Spy Kids 4(00 Million)

Ya heard it here (quite possibly) second folks. Blackstone is apparently looking to spend in the ballpark of $400 million for 40% of super-top-secret-spy-team NSO Group . ClearSky, meanwhile, is in as a secondary buyer, looking for a 10% stake in the company. Francisco Partners have another 40% and the remainder’s split between the founders and their employees. NSO Group isn’t your mother’s Herzliya startup- it’s some serious international espionage and overall badassery. Just don’t ask me or any of their employees what they actually do.


GeoQuant Seeks to Make Sense (and Shekels) of our Insane Political Situation

Reality TV star and all-around embarrassment to the human race Donald Trump is president of the United States, it seems the Russian government may have helped make it so, and this poor American kid was just evacuated from a North Korean jail in a coma after being sentenced to 15 years hard labor for taking down a poster. It’s unclear when this episode of Black Mirror that we’re evidently living in will be over, so we might as well make the most of it. That’s exactly what Israeli startup GeoQuant seeks to do. The company, which just raised $4 million in seed funding from Aleph, measures political risk in real-time, giving investors proprietary insight into how relatively unpredictable political situations around the world may affect markets.

Aleph VC’s Michael Eisenberg will join the board at GeoQuant. As Eisenberg explained to The Times of Israel, “Globalization of business and foreign direct investment is increasing while at the same time the world is becoming less stable. It is critical that businesses understand these risks and opportunities and prepare for them with real data, not punditry.”

GeoQuant’s software generates daily country scores and other indexes by scraping vast amounts of data, news, and content shared via social media content, which is combined with insight from leading political scientists and regional experts. Its Political Risk Scores and data streams for G20 countries have already been integrated into the Bloomberg terminal, and with this new funding from Aleph, you can expect to see their software popping up elsewhere as their backend grows.

As the world bursts into flames in the great garbage fire that is our crazy global political situation, the least you can do is make a little money out of it.

When Americans Try Teaching Israelis About Bootcamp

500 Startups launches a short marketing ramp-up bootcamp for startups in Israel

TLDR; 9 Israeli B2B startups are part of a bootcamp from American venture fund and seed incubator 500 Startups (https://500.co/). The startups get a 4-week training program on marketing and growth in exchange for 1% of the company for every $25k attributed to the new marketing tactics. Because if there’s one thing Jews love, it’s summer camp.