CTech's Weekly News Roundup

The Curious Case of the Israeli Lunch Card. Electric scooter-sharing company Bird expands to Tel Aviv and Paris

CTech 12:3403.08.18
The Curious Case of the Israeli Lunch Card. Amsterdam-listed food delivery company Takeaway.com has been scouting for a chance to enter the business-to-business (B2B) food market for over 10 years. On Saturday, it announced a 135 million euros acquisition of Tel Aviv-based 10bis. The latter’s claim to fame: dominating Israel’s burgeoning lunch cards market. A lucrative perk, lunch cards let businesses pay for lunch deliveries and for employees eating outside. Read more


Electric scooter-sharing company Bird expands to Tel Aviv and Paris. Despite some limiting legislation, electric scooters are extremely popular in Israel, especially in Tel Aviv’s busy streets, where most local and international tech companies operating in the country choose to set up shop. Read more 

Lunch (illustration). Photo: Yuval Chen Lunch (illustration). Photo: Yuval Chen



Amnesty International says Israeli-developed spyware was used to target a Saudi rights activist. On Tuesday, Amnesty International announced one of its staff members and a Saudi rights activist have been the target of an attempted spyware attack by a "government hostile” to the organization’s work. The spyware in question, according to Amnesty, is a trojan horse developed and marketed by Israeli cyber surveillance company NSO Group. Called Pegasus, it gives operators access to calls and messages, and remote control of the mobile device on which it is installed. Read more


Israel's Rick's Café for Russian Jewish oligarchs. With Roman Abramovich as patron, Tel Aviv’s “Shallot” restaurant has become the stronghold of Israel’s newest super-rich. The kosher menu is a mix of chicken kiev and caviar with the local hummus and tahini. Evening programming often includes musical performances and poetry readings. In Israel, Russian immigrants can benefit from a special exemption that was written into the books, dubbed the “Milchan Law.” Named after Israeli billionaire Arnon Milchan, the law gives new immigrants a complete tax exemption for income originating out-of-state, as long as they identify Israel as their taxation center. Read more


Twitter hiring Israel lobbyist amid government criticism. Israeli government ministers have been pushing to pass laws that would help force social media networks to remove content deemed harmful and likely to incite terrorism. Read more


3D printer company Formlabs raises $15 million according to a $1 billion company valuation. Formlabs raised $30 million in April according to a pre-money valuation of $840 million. Read more 


Cayman Islands is Israel’s third largest source of foreign investment. Use of the offshore financial haven masks the true origin of money pouring into Israel’s tech sector. Read more


Israeli and U.S. defense robotics companies quarrel over China ties. Israeli defense robotics company Roboteam sued Massachusetts-based competitor Endeavor Robotics over alleged defamation. The lawsuit alleges Endeavor hired lobbying firm Sachem Strategies to spread false rumors that Roboteam is controlled by the Chinese government, which uses it to obtain U.S. military technologies. Roboteam alleges that Endeavor’s actions were part of the latter’s attempt to secure two U.S. military contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars each. Read more


Amdocs CEO Eli Gelman to step down effective October 2018. On Tuesday, the Nasdaq-listed billing company announced record revenues of $1 billion for the third quarter but lowered 2018 forecasts. Read more


Israeli military drones deal challenged over China link. A $27 million drone deal between Israel-based Aeronautics with the Thai government led to a complaint lodged with the Israeli Ministry of Defense. A previous complaint filed by the same plaintiff last year led to a still ongoing police investigation against Aeronautics. Read more 

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