Aug. 06, 2021

Investment through an Israeli CVC, IN Venture
—Ottopia in the field of mobility, GK8 in cybersecurity and Genoox in healthcare—

Israel, sometimes called “Startup Nation,” has a world-class entrepreneurial environment, including government programs that support startups and R&D, and about 700–800 startup companies are established in the country each year. The country is particularly strong in artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, agriculture and healthcare, so many global companies have set up business locations in Israel in pursuit of innovations.

Sumitomo Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation Europe established IN Venture, a corporate venture capital (CVC) firm in Israel in 2019, which has since invested in new technologies that could become core of the Sumitomo Corporation Group’s business. Determining the fields of mobility, environmental energy, healthcare, IT/cybersecurity, and AgriTech as the focus of its investment, IN Venture has met hundreds of startups and invested in six startups by the end of June 2021. The Sumitomo Corporation Group will be combining its business acumen with the knowledge and expertise of innovative startups emerging in Israel to create new businesses.

Three major startups among those in which IN Venture invested over the past year are:

(1) Mobility: Ottopia Technologies
(2) Cybersecurity: GK8
(3) Healthcare: Genoox

(1) Ottopia, a company developing teleoperation technology for autonomous vehicles

Ottopia develops systems to remotely control autonomous vehicles. There are numerous issues that must be resolved before fully automated driving can become a practical reality, so manual operation is still required under certain conditions. The systems that Ottopia is developing will allow for safe teleoperation, and are regarded as technologies essential for realizing truly driverless operation.

One problem plaguing teleoperation is the delay in transmissions of high-resolution data between vehicles and teleoperation centers. Ottopia uses unique technology to reliably transmit high-resolution data with little delay and no data loss. Ottopia’s technology can be applied to all autonomous vehicles. While developing technologies, the company is looking to begin providing services.

Image of a teleoperation center

(2) GK8, a company developing blockchain cybersecurity technology

The upsurge in digital financial assets such as cryptocurrencies over recent years has been accompanied by an increase in theft through hacking. GK8 is a startup company that provides solutions to prevent the hacking of digital assets traded on blockchains.

The two most generally-used means for storing cryptocurrencies and other digital assets on blockchains are hot wallets*1 and cold wallets.*2 Hot wallets ensure security by dividing the key information needed to access data into multiple shards or by requiring approval from multiple users, but the fact that these shards/co-signers are restricted to a maximum of five is one of the limitations of hot wallet security. Cold wallets are considered highly secure because they are isolated from the Internet, but in reality they can be hacked. GK8 has developed solutions that can resolve these technical issues.

The company began selling these solutions to financial institutions in 2019, and it presently safeguards more than USD 1 billion in customer assets. In the future, it will expand sales to current blockchain users in the domain of manufacturing, supply chain and real estate, etc.

GK8’s cold wallet product
  1. Hot wallet: A “wallet” for storing digital assets handled on blockchains that is connected at all times to the Internet. Among the benefits of hot wallets is the convenience of being able to remit funds immediately.
  2. Cold wallet: A wallet not ordinarily connected to the Internet and therefore considered to have more robust security than a hot wallet

(3) Genoox, a company developing a genome*3 data platform for all diseases around the globe

The genomics*4 market is growing at a yearly rate of 19.5%, and is anticipated to reach USD 82.6 billion in 2027. The main factors behind the growth are expectations for improved quality healthcare using genomic data and the provision of personalized medical treatment for individual patients.

Genoox has established a business model of enabling medical institutions to use its genomic information analytics platform free of charge to translate collected genomic data into useful clinical information, aiming to build the world’s largest genomic data platform. The company’s platform allows genome analysis for various types of diseases and has been used by over 1,500 medical institutions around the world.

  1. Genome: Genetic information found in all organisms
  2. Genomics: An area of life science that involves the study of genomes and genes

Companies in which IN Venture has invested (as of the end of June, 2021)

Field Company name Established Profile
IT (RetailTech) Anagog 2010 Developing tools to analyze location, profile and behavior data using smartphones
Environmental energy H2Pro 2019 Making possible CO2-free, efficient production of hydrogen at low cost
IT (Quantum computing) Classiq 2020 Developing quantum computing software that automatically synthesizes quantum circuits
Mobility Ottopia Technologies 2018 Developing teleoperation technology for autonomous vehicles
Cybersecurity GK8 2018 Developing blockchain cybersecurity technology
Healthcare Genoox 2014 Developing a genomic data platform in the field of healthcare