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Panasonic Signs Joint Business Development Agreement with Startup Linkwiz to Enhance Welding Processes in Manufacturing

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OSAKA, Japan–On June 17, 2019, Panasonic Corporation (TOKYO: 6752) announced that it has signed a joint business development agreement with Linkwiz, Inc. — a startup company specializing in the development and sales of autonomous robotic system software and technical consulting — to develop solutions to enhance welding processes in the manufacturing field. The agreement is being undertaken by Panasonic’s Connected Solutions Company.

Under its “Gemba Process Innovation” vision, Panasonic is expanding its B2B solutions business. “The ‘gemba,’ or physical site for frontline operations, is where value is generated and problems must be confronted,” explained Yasu Higuchi, CEO of the Connected Solutions Company. “By applying our 100-years of experience and expertise gained in the manufacturing industry with our sensing technologies and edge devices, Panasonic aims to co-create with our customers and partners to solve problems at the gemba. We are advancing the Gemba Process Innovation vision with offerings to the three main areas of manufacturing, logistics and retail.”

In recent years, these industries in Japan in particular are facing pressure to improve and innovate processes as they become impacted by societal issues including a rapidly declining labor force, stagnant productivity, a drastic increase in the volume of logistics, a shift to a smarter and more automated society, and demand for work style reforms. Under such conditions, especially in the welding processes for automotive manufacturing, there is a shortage of expert workers due to difficulties in passing on technical knowledge. Moreover, with heightened environmental concern driving the expanded use of EVs, there are additional challenges to make vehicles lighter in weight and higher in strength by integrating new materials; and from a safety standpoint, to maintain a high level of quality over the long term and to strictly control manufacturing traceability.

Panasonic began its welding equipment business in 1957, and over the past 60 years has been providing welding systems and robots for the automotive, construction machinery and shipbuilding industries. On its side, Linkwiz has been developing and selling industrial-use robot control system software which utilizes proprietary algorithms. Linkwiz’s main products include software to control robots used for welding and paint application, and software for conducting automated inspection of each piece coming off a production line. Linkwiz’s products have already been adopted by a number of major enterprise customers.

Through this collaboration, Panasonic will combine its expertise in manufacturing operations cultivated over its long history with Linkwiz’s knowhow in autonomous robotic system software to optimize welding processes in the three stages of cutting, welding and inspection; and through this, make a contribution to the advancement of the manufacturing industry by addressing the pressing issues of labor shortage and quality enhancement.

Panasonic plans to further expand its partner ecosystem in order to promote its Gemba Process Innovation vision, becoming a total integrator for frontline operations in diverse fields.

Linkwiz Overview

Company name: Linkwiz, Inc.
Founded: March 2015
Headquarters: Hamamatsu city, Shizuoka pref., Japan
Representative: President: Go Fukino
Operations: Development and sales of autonomous robotic system software and technical consulting
Website:

https://Linkwiz.co.jp/en

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. The company, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018, has expanded globally and now operates 582 subsidiaries and 87 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 8.003 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2019. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers. To learn more about Panasonic:
https://www.panasonic.com/global.

Contacts

Panasonic Corporation
Global Communications Department
Global PR Office

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Arieli EL to Acquires a 59.1% Stake in Elron Ventures, a Leading Cybersecurity and B2B Software Holding Company, for $53.2M

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The acquisition underscores the continued strength of the Israeli cyber and B2B software, where cyber exits accounted for 51% of total tech transactions in 2023. Lisya Bahar-Manoah is leading the acquisition and has joined Arieli EL as Managing Partner.

NEW YORK and TEL AVIV, Israel, July 22, 2024 — Arieli EL, part of the Arieli group of companies, has today announced the acquisition of a 59.1% stake in veteran cyber and B2B software holding company Elron Ventures (TASE: ELRN) for $53.2 million from Discount Investment Corporation Ltd. This acquisition highlights the significant market opportunities within the Israeli ecosystem, especially in cybersecurity and defense. Lisya Bahar-Manoah, Managing Partner at Arieli EL, is leading the acquisition of Elron Ventures (Elron).

Gartner forecasts that security and risk management spending will reach over $200 billion globally in 2024, representing a 14.3% year-over-year growth. This trend demonstrates the growing importance of cybersecurity, a sector where Israel, home to over 500 cybersecurity companies, is regarded as a global leader.

“The gap between real-time cyber solutions and evolving cyber threats is a critical challenge,” said Lisya Bahar-Manoah, Managing Partner at Arieli EL. “In 2023, there were more than 300 million victims of cybercrime globally, with data breaches rising by 78% in the US alone. Israeli cybersecurity exits in 2023 grew by 65% totalling $7.1 billion, and we see this trajectory only gathering pace in 2024 as demonstrated by reports of Google’s acquisition of Wiz for $23 billion. We are excited to be partnering with Elron’s team as well as Elron’s joint venture with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Rafael) to further contribute to this sector and continue building innovative solutions for sustained growth.”

Elron Ventures has over $250 million in assets under management (AUM) and its portfolio includes over 19 companies across the cybersecurity, B2B Software, and health-tech spaces. Since 2010, Elron’s portfolio has had 15 exits, totaling $2.2B. Notable portfolio companies include: Cynerio, a healthcare cybersecurity company, ensures patient safety and data protection by securing the connected medical device ecosystem; Cybersixgill, developing automated threat intelligence solutions across the clear, deep, and dark web; Cyvers, offering a real-time platform for detecting and mitigating cyber attacks on cryptocurrency and digital assets; IRONSCALES, an automated phishing prevention, detection & response platform; Sayata, automating insurance company processes; Red Access, providing the first agentless platform to secure all browsing activities of corporate employees on any browser, web app or cloud service and Scribe Security, providing a comprehensive solution to secure software supply chains.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to combine our joint experience and know-how in nurturing Israeli tech ventures throughout all stages of growth with Arieli’s vast global network to provide the platform for our portfolio’s success,” said Dan Hoz, Chairman of the Elron Venture’s board.

About Arieli EL

Arieli EL, part of the Arieli group of companies, addresses global challenges with a forward-thinking investment strategy. Arieli EL has deep roots in the global family office space, specializing in High-tech and Healthcare investments. Arieli EL strives to provide family offices and institutional investors with access to unique opportunities while providing portfolio companies access to our global network.

About Arieli Capital

Arieli Capital (Arieli) is a multifaceted global investment firm that is an active investor and partner in the next generation of technology companies. Arieli Capital continuously strives to identify and support companies creating real impact while keeping financial returns as the primary objective. Arieli is a recognized global leader in innovation, creating  and operating  programs across governmental, academic and corporate partnerships.

About Elron Ventures

Elron Ventures is a leading early-stage investor committed to turning promising ideas into global industry leaders, with a proven track record of investments and successful M&As worldwide. Elron invests in cyber security and B2B software.

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Internet Service Provider Omni Fiber announces $150 Million in financing from Stonepeak Credit to continue rapid expansion in the Midwest

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Omni Fiber, a regional Fiber Internet Service Provider with operations in over 25 markets in Ohio and Pennsylvania backed by Oak Hill Capital, today announced the closing of $150 million in debt financing from Stonepeak Credit.

Founded in 2022 by management and Oak Hill, Omni Fiber has invested over $250 million in building an XGS-PON fiber network and is on track to reach approximately 200,000 locations by the end of the year. The financing from Stonepeak Credit will fund rapid expansion into more communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Omni Fiber launched its service in late 2022 and now serves residential and business customers in over 25 small and mid-size communities. Construction is in progress in over 15 additional communities, and network design and engineering activities are ongoing in many others.

Omni Fiber’s founding CEO, Darrick Zucco said, “We are excited about the additional opportunities this financing enables. The company’s network expansion not only brings choice to communities with limited options for reliable, ultra-high-speed Internet service but also creates hundreds of new jobs at Omni Fiber and local contractors. The halo effect on economic development for the impacted towns is significant.”

Scott Baker, Managing Partner at Oak Hill Capital, added “It has been a uniquely rewarding experience to partner with Darrick and his talented leadership team. We are thrilled by the rapid growth of Omni Fiber and are committed to continuing investing behind the team as they expand their fiber services to underserved markets in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.”

Ryan Roberge, Senior Managing Director at Stonepeak, added “We are proud to partner with Omni Fiber and Oak Hill Capital to support Omni’s next phase of growth. Our team was thoroughly impressed with Darrick and the rest of Omni’s management team and their plans to expand Omni’s next generation fiber network to additional communities in the Midwest. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Omni and Oak Hill Capital over the long-term.”

With the additional funding, Omni Fiber expects to accelerate the pace of expansion and announce more communities in the next few months.

About Omni Fiber
Omni Fiber was founded in 2022 and is backed by Oak Hill Capital, one of the largest investment firms in the telecommunications industry. Based in Ohio, Omni Fiber is led by a leadership team with 100+ years of combined industry experience and provides 100% fiber-optic broadband Internet, TV, and Phone services to residential and business customers in the Midwestern United States. Omni Fiber offers symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbps, no hidden fees, no data caps, Premium Wi-Fi included, local customer service, and competitive pricing.

About Oak Hill Capital
Oak Hill is a longstanding private equity firm focused on the North America middle-market. Oak Hill applies a specialized, theme-based approach to investing in the following dedicated industry sectors: Media & Communications, Industrials, Services, and Consumer. The Firm implements a highly systematic approach to theme development, proactive origination, and value creation in partnership with management to build franchises of lasting value. Over the past 35+ years, Oak Hill and its predecessors have raised approximately $20 billion of initial capital commitments and co-investments, invested in approximately 100 companies, and completed more than 300 add-on acquisitions representing an aggregate enterprise value at acquisition of over $60 billion.

About Stonepeak
Stonepeak is a leading alternative investment firm specializing in infrastructure and real assets with approximately $71.2 billion of assets under management. Through its investment in defensive, hard-asset businesses globally, Stonepeak aims to create value for its investors and portfolio companies, with a focus on downside protection and strong risk-adjusted returns. Stonepeak provides capital, operational support, and committed partnership to grow investments in its target sectors, which include communications, energy and energy transition, transport and logistics, and real estate.

Stonepeak is a sponsor of private equity and credit investment vehicles. Stonepeak Credit provides credit solutions to infrastructure sponsors and companies.

Stonepeak is headquartered in New York with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, London, Singapore, and Sydney.

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Schoox Partners with learning content aggregator Go1 to Offer Content for Every Learning Style

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Schoox customers gain access to Go1’s diverse content formats available in 14 languages.

Learning management and talent development software provider Schoox announced a new partnership with Go1, the most diverse learning content aggregator, to seamlessly integrate Go1’s library within the Schoox platform. Meticulously curated by a team of experts, Go1’s learning content features courses from more than 250 industry-leading providers, bolstering Schoox’s LMS offering.

“We are excited to provide our customers with access to Go1’s content library. This will enable their employees to engage with a variety of styles, formats, and languages that cater to their learning preferences.” —Lefteris Ntouanoglou, Schoox

Go1’s high-quality education and training options span a global array of industries and topics across compliance and upskilling. Organizations can offer their employees the skills and training most relevant to them in various formats, from text-based content to video and audio courses. Content can be curated into skill-boosting playlists designed to tackle any learning challenge head-on.

“We are proud to offer learning opportunities that allow our customers to reimagine learning and development,” said Chris Eigeland, CEO of Go1. “Our content powers learning programs with the most diverse learning and compliance training content and enables employees to take learning into their own hands for personal and professional growth.”

“Every individual learner is unique,” said Lefteris Ntouanoglou, founder and CEO of Schoox. “We are excited to provide our customers with access to Go1’s content library. This will enable their employees to engage with a variety of styles, formats, and languages that cater to their learning preferences.”

Go1’s formats include micro-learning, immersive courses, podcasts, practice labs, and more. Together, Go1 and Schoox serve up essential content solutions that learning and development teams worldwide need to flourish.

About Go1

Go1 is the most diverse learning content aggregator. With expertly curated content spanning more than 80,000 courses from hundreds of industry-leading providers, Go1 delivers a seamless experience for both L&D leaders and employees in a single subscription. The company has raised over $400 million in funding from investors AirTree Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Five Sigma, Insight Partners, Madrona, Salesforce Ventures, SEEK Investments, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Y Combinator. Go1 is a Y Combinator 2023 Top Company that provides a seamless learning experience in over 70 learning platforms.

About Schoox

Schoox is workplace learning software with a people-first twist. People aren’t cogs, and Schoox was designed for how humans actually learn. We keep learners curious by letting you deliver more kinds of content wherever they are, from the front line to the corporate office. And by making learning easy, accessible, rewarding, and fun, we help you get everyone more excited about their career development. Learners can “up” their skills, grow on the job, and get more done—and you can measure the impact of their awesome accomplishments. Schoox powers people-focused learning experiences for organizations around the world, including Subway, Celebrity Cruises, Phillips 66, and Sonesta Hotels.

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