletex is the maker of Wallet Friendly USB devices. Housed in a credit card sized USB Flash drive, they are the world’s slimmest USB devices, and the only ones that can be carried in a wallet. Walletex has a proven track record in developing and marketing super-slim consumer electronics.

    Cool product? Wallet MP3 - World’s slimmest MP3 player only 0.091″ thick! Ultra portable-fits into any wallet, never gets lost, misplaced, or forgotten. The Wallet MP3 offers a large double sided area for high quality printing such as corporate logo or music album artwork. The Wallet MP3 is waterproof & temperature resistant, with a double sided USB connector having three-in-one functionality: communication, charging, and audio jack.

    Wisair - a leading provider of Wireless USB solutions based on its CMOS single chip, for in-room applications – a variety of wireless adapters for USB peripherals, wireless PC/Internet to TV, wireless audio and wireless notebook docking. Products based on these solutions are already in the market.

    Cool product? The Wireless USB Audio/Video Adapter Set enables users to display their notebook/PC content, such as pictures, movies, presentations, office documents, and web content on a larger remote display, share it with others or enjoy a larger size display without any cable limitations.


    These are only the official exhibitors, but other Israeli products and technology can be seen in semi-Israeli chip makers such as SanDisk Corporation and Marvell.  Other companies, such as Amimon, are operating in partnership with some of the LCD manufacturers.

    Between Apple’s tablet, Google’s Nexus and Microsoft’s surprise, the 2010 CES is bound to be interesting.

    Disclosure: "no positions"
    Jan 07 7:00 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Exclusive: TodaCell Raises $1 Million for Mobile Ad Optimization Platform (Interview with CEO Moshe Vaknin)

    Toda!cell (, an Israeli ad optimization platform, has raised an A round of $1 million led by Afterdox (see previous coverage on VC Cafe) the Fore Group and several other angels. AfterDox is a group of angel Investors comprised of former execs from the publically traded Israeli billing platform Amdocs (NYSE:DOX). The company had previously raised an undisclosed seed round, when it was founded in March 2007.

    TodaCell’s platform matches premium mobile ad campaigns with users, based on territory, carrier, timing, user response, pricing and other parameters. The company is currently present in Israel and Tokyo and plans to expand to the US next.

    VC Cafe had a chance to get some comments from CEO Moshe Vaknin,  a serial entrepreneur in the media and online advertising business. Prior to TodaCell he foundedCheckM8, an ad yield management start up. He also served as the president and COO of Adwise during the tech bubble.

    VC Cafe: The online advertising market is arguably saturated. What innovation does Toda bring to the table?
    Moshe Vaknin: The online advertising is saturated. Toda is focusing on mobile advertising only. Our uniqueness is focusing only on off portal (unlike Amobee). The current off portal solution offer by companies like Admob, they do not answer and address advertiser need: high performance. Admob and others focus on Quantity, Mass, not quality as Toda does. With strong targeting engines and automatic optimization we are able to achieve very high ROI to advertisers. Unlike others, who care only about CTR (click through rate), we measure the efficiency to advertisers. Not enough how many people click, but how many people actually bought the product? How many did the right search? Accuracy in the ad deliver process is our power

    VC Cafe: How do you plan to achieve scale with advertisers and publishers?

    Moshe Vaknin:We work directly with major advertisers and also with mobile agencies who are looking to the off portal market as the big market and the important during the next few years.

    VC Cafe: Who do you consider as your closest competitors?

    Moshe Vaknin: The closer competitor I believe is Smaato as they are focusing on optimization too. We focus heavily.

    VC Cafe:What impact does the economic downturn pose on your business model?

    Moshe Vaknin:The economic downturn slows down new advertisers who plan to increase their budget going into mobile. However, our business model which is 100% performance gives confidence to advertisers that their money is spent the right way

    VC Cafe: What does Toda bring to brand advertisers?

    Moshe Vaknin: Toda brings brand advertisers 100% Transparency. Advertiser knows exactly where its ad positioned on the mobile page, which publisher, which category, which device, when, how frequent, no surprises for advertiser so they can plan their media accurately which is very important for brand advertisers.

    VC Cafe: Looking back 18 months ago. Would you do anything differently?
    Moshe Vaknin: If we look 18 months back, we will do the same. From day one we believed that mobile advertising is going off portal and not controlled by carriers. The introduction of iPhone and other smart phones just make the mobile browsing so easily, and we believe it is a beginning of new revolution.

    Tags: DOX
    Jun 26 11:07 AM | Link | Comment!
  • $12 Million E Round to Israel’s YCD Multimedia

    Big founding round to Israel’s YCD Multimedia, provider of in-store digital media solutions. The company has reported a $12 million E round led by Pitango Venture Capital and Arts Alliance Digital Ventures, as well as a conversion of an existing bridge loan facility. The proceeds will be sused to build on the company’s presence in the US and UK markets and to invest in its product roadmap.

    YCD Platform, the company’s flagship product offers a web platform for retailers to control the display of ads, promotional messages, audio and video playlists to various locations simultaneously. Therefore, customers in a retail chain equipped with screens connected to the system could show the announcement of a sale at the same time. The system also enables scheduling of the media content up to a year in advance.

    In addition, the YCD Player enables store owners to perform multizone programming of music and video in their stores:  ”Your customers can hear classical music in the entryway, soft rock by the escalator, and jazz on the second floor and watch dynamic video images that change by day part as they move from zone to zone“. Other products include AdScreen and MuVi Wall, which create mood and increase conversions at the point-of-sale using physical multimedia displays.

    YCD's Displays help increase point of sale conversions

    YCD’s CEO Barry Salzman said that “This new investment gives us the capital to support the initiatives we are undertaking with larger chains in the US and internationally”. Prior to joining YCD he was the former president of DoubleClick’s global media business.

    Founded by Noam Levavi (president) and Dani Zeevi (NYSEMKT:CTO) in 1999, YCD Multimedia has more than 1,200 customers in 5 continents including American Airlines, Toyota, Kodak, Hilton Hotels, Cartier, Pizza Hut, and Heineken.  It has offices in the US, UK and Israel as well as a Global distribution network of resellers around the world.

    SourcesPR NewswirePE Hub and TechCrunch.

    Jun 24 6:45 AM | Link | Comment!
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