China's Internet giant
) 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
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.
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
) and Apple Inc. (
) instituted R&D centers. Over the past decade, multinational
corporations have contributed over $30 billion to the Israeli
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.
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
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. (
) 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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