• 13 Apr 2016

    Standard Bank South Africa deploys TradAir for e-FX

    Standard Bank South Africa (SBSA) deploys TradAir as part of strategic vision to dominate Dollar Rand (USD.ZAR) market-making globally, and create regional market-making specialists across Africa.

    Standard Bank South Africa (SBSA) are a very active, and fully committed two-way market-maker in Dollar Rand (USD.ZAR), across all primary and the majority of secondary venues on a global basis. Their strategic goal is to be the dominant market-making bank in Rand and other African currencies, on a global basis.

    As the largest bank in Africa, SBSA services a large and diverse client base, and are the leading provider of FX services in the continent, resulting in large volumes of client flows, both in Rand and other African regional currencies as well as in G10 majors. SBSA services the FX needs of their commercial, corporate and institutional clients through a number of tailored online FX trading channels, with resultant flows either internalised or hedged in the market.

    SBSAs strategic vision, is for their FX market-making to evolve, whereby primary market-making capabilities will reside with regional specialists, whose expertise is backed by strong local knowledge and client flows in their particular currency pairs, with world class eFX technology, connecting the specialists, enabling them to offer clients a truly world class FX service.

    Speaking about their decision to select TradAir’s e-FX platform, Tim Hutchinson, Head of eFX trading at SBSA said:“TradAir are a strategic platform for the SBSA group, and their customisable rate-engine and hedging solutions enable us to improve our dollar rand market-making capabilities.

    We plan to deploy TradAir to all 18 of our regional dealing centres across Africa, enabling each local operation to market-make in the core currencies. As a result, our clients will benefit from more competitive and robust pricing, whilst our auto-hedging strategies, means our risk management is now more effective.

    In addition, leveraging TradAir’s real-time trade analytics engine enables us to gain deep insight into the trading behaviour of clients across all execution channels, and the relative performance of our liquidity providers. TradAir brings value both in terms of technology, and as a market expert partner.”

    Commenting on SBSA’s implementation of TradAir’s e-FX platform, Illit Geller, TradAir CEO commented: “We have an excellent relationship with SBSA, and have worked closely with Tim and his highly experienced team of trading, technology and operations professionals to implement a solution, that supports their strategic global market-making ambitions. This is a great example of how TradAir can service the needs of large regional banks, enabling them to strengthen their marketmaking capabilities and grow their client franchise, in an effective risk managed and profitable way.”

    Using the enhanced liquidity and flexibility of the TradAir rate-engine, SBSA traders are now able to create tailored pricing streams for particular clients and client groups, which has resulted in increased client flows.

    The configurable auto-hedging modules enable traders to implement rules-based hedging strategies to manage client flows. Hedging rules are defined at group, or in the case of aggressive clients that generate ‘toxic’ flows, on an individual client basis, providing more effective risk management coverage across all client flows.

    With TradAir NOW, SBSA gains deep insight into the trading behaviour of clients, and the pricing characteristics of liquidity providers, enabling them to more effectively price clients, and profitably hedge resulting flows.

  • 31 Mar 2016

    Playbuzz Secures $15M in Strategic Funding from Saban Ventures and Disney

    Playful content is serious business; funding fuels Playbuzz’s global leadership in online engagement and sponsored content

    NEW YORK, March 31, 2016 –
    Playbuzz, the leading platform for online content engagement and social distribution, today announced it has raised $15 million in new funding, led by Saban Ventures with participation from The Walt Disney Company*. Existing investors 83North, Carmel Ventures and FirstTime Ventures also participated in the investment round.

    Playbuzz will use the investment to further enhance its proprietary content-engagement platform and expand its sponsored content business, which already works with many of the world’s leading brands to create and distribute native advertising campaigns at scale.

    “Playbuzz enables publishers and brands to create content that matches today’s content-consumption habits, while generating meaningful engagement and new monetization opportunities,” said Shaul Olmert, co-founder and CEO of Playbuzz. “The support of global leaders in media, such as Saban and Disney, will enable us to expand both our editorial reach and sponsored content business.”

    The Playbuzz platform is used by tens of thousands of publishers, brands and content creators to create and distribute content in formats that optimize audience engagement and social distribution. Examples of Playbuzz’s innovative content formats include slideshows, flip cards, galleries, quizzes, lists and video snaps.

    The popularity of content created using Playbuzz is skyrocketing, as engagement metrics for such items outpace those of traditional digital formats, such as articles and long-form video. Playbuzz-powered content generates average item completion rates of up to 94% and social share rates as high as 15%.

    “Engaging content is the key to media consumption, and Playbuzz has positioned itself as the leading platform for media companies and brands to create and distribute such content across all devices,” said Barak Pridor, Managing Partner at Saban Ventures, who joins Playbuzz’s Board of Directors following this financing round. “Playbuzz’s unique network, and distributed sponsored content offering, make it the ideal platform for editorial and commercial growth of its partners.”

