I recently led a group of 20 American tech investors to Israel in conjunction with the UJA and Israel's Ministry of Economy and Industry. We witnessed firsthand the innovation that has produced more than $22 billion of investments and acquisitions within the past year. We met with the University that produced Mobileye, with the investor that believed in its founder, and the network of every multinational company supporting the startup ecosystem. Mechatronics is blooming in the desert from the CyberTech Convention in Tel Aviv to the robotic labs at Capsula to the latest in autonomous driving inventions in the hills of Jerusalem.
Tel Aviv-based artificial intelligence chip startup Hailo Technologies Ltd. has raised $12.5 million in a series A funding round, the company announced Tuesday. Investors include Jerusalem-headquartered equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, as well as two venture capital funds dedicated to automotive technologies -- Maniv Mobility, and Next Gear Management Ltd. The latest round brings the company's total funding raised to $16 million.
A new, high-speed rail line connecting the Israeli cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is set to be complete within the next 18 months, Reuters reported Tuesday. The project, spearheaded by the Israeli government's transportation ministry, is expected to cost some 2 billion and eventually drastically cut down the travel time between the two cities. It's expected that travel time from Tel Aviv, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, to the Jerusalem's Old City will be cut down to less than an hour. Jerusalem has long been a city at the center of tensions in the Middle East. Neighboring Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia have challenged Israel's claim to the holy city.
In 2013 alone, it tragically claimed the lives of more than 3,154 and injured 424,000. Now, each day in the United States about nine people are killed by an inattentive person behind the wheel. EyeSight, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based artificial intelligence (AI) and hardware startup, promises to eradicate the distracted driving problem once and for all -- at least in cars equipped with its hardware. To further that mission, it today announced a $15 million funding round led by Jebsen Capital, with participation from Arie Capital and Mizrahi Tefahot. EyeSight's tech leans on a combination of cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor driver activity.
Tel Aviv-based Arbe Robotics, maker of ultra high resolution radar, just announced the completion of a $9 million funding round. The money will enable Arbe to bring its high-resolution radar system into full production, with commercial installation of the system in autonomous vehicles slated within a year. Radar is an important piece of the automated car puzzle -- although no one is sure just how big a piece it will be. Radar's advantage is that it's the only sensor that offers high range resolution in any weather. That'll become necessary when autonomous vehicles venture outside of their cushy California proving grounds.