Singulariteam, said Chinese social networking service Renren is participating in a $72 million Seed funding round for Sirin Labs, a new Israeli high-end smartphone startup being incubated by Singulariteam over the past three years. The new, secure smartphone, slated to be revealed in London in May, will be offered at $10-15,000 per phone. Singulariteam reportedly invested a $25 million Seed round into Sirin Labs in 2013, when the startup was incorporated. Having identified the UK as its target market, Sirin started to build its sales, marketing and communications team in London, in June 2015. In October, the Sirin team expanded to include reportedly over 100 R&D experts in Sweden, Israel and the United States. “Sirin Labs AG is a revolutionary new entrant to the mobile technology arena with one simple goal, to bring tomorrow to our customers, today,” the startup said in a statement. “Backed by significant investment from some of the most respected players at the forefront of new technology, the company has been driven by a determination to deliver privacy, connectivity and uncompromised quality,” Sirin added. “After two years of intensive R&D, Sirin Labs is poised to present our first product, a truly smart phone, built without restriction or compromise, in Q2 2016.” Singulariteam was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Tel Aviv, with offices in San Francisco, Moscow, Kazakhstan, Beijing and Singapore. Singulariteam acts as a super angel investor. The fund focuses on investing in advanced, new, and disruptive technologies with a primary focus on Israeli high-tech startups. Kenges Rakishev, Sirin’s chairman and co-founder, and Singulariteam’s managing partner, is reportedly one of the most influential businessmen in Kazakhstan, according to Forbes. He served in several top positions in both the private and public sector throughout his career and worked as an advisor for the Kazakhstan Interior Ministry and Department of Education. He’s a co-founder of the global venture fund Singulariteam. Moshe Hogeg, Sirin’s co-founder and president, and Singulariteam’s co-founder, managing partner and chairman, is an accomplished serial entrepreneur in the technology sector, who founded Mobli Media and Yo. He is a director of Infinity Augmented Reality. In November 2014, Forbes named him as one of the 10 “Start-up Nation movers and shakers you need to know.” Tal Cohen, Sirin’s co-founder & CEO, brings 20 years of experience in hi-tech start-up companies and strategy consulting. He previously co-founded ibetcha.com, which was sold in 2000 to Vivendi Universal Games. He was part of the founding team of markets.com, which was sold to Playtech in 2015 for €458 million. He previously served as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co, and worked at Google.]]>
Other key highlights: 1Q15 aggregate value of disclosed-value deals hit US$77.1b, higher than any quarter since 2000. That’s up 16% YOY and 72% sequentially. Quarterly deal volume climbed to 981 deals in 1Q15. That’s up 29% YOY, 2% sequentially and a fifth consecutive post-dotcom-bubble quarterly record. The IoT and HIT were the biggest deal-value drivers of 1Q15, followed by cybersecurity, financial and payment technologies, smart mobility and the cloud. IoT accelerates cross-industry technology blur by adding network-enabled digital sensors to other industries’ everyday products. PE volume and value declined, while non-technology buyers increased value, again, after a strong 4Q14. Cross-border aggregate deal value more than doubled YOY and jumped 59% sequentially; it captured a 42% share of total quarterly value. Looking ahead: robust deal-making expected “We expected a strong start for global technology M&A in 2015 — but not quite this strong,” added Liu. “Non-technology buyers were the wild card: they usually start slow and build throughout the year, but they were a major factor in 1Q15. It’s a sign the blur we’ve talked about for years is taking off, fueled by IoT and digital transformation and enabled by universal cloud adoption and a growing need to add cybersecurity to a wide range of products and services. This will set the stage for another blockbuster year in 2015 for tech M&A.” EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services.]]>
The Wall Street Journal, the companies had been discussing an acquisition price of about $20 million. In February, Apple CEO Tim Cook had visited Israel to inaugurate its new R&D Center in Herzliya, and meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. At that time Cook said that he and his staff “have an enormous admiration for Israel, not just as an important ally for the US, but as a place to do business.” In June 2014 LinX had announced the successful development of its miniature multi-aperture cameras designed for mobile devices. The camera modules are nearly half the height of a standard mobile camera and are capable of creating stunning color images and high accuracy depth maps. LinX Imaging was founded in 2008 by CEO Ziv Attar, an Optics engineer and camera technology expert, who also serves as CEO and chief optical designer at OpEra. Until 2007, Attar had served for nearly 5 years as senior optics and system specialist at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, whose know-how is embedded in almost all of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) systems in operation today. Ziv Attar has a B.Sc. Optical Engineering degree from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Andrey Tovchigrechko is a co-founder of LinX and serves as its Vice President of Software since 2011. Tovchigrechko is an algorithm development consultant and image processing expert with 12 years of experience in mobile imaging. He served as Senior Image Processing Engineer at Samsung form 2003 to 2007. Tovchigrechko is a graduate of Weizmann Instutiute of Science, and has a M.Sc. degree from Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU). The image quality of mobile cameras appeared to have reached a dead end. Device makers are striving to differentiate themselves relying on the development of advanced imaging capabilities, but the pixel size race seemed to have peaked, and next generation cameras have not yet reveal sufficiently dramatic improvements. LinX claims that its cameras revolutionize mobile photography and broaden the usability span and user experience. Not far behind however, in March, Tel Aviv University’s (TAU) Ramot Momentum Fund had also unveiled its eye-catching ‘Unispectral’ SmartCam Technology, which provides hyperspectral imaging capabilities to any camera. Development of that breakthrough technology is being funded by India’s giant Tata Group, Singapore’s $177 billion Temasek Holdings, and SanDisk Corporation (NasdaqGS: SNDK). According to LinX, its engineers have solved all problems associated with combining multiple images captured from different points in space, such as registration errors and occlusion related artifacts, which are seen on competing technologies. LinX cameras are artifact-free, even when objects appear at a very short range. During the registration process between images, the LinX software extracts very accurate depth information for each pixel and creates a depth map. The software creates true depth information on high contrast objects and on near flat surfaces, such as walls, which are traditionally considered difficult for passive stereo systems. The accuracy and resolution of details in distance maps, created the opportunity to use the suggested algorithms for 3D reconstruction. LinX has developed a variety of products ranging from arrays of two, three, and four cameras in various configurations and sizes, some with autofocus and others without. The technology is ready for integration into the current generation of mobile devices. Based on a side-by-side comparison of a single RGB (Bayer) camera and a LinX camera consisting of two smaller cameras, while keeping the total pixel count fixed, LinX provides the following advantages when compared with traditional mobile photography:
- A larger sensor requires a longer lens. Therefore, by replacing one large sensor, with two or more smaller ones, LinX reduces the height of its device by a factor of 1.4 to 2.
- By using a monochrome sensor, sensitivity to light increases by a factor of 3.
- Noise levels are dramatically lower.
- The effective array camera resolution is similar to the single aperture camera in high light.
- Performance and image quality in low light are extraordinary.
- LinX technology allows a fast exposure at indoor standard lighting conditions of 100-200 lux. which assures crisp images free from motion blur.
- The multi-aperture camera creates a real-time, high-quality distance map.
- Automatic background removal
- High-quality control of autofocus in video mode when one of the cameras is equipped with autofocus (range finder camera)
- Augmented reality
- 3D object modeling
- Distance and Sizing of objects
- Biometric 3D face recognition
Tel Aviv University’s (TAU) Ramot Momentum Fund has unveiled this week its breakthrough ‘Unispectral’ SmartCam Technology at the MWC15 Barcelona Mobile World Congress. Unispectral is being funded by the Technology Innovation Momentum Fund of TAU’s Ramot tech transfer arm, whose lead investors are India’s Tata Group and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. Another key investor is the SanDisk Corporation, with the balance of the investments provided by angel investors, primarily from South Africa, US and India. Shlomo Nimrodi, CEO of Momentum Fund and Ramot, commented: “The Momentum Fund represents an innovative approach for early stage innovations utilizing a for-profit investment mechanism with the support of strategic partners.”
Unispectral‘s Superior Imaging TechnologyTAU’s Unispectral technology aims to break the image quality bottleneck by replacing the Bayer color filter array with a tunable spectral filter and complementary image fusion IP-core. The technology, backed by multiple patents, is compatible with compact camera modules and common computational platforms. The solution includes a reference design of the optical component and SW library.
The Unispectral SmartCam[caption id="attachment_5463" align="aligncenter" width="440"] Unispectral Pioneering Mobile Hyperspectral Imaging by Ramot at Tel Aviv University. Photo Credit: DaMa Studio[/caption] The Unispectral solution also provides hyperspectral imaging capabilities to any camera. Hyperspectral sensors look at objects using a vast portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, enabling a wide range of applications such as astronomy, agriculture, biomedical imaging, mineralogy, physics, and surveillance, as well as smartphone cameras, wearables, and IoT. Unispectral cameras include an additional optical component that replaces the Bayer color filter array and IP-core, suitable for heterogeneous computational platforms. The solution is integrated with common hardware, such as rolling shutter image sensors and a plastic injected lens. The component was designed for compact camera modules with small form-factor, low power consumption and high frame rate support.
Unispectral‘s BenefitsMuch as the human eye sees visible light in three bands (red, green, and blue), spectral imaging divides the spectrum into many more bands. This technique of dividing images into bands can be extended beyond the visible. Unispectral cameras offer 2x more light captured, 2x resolution and improved dynamic range compared to standard compact cameras. Thus, Unispectral cameras achieve image quality improvement by utilizing common components. Furthermore, each camera is transformed into a smart camera, enabling multiple M-health applications that used to require stand alone spectroscopes.
Unispectral‘s Value Proposition
- Superior low light performance, capturing 2x light compared to standard cameras
- Hyperspectral imaging capabilities
- enabling spectroscopic applications in any standard color camera
- Design meets mobile camera module standards and requirements
- Better noise handling performance and SNR
- Stabilized image
- Improved dynamic range
- High speed component, supports over 1,200 fps
- Compatible with standard components, heterogeneous computational platforms and standard module assembly procedures
- Low cost solution, suitable for mass production
- Small form factor
- Power efficient
- Extended spectral range, suitable for VIS-NIR imaging
- Reduced pixel cross-talk