    *The interest is owned by a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company

    About Saban Ventures
    Saban Ventures (SV) is focused on identifying, investing in and partnering with the most promising startups in stages that range from post-seed to growth. SV focuses on the digital media space, including mobile, social, entertainment, information, eCommerce, cloud, financial technologies and SaaS (Software as a Service). SV is an affiliate of Saban Capital Group (SCG), a leading private investment firm that is based in Los Angeles. SCG specializes in the global media, entertainment, and communication industries. The firm currently makes both controlling and minority investments in public and private companies and plays an active role in its portfolio companies. SCG's current private equity investments include: Saban Brands LLC (an affiliate of SCG formed to acquire, manage and license entertainment properties and consumer brands across media and consumer platforms); Univision (the premier Spanish-language media company in the US); Celestial Tiger Entertainment (a venture with Lionsgate and Astro, Malaysia’s largest pay TV platform); MNC (Indonesia's largest and only vertically-integrated media company); and Partner Communications (a leading telecommunications company in Israel).


  • 30 Mar 2016

    Outbrain elevates senior leadership as APAC Business accelerates

    Outbrain has announced two senior leadership appointments impacting Asia Pacific. Overseeing new growth in Asia Pacific will be Ayal Steiner, currently General Manager of Outbrain’s Australia and New Zealand operations who has been appointed Managing Director of Outbrain Asia Pacific. Also, stepping-up is Anthony Hearne, currently Outbrain’s Regional Director for Southeast Asia, India & New Markets."

    Steiner has been responsible for forging close ties with publishers and brands and cementing the company’s presence in this mature advertising market. Steiner will report to Outbrain’s Head of International, Eytan Galai. He will continue to be based in Sydney.

    Hearne takes a new global role at Outbrain as Vice President, Global Sales Marketing, relocating from Singapore to the company’s worldwide headquarters in New York. He will report to Eric Hadley, who joined the company in summer 2015 as the Head of Global Marketing.

    The engagements reflect accelerating business growth of the organisation’s regional and national publisher networks, growing uptake of the Outbrain platform by brands and agencies in the region and the strengthening of its relationships with major media buying groups including Omnicom, IPG and Dentsu.

    In announcing these appointments, Eytan Galai, Head of Outbrain International said, “Anthony Hearne and Ayal Steiner have been pivotal to Outbrain’s success in Asia Pacific and we are thrilled to see them advance to take these important positions. We are confident that these moves will help us to build additional scalability and further support our regional leadership, while ensuring tighter collaboration across our global offices.”

    Steiner led the launch of Outbrain in Australia and New Zealand in 2012. He specialises in marketing and product strategy and has extensive experience garnered from within the digital and tech start-up arena.

    Steiner commented, “In a time when consumers’ attention is harder and harder to win, I believe Outbrain is an amazing platform that brings innovative and exciting opportunities for brands to engage audiences and for publishers to monetise digital assets.” He added: “Asia Pacific is a mobile-first, digitally smart landscape and I look forward to working with brands and publishers across the region to drive growth further.”

    Hearne joined Outbrain in 2012 following a highly successful 20-year career in marketing leadership. Directly prior to Outbrain he was Marketing Director, Paid Content at News Corp Australia. This followed some seven years spent at SingTel Optus, encompassing several roles including: Marketing Director for Optus’ consumer division, Marketing Director at Virgin Mobile and Managing Director of a substantial subsidiary-distribution business.

    Hearne said, “I am very excited to be taking on this new challenge and believe that we have only scratched the surface of content marketing and its potential to transform how brands connect with their audiences online.”

    He added,“There is much work ahead of us as we continue in our efforts to advance digital marketing and help major brands navigate and connect with consumers at scale through content. Recent product releases like Custom Audiences are great examples of Outbrain’s continued investment in technology and innovation and our commitment to grow this space.” 

  • 19 Apr 2016

    @schedul_io yes! Where are u based? Please send to hilas@carmelventures.com
  • 17 Apr 2016

    #CarmelFinTech meetup in TLV, w/ Hans Morris, board member of Lending Club, Payoneer - join: https://t.co/r7cnuHyp2b https://t.co/LRkb3oNtKG
  • 14 Apr 2016

    RT @StartupGrindTLV: Thrilled to have our sponsors from @LeumiTech & @carmelventures in the audience. We host amazing #startup events thank…

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Founded in 2000, Carmel Ventures is managing over $800M across four funds. As Israel’s top tier VC firm, we invest in Israeli or Israeli related early stage companies and build global category leaders. Carmel invests across a number of key market segments including: software, new enterprise infrastructure, big data, digital media, consumer applications and semiconductors.

Our team approaches the investment as a proactive, hands-on endeavor. Carmel Ventures typically leads or co-leads investments and take an active role on the Board of Directors while keeping a low ratio of companies per partner. With strong M&A and IPO experience, the Carmel team has backed a disproportional share of Israel’s category leaders that generate over $100M in annual revenues, including: Outbrain, ironSource, Payoneer, and more.

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