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IATI News & Events Daily Industry News Israeli Microsoft Accelerator start-up gets $3.5m graduation gift

Israeli Microsoft Accelerator start-up gets $3.5m graduation gift

Feb. 9, 2016

OwnBackup, an Israeli start-up that helps ensure that companies can back up data they generate using online applications, celebrated a double win Thursday. The company said it had raised $3.5 million in a Series A financing round. The company will use the investment to accelerate its global growth, drive continued product innovation and significantly expand its engineering, development, sales and marketing teams, it said.

And, in a second triumph, the company, along with 12 “classmates,” graduated from the Microsoft Ventures Israel’s Accelerator, a program invented in Israel that has now spread to the rest of the world, most recently to Seattle, Microsoft’s stomping grounds. The 13 start-ups showed off what they have been doing for the past four months in the Microsoft program at a Demo Day event in Tel Aviv, where each presented its technology – and more important, its pitch – to the dozens of investors in the audience of some 500.

“Since we started the program in Israel in 2012, Microsoft has opened six additional Ventures Accelerators around the world,” said Zack Weisfeld, who was one of the originators of the Israel operation and is now worldwide director of Microsoft Ventures, the company’s start-up support wing.

“Worldwide we have had 454 graduates, who have raised $1.78 billion,” he said at a gala event Thursday, celebrating the seventh graduating class of the local Ventures Accelerator program. “We’ve had 29 exits and 3 IPOs, and on average companies that graduated from the program received $4.9 million in funding in the first year after they graduate from the accelerator. That’s enough to make us the number one corporate accelerator in the world.”

Some 350 companies from Israel and 27 other countries applied for the seventh round of the four-month program, which has taken in companies from the US, the UK, Singapore, Spain, India, Pakistan, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Mexico, France, Turkey and China. The 13 companies chosen are developing solutions in various fields such as the Internet of things (IoT), e-commerce, UAVs, tourism, media, advertising and marketing, medicine, agritech and IT.

For the full feature story on The Times Of Israel click here.

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