Baidu Invests $3M in Israeli Video Capture Start Up Pixellot - Analyst Blog

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China's Internet giant Baidu Inc. ( BIDU ) is making its first direct investment in Israel's thriving start-up sector through video capture firm Pixellot. The investment is worth $3 million.

Pixellot plans to utilize the funds to increase its research and development and to advance worldwide marketing and business development.

Baidu's senior director of corporate development, Peter Fang, is of the opinion that Israeli technology will change video content production for Internet users in China.


Established in 2013 by Miky Tamir and CTO Gal Oz, Pixellot is known for developing a system of unmanned cameras capable of covering the entire field or court at a sporting event and mechanizing video production for professional broadcasters as well as amateur fans.

Pixellot also allows its users to zoom in on any part of the venue and to navigate back and forth in time. This is the first time that such a technology has been devised. It will be enabled through a series of elaborate algorithms.

Israel is The Second Silicon Valley

Deemed as "Silicon Valley: Part II" by many at the DLD Tel Aviv Conference, Israel is the first place outside the United States where Fortune 500 companies like International Business Machines Corporation ( IBM ) and Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) instituted R&D centers. Over the past decade, multinational corporations have contributed over $30 billion to the Israeli economy.

Israel is also known as the 'Startup Nation'. With hundreds of businesses getting off the ground annually, the startup landscape in Israel is flourishing. With a population of 9 million and no real local market, Israel is startlingly only second to the actual Silicon Valley when it comes to generating startup companies.

According to a survey by TerraLab Ventures, in 2013, Israel produced a whopping 1,000 new startups.

China  and Israel

European and American investors have long been attracted to Israel for technological opportunities while Chinese investors are relatively new to the country.

Chinese investors are taking advantage of Israel's booming start-up space and are investing heavily in Israel-focused, tech-investment funds besides launching their own funds. They are also investing directly in Israeli startups.

According to people familiar with the matter, in the past year,  Yongjin Group Inc., a Chinese equity-investment management and financial services company, has invested between $15 million and $20 million into Israeli venture fund Pitango Venture Capital.

Ping An Venture, the venture investment arm of Ping An Insurance (Group) Co, one of China's largest financial conglomerates, has created a $100 million fund committed to U.S. and Israel technological ventures. It has made six investments in Israeli startups so far.

Though this is Biadu's foremost direct investment in an Israeli startup, it has, along with Qihoo 360 Technology Co. ( QIHU ) invested in Carmel Ventures, an Israel venture fund.

A few analysts are also of the view that the next Alibaba will come from Israel.

Baidu currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: BIDU , AAPL , IBM ,

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