Weka raises $140m at $1.6b valuation

Liran Zvibel credit: Weka
Liran Zvibel credit: Weka

The financing round includes a $40 million secondary component that will benefit about 200 employees of the Israeli AI data platform company.

Israeli AI data platform company Weka has announced the completion of a $140 million oversubscribed Series E financing round, at a company valuation of $1.6 billion. The company has become a unicorn, more than doubling its valuation of $750 million, when it raised $135 million in November 2022. This latest financing round brings to $400 million, the total amount raised by Weka since it was founded.

An estimated 200 of the company's 400 employees will benefit from a $40 million secondary component in the financing round as the company's founders CEO Liran Zvibel, Omri Palmon, and Maor Ben-Dayan decided to minimize their participation in the round so that veteran employees can receive remuneration for their shares. 125 of the company's 400 employees work at Weka's development center in Tel Aviv and the company plans hiring several dozen more employees with the new funds.

The financing round was led by Valor Equity Partners with participation of Nvidia, Atreides Management, Generation Investment Management, Qualcomm Ventures, and Hitachi Ventures as well as Israeli investors including the Key 1 Capital growth fund Ibex Investors, and MoreTech Ventures.

Weka and its Israeli rival VAST Data have grown at an extremely rapid pace by providing infrastructure to huge organizations and AI consumers and helping them to manage their data storage in an optimal way across their public and private clouds, while managing communication between the clouds in the fastest possible way.

The rise of AI has emphasized the need for more effective and faster data management for critical operations such as training models or running them, and the Israeli companies recognized the opportunity, expanded their product offerings accordingly, and have deepened their cooperation with companies identified with AI such as Nvidia.

Last November VAST Data raised $118 million at a $9 billion company valuation, making it one of Israel's biggest privately-held tech companies. Although it is some way behind, now Weka has joined the unicorn club. Estimates are that Weka's annual recurring revenue (ARR) - a figure that reflects how revenue will look at the end of the year if the company keeps to its current rate - is about $100 million, about 50% of VAST Data's estimated $200 million ARR.

Zvibel tells "Globes" that the AI era is only just beginning. He says, "Real implementation of AI is being carried out today mainly in startups, and now we will see the large corporations starting to invest in AI. The crazy investment that you see in startups will seep into the rest of the market and when that happens we will start to see the big growth in the market. You can see the significant increase in the market value of the AI companies that are strongly pushing this trend. They, and we too, benefit from the growth that exists today from the use of graphic processors."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 15, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Liran Zvibel credit: Weka
Liran Zvibel credit: Weka
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