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Investing in Israeli innovation, bridging to global markets.
MizMaa Newsletter - July 2019

We are excited to share our latest newsletter.

This newsletter includes portfolio company updates, latest events and MizMaa's observations regarding new exciting markets.

MizMaa Ventures

Tel Aviv, Israel

Recent Portfolio Updates

Dentsu's media buying arm in Japan, Announces strategic partnership with CHEQ. 

Click for more information. has joined the prestigious IBM Alpha Zone program and has partnered with Intel's "Builders program".

Ottopia has announced a collaboration with DENSO Corporation, the world’s second largest automotive Tier 1 supplier. 
Click for more information.

VMware, Ant Financial and RGAx partners with Qed-it to implement data privacy solutions for their Blockchain networks.
Click for more information.

Qedit named amongst 56 "Technology Pioneers 2019" list by World Economic Forum

Four Israeli companies were among 56 firms named by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to its “Technology Pioneers 2019” list.

Recent Events

A quick view of recent delegations and events at MizMaa Ventures

January 2019
MizMaa hosted Financial Secretary of Hong Kong SAR

MizMaa had the honor to host Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of HKSAR, for a closed session with Israeli entrepreneurs, to talk about HKSAR as a bridge between Israeli technologies and Asia. MizMaa will continue to be a part of building this bridge, leading the way for Israeli innovation in Asia.

February 2019
MizMaa recognized amongst the 2nd most active funds in Israel for 2018, by IVC Research Center

During 2018, MizMaa has invested in ten new companies, across all of our investment verticals.

April 2019
Rick Kaplan, former fintech business development leader from IBM, joins the MizMaa team.

Rick brings years of experience to help MizMaa's portfolio companies scale globally and discover their go-to-market strategies.

June 2019
MizMaa hosted Fang Fenglei Founding Partner & Chairman of Hopu Investments

MizMaa had the honor to host Mr. Fang Fenglei, Founding Partner & Chairman of Hopu Investments, and his team. Hopu is an important China-based alternative asset manager. They recently completed their first Israeli investment. MizMaa facilitated an intimate three-day session, with early stage Israeli technological companies, and key political thinkers, past and present.

Building The Thesis

In this newsletter we will focus on two emerging trends and how they impact the MizMaa portfolio.

The Facebook-Libra Announcement

How will it affect the Saga coin?

The Future of Maritime autonomy

How to invest in the blue ocean of the Maritime industry?

The Facebook-Libra Announcement

Last month, Facebook announced its cryptocurrency Libra and a global association of organizations that will govern it.

The move, which has been expected for a while, represents a big endorsement for cryptocurrency and the underlying technology of blockchain, which is a secure, transparent, and decentralized digital ledger. Blockchain provides a trusted accounting system to enable cryptocurrency transactions, and Facebook hopes to use it to empower billions of people to use a simple global currency.

Facebook’s Libra is another phase in the efforts to create global money. 

How will Facebook's announcement affect Saga?

Saga is a global digital stable coin, founded by economists and technological experts and backed by MizMaa a year ago.
While Saga and Libra are extremely similar in many core aspects (KYC, regulation, monetary model, etc.), there are fundamental differences between them. Here is a quick view of the differentiators between the coins:

Monetary differentiators:

Libra has not yet declared which basket of currencies it would be pegged to, and will only decide after the launch of the coin. The decision will be taken by the members of the  Libra Association, nominated by Facebook.

• Saga, on the other hand, published its monetary model, validated by world-renowned experts, and subjects any change of the model thereof to the decision of its holders.

Facebook also doesn’t clarify under which circumstances it will change the composition of the basket.

Saga declared the IMF’s SDR as its selected basket of currencies and is not considering any changes to this basket as it is not in its hands to change. This means greater stability for its users.

Governance differentiators:

Libra’s model gives the Founding Members and the investment token holders full control over the currency.

• In Saga, the economy participants are the sovereign of the currency. The ultimate power sits with the participants, that can veto the most fundamental decisions and call for a new election for the council.

Technological differentiators:

Saga operates over public and permissionless blockchain. Saga has no control over which transactions are executed and participants don't have to trust Saga, thanks to the nature of the decentralised processing.

Libra runs on its own private and permission-based blockchain  which means that only Facebook and its commercial partners will have the ability to initiate and validate transactions. Users will have to trust they are doing so impartially.

In many senses, Libra acts as a major validator of Saga’s vision (and the global currency vision). The market is now much more open to discussion about cryptocurrencies, monetary models and governance frameworks. 

The key differentiators between Saga and Libra pose a great opportunity for Saga to serve as an alternative to players who will prefer not to entrust their resources to Facebook’s centralised Libra.

Should Libra come to market and be widely adopted by consumers, it would widen the centralised and unchecked power of Facebook and increase its access to and employment of user data - extending it to their livelihoods and financial habits. Data Facebook would surely monetize.

Whereas Libra will become available during 2020 and is yet to face many more regulatory and product developments, Saga’s product is ready to launch, awaiting final approval from the Swiss and British authorities.

The Future of Maritime

“Autonomous shipping is the future of the maritime industry. As disruptive as the smartphone, the smart ship will revolutionise the landscape of ship design and operations” - Mikael Makinen, President Rolls Royce Marine

As an industry that exists for thousands of years, Maritime has always been one of the central players in the game of humanity progress. Yet, while in the past hundred years technology has transformed old industries through big revolutions, the Maritime industry has been left behind, progressing through slow evolutions.

While taking a look at the fundamentals of the Maritime industry, the potential revolution is right around the corner.

The maritime industry could be an ecosystem, where decision-making is based on big data, smart algorithms, AI and optimization - technologies which are already disrupting other industries into their own revolutions (Industry 4.0, Smart cities, Autonomous connected cars etc.). The maritime industry had already started to digitize, with sensors, screens, communication protocols etc. This enables what could be one of the most fertile markets for disruption, and later to become the next revolution.

Some well known companies have already started:

Samsung & AWS: In early August, major shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (a subsidiary of Samsung) announced that it is using Amazon’s AWS cloud services to build an autonomous shipping platform.

Rolls Royce, Kongsberg, & Wilhelmsen: Rolls-Royce sold its autonomous marine division to Norwegian maritime equipment supplier Kongsberg for approximately $660M in June 2018. 

Kongsberg is seeking to become a leader in autonomous shipping. The company partnered with shipping supplier Wilhelmsen to start a new autonomous shipping venture named Massterly in Spring 2018. 

Wartsila: Acquired Transas for $300M. Transas leverages the latest in machine learning and AI to create a unified cloud-based platform for managing operations across the entire marine ecosystem. 

So, what is stopping us from seeing connected autonomous ships around the world?

The Maritime industry is confronting three main barriers towards this revolution:

  1. Reliability and Safety
  2. Cost efficiency
  3. Regulations

As far as regulations - it is a matter of time before the world adjusts and instates new regulations. Before that can happen, the leaders of this industry such as Maersk, MSC and CMA will need to find technologies that will overcome the other two barriers - Reliability/Safety and Cost efficiency.

That is where MizMaa sees the potential in investing in new companies. Israel has already proven itself to be a pioneer in the automotive space, leading the way towards reliable and cost effective L4-L5 autonomous vehicles. By building an ecosystem around the automotive industry, Israeli startups became leaders in this space. The combination of the technological talent and the advanced IDF Navy gave MizMaa the confidence to invest in Orca AI.

Co-Founded by MizMaa, IDF Navy officers and Computer Vision experts, Orca AI is building what would essentially be the “brain” for autonomous ships. Empowered by AI, Orca AI helps the captain get an accurate view of the environment in real time, and make life-altering decisions.