Israel Digest: IBM buys EZSource, Gaingels launched, EasyPark acquires Parko

Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem,Israel

US technology major IBM is acquiring Israeli firm EZSource, which maps enterprise software apps. In addition, Israel is seeing the launch of Gaingels, an LGBT angel investor group while EasyPark has acquired parking service app provider Parko.

IBM acquires EZSource

IBM is acquiring EZSource, a company whose enterprise software mapping aids developers in altering mainframe code in a simple and functional manner based on the data appearing on the dashboard and other frontal tools. Financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.

The acquisition is expected to be completed within Q2 2016, subject to meeting regulatory conditions and other approvals necessary for the acquisition. EZSource will become the 14th Israeli company acquired by IBM in the past 15 years.

CEO Eran Tirer and CTO Omer Caspi founded EZSource in 2003, with Reuven Agassi serving as chairman of the board of directors. Currently, the firm maintains offices in Israel, the UK, the US, Switzerland, Japan, and Romania. Its client portfolio has more than 40 corporate customers, amongst them Maybank, ING Life, and 7-Eleven.

In response to the acquisition, Tirer stated: “IBM’s long-term commitment to delivering enterprise infrastructure solutions has underpinned our success over the past decade in helping mainframe users generate more value from their applications. Our focused technology combined with IBM’s global reach will help more clients than ever optimise the value of their enterprise systems.”

The firm, whose visual dashboard for developers shows apps that have been changed, makes it easier to adapt apps and optimises the utilisation of development resources more efficiently, in addition to streamlining the development process and reducing costs incurred from managing the software applications employed by an organisation.

It upgrades the speed of developing and maintaining these apps, resulting in better products better and greater flexibility in the management of the apps. It also helps to de-risk the development and maintenance of apps. The acquisition will add IBM customers in mapping and analysing app components and their interdependence, complementing IBM’s capabilities in the field of digital change, APIs, hybrid cloud, and DevOps.

Speaking on the acquisition in a media release, IBM z Systems general manager Ross A. Mauri commented, “The mainframe is the backbone of today’s businesses. As clients drive their digital transformation, they are seeking the innovation and business value from new applications while leveraging their existing assets and processes.

“By adding EZSource’s technology to our enterprise DevOps and API management offerings, we are making it easier and faster for developers to modernize key applications that previously were manually intensive and many times required specialized skill,” he added.

LGBT investment group opens Israel branch

Gaingels, an investment syndicate for LGBT angel investors founded by Paul Grossinger and David Beatty, both from New York, was incepted in September 2014. 

According to its website, it is the “world’s first formal investment vehicle and network to invest in startups with LGBT founders and executives,” claiming to have invested nearly $5 million across nine startup ventures and five funds. The group serves as a platform connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) members of the entrepreneurial and technology communities together. 

According to Grossinger and Beatty, they perceived significant potential for social and business partnerships through the use of a platform that could link founders and investors of the LGBT community goether. 

In an interaction with Geektime, Gossinger explained: “We wanted to build a community of people that know each other and share a powerful common denominator. Not all Gaingels members necessarily invest, each one helps in his own way, but every member holds a key position and is very well connected in his own right,” 

With its launch in Tel Aviv, described by Grossinger as “…full of entrepreneurship and innovation,” the decision to launch Gaingels in Tel Aviv is rooted in the size of the LGBT community and the profile of the cities entrepreneurship and innovation.

According to Geektime, Gaingels’ largest community is in New York – where it was founded – and with a roster of 50 members. It recently launched a chapter in Chicago as well, with plans for chapters in London and Los Angeles. Investments are targeted at early-stage ventures, in the pre-seed, seed, and Series A rounds. The investment process is initiated by Gaingels raising the startup venture during group discussions and is highly driven by a system built solely on connections.

Individuals familiar with Gaingels members can pitch their idea to the member and be subjected to due diligence and assessment by the Gaingels investment group. Following a proposed startup investment, members vote on the investment, which requires a an approval ration of 70 per cent or more.

In a statement to Geektime, Grossinger stated: “The process that we created is responsible for an aggressive filtering of the companies that we invest in. We are looking for the best possible startups with the best possible teams, those that could raise money without us, but our connections will help them grow and improve,”

EasyPark acquires Parko in €1.5m deal

Israeli startup Parko, which developed an application and analytics system designed to help users find parking in cities, was acquired by Swedish company EasyPark in a deal reported to have a value of €1.5 million (US$1.7 million).

Parko’s app, which is available on Android and iOS, helps user find available parking spots and collects data about parking patterns of different users in order to optimise its algorithms. Parko was incepted in 2011 by the founding team of CEO Tomer NeuNer, Itay David and Moran Barda and raised a $1 million seed round it announced in July 2014, led by OurCrowd and with participation from SparkLabs and Global Ventures.

Recent developments include the launch of additional data products to enhance their offierings, as well as an API intended for developers of transportation and traffic applications.

Stockholm-based EasyPark, which launched in 2000 and offered pay-by-phone parking solutions, can be used in 400 cities across nine countries, providing event parking solutions and fleet services amongst its offerings. 

Commenting on the acquisition, EasyPark CEO Johan Birgersson said “EasyPark has been investing heavily in parking availability prediction. The acquisition of Parko is another important step in enhancing our current solution and strengthening the team further with people passionate about making parking easy for drivers. This puts us in a unique position to deliver what we call Parking Excellence, meaning fully digitized parking solutions to cities and parking operators.”

Also Read:

Israel Digest: Microsoft rejigs ops, State of Mind Ventures launches $75m fund

Alibaba likely to invest up to $10m in Israeli search startup Twiggle

Israeli firm Sensifree raises $5m in Series A round led by TransLink Capital

Singapore Dealbook: Union Steel buys Transvictory; SG, Israel ink joint tech projects

Singapore: Cellwize acquires Israeli crowdsourcing solutions startup CrowdX

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.