SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, DC 20549
the fiscal year ended
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Translation of registrant’s name into English: Not applicable
|(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)||(Address of principal executive offices)|
Chief Executive Officer
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class to be registered||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which each|
class is to be registered
|Warrants to purchase ordinary shares, par value NIS 0.01 per share||RVSNW||The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC|
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None
of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of December 31, 2022:
by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐
this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section
13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act of 1934. Yes ☐
by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act during
the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject
to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule
405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company.
|Large accelerated filer ☐||Accelerated filer ☐|
|Emerging Growth Company |
an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant
has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant
to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.
†The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness
of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered
public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing.
|☒||International Financial Reporting |
Standards as issued by the International
Accounting Standards Board ☐
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow. ☐ Item 17 ☐ Item 18
this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company. Yes ☐ No
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|EMERGING GROWTH COMPANY STATUS||iv|
|CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS||vi|
|MARKET, INDUSTRY, AND OTHER DATA||vii|
|ITEM 1.||IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS||1|
|ITEM 2.||OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE||1|
|ITEM 3.||KEY INFORMATION||1|
|B.||Capitalization and Indebtedness||1|
|C.||Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds||1|
|ITEM 4.||INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY||21|
|A.||History and Development of the Company||21|
|D.||Property, Plants and Equipment||36|
|ITEM 4A.||UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS||36|
|ITEM 5.||OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS||36|
|B.||Liquidity and Capital Resources||39|
|C.||Research and Development, Patents and Licenses||42|
|E.||Critical Accounting Estimates||42|
|ITEM 6.||DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES||43|
|A.||Directors and Senior Management||43|
|ITEM 7.||MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS||61|
|B.||Related Party Transactions||63|
|C.||Interests of Experts and Counsel||64|
|ITEM 8.||FINANCIAL INFORMATION||64|
|A.||Statements and Other Financial Information||64|
|ITEM 9.||THE OFFER AND LISTING||65|
|A.||Offer and Listing Details||65|
|B.||Plan of Distribution||65|
|F.||Expenses of the Issue||65|
|ITEM 10.||ADDITIONAL INFORMATION||65|
|B.||Articles of Association||65|
|F.||Dividends and Paying Agents||75|
|G.||Statement by Experts||75|
|H.||Documents on Display||75|
|ITEM 11.||QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK||76|
|ITEM 12.||DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES||76|
|B.||Warrants and rights||76|
|D.||American Depositary Shares||76|
|ITEM 13.||DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES||77|
|ITEM 14.||MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS||77|
|ITEM 15.||CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES||77|
|ITEM 16A.||AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT||78|
|ITEM 16B.||CODE OF ETHICS||78|
|ITEM 16C.||PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES||79|
|ITEM 16D.||EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES||79|
|ITEM 16E.||PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS||79|
|ITEM 16F.||CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT||79|
|ITEM 16G.||CORPORATE GOVERNANCE||79|
|ITEM 16H.||MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE||81|
|ITEM 16I||DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS||81|
|ITEM 17.||FINANCIAL STATEMENTS||82|
|ITEM 18.||FINANCIAL STATEMENTS||82|
Unless the context otherwise requires, references in this Annual Report on Form 20-F to the “Company,” “Rail Vision,” “we,” “us,” “our” and other similar designations refer to Rail Vision Ltd. All references to “shares” or “ordinary shares” are to our ordinary shares, NIS 0.01 par value per share. All references to “Israel” are to the State of Israel. “U.S. GAAP” means the generally accepted accounting principles of the United States. Unless otherwise stated, all of our financial information presented in this Annual Report has been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Any discrepancies in any table between totals and sums of the amounts listed are due to rounding. Unless otherwise indicated, or the context otherwise requires, references in this Annual Report to financial and operational data for a particular year refer to the fiscal year of our company ended December 31 of that year.
Our reporting currency and financial currency is the U.S. dollar. In this Annual Report, “NIS” means New Israeli Shekel, and “$,” “US$” and “U.S. dollars” mean United States dollars.
EMERGING GROWTH COMPANY STATUS
We qualify as an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the U.S. Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or JOBS Act, and we may take advantage of certain exemptions, including exemptions from various reporting requirements that are otherwise applicable to public traded entities that do not qualify as emerging growth companies. These exemptions include:
|●||not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; and|
|●||not being required to comply with any requirement that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements (i.e., an auditor discussion and analysis).|
Section 107 of the JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, for complying with new or revised accounting standards. We have elected to irrevocably opt out of this extended transition period and, as a result, we are required to comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for non-emerging growth companies. Under federal securities laws, our decision to opt out of the extended transition period is irrevocable.
We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of: (i) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion; (ii) the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of our initial public offering (i.e., December 31, 2027); (iii) the date that we become a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Exchange Act, which would occur if the aggregate worldwide market value of our ordinary shares, including ordinary shares represented by warrants, held by non-affiliates is at least $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter; or (iv) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities during any three-year period.
We own or have rights to trademarks, service marks and trade names that we use in connection with the operation of our business, including our corporate name, logos and website names. Other trademarks, service marks and trade names appearing in this Annual Report on Form 20-F are the property of their respective owners. Solely for convenience, some of the trademarks, service marks and trade names referred to in this Annual Report on Form 20-F are listed without the ® and ™ symbols, but we will assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights to our trademarks, service marks and trade names.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain information included or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report may be deemed to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other securities laws. Forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “continue,” “believe,” “should,” “intend,” “project” or other similar words, but are not the only way these statements are identified.
These forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements relating to our objectives, plans and strategies, statements that contain projections of results of operations or of financial condition, expected capital needs and expenses, statements relating to the research, development, completion and use of our products, and all statements (other than statements of historical facts) that address activities, events or developments that we intend, expect, project, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future.
Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties. We have based these forward-looking statements on assumptions and assessments made by our management in light of their experience and their perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors they believe to be appropriate.
Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Many factors could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the factors summarized below:
|●||our lack of operating history;|
|●||our current and future capital requirements;|
|●||our ability to manufacture, market and sell our products and to generate revenues;|
|●||our ability to maintain our relationships with key partners and grow relationships with new partners;|
|●||our ability to maintain or protect the validity of our U.S. and other patents and other intellectual property;|
|●||our ability to launch and penetrate markets in new locations and new market segments;|
|●||our ability to retain key executive members and hire additional personnel;|
|●||our ability to maintain and expand intellectual property rights;|
|●||interpretations of current laws and the passages of future laws;|
|●||our ability to achieve greater regulatory compliance needed in existing and new markets;|
|●||the overall demand for passenger and freight transport;|
|●||our ability to achieve key performance milestones in our planned operational testing;|
|●||our ability to establish adequate sales, marketing and distribution channels;|
|●||acceptance of our business model by investors; and|
|●||those factors referred to in “Item 3.D. Risk Factors,” “Item 4. Information on the Company,” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects,” as well as in this Annual Report on Form 20-F generally.|
These statements are only current predictions and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our or our industry’s actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those anticipated by the forward-looking statements. We discuss many of these risks in this Annual Report on Form 20-F in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 20-F. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events.
Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements. Except as required by law, we are under no duty to update or revise any of the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this Annual Report on Form 20-F.
MARKET, INDUSTRY AND OTHER DATA
Market data and certain industry data and forecasts used throughout this Annual Report on Form 20-F were obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, including market research databases, publicly available information, reports of governmental agencies, and industry publications and surveys. We have relied on certain data from third party sources, including industry forecasts and market research, which we believe to be reliable based on our management’s knowledge of the industry. While we are not aware of any misstatements regarding the industry data presented in this Annual Report on Form 20-F, our estimates involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 20-F.
Statements made in this Annual Report on Form 20-F concerning the contents of any agreement, contract or other document are summaries of such agreements, contracts or documents and are not a complete description of all of their terms. If we filed any of these agreements, contracts or documents as exhibits to this Report or to any previous filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, you may read the document itself for a complete understanding of its terms.
ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS
ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION
B. Capitalization and Indebtedness
C. Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
D. Risk Factors
You should carefully consider the risks described below, together with all of the other information in this Annual Report on Form 20-F. The risks and uncertainties described below are those significant risk factors, currently known and specific to us, that we believe are relevant to an investment in our securities. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we now deem immaterial may also harm us. If any of these risks materialize our business, results of operations or financial condition could suffer, and the price of our ordinary shares could decline substantially.
Summary Risk Factors
Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those highlighted in the section titled “Risk Factors” below. These risks include, among others, the following:
Risks Related to Our Financial Condition and Capital Requirements
|●||We are a development-stage company and have a limited operating history on which to assess the prospects for our business, have incurred significant losses since the date of our inception, and anticipate that we will continue to incur significant losses until we are able to successfully commercialize our products.|
|●||We have not generated significant revenue from the sale of our current products and may never be profitable.|
|●||We expect that we will need to invest significant time and raise substantial additional capital before we can expect to become profitable from sales of our products. This additional capital may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Failure to obtain this necessary capital when needed may force us to delay, limit or terminate our product development efforts or other operations. Raising additional capital would cause dilution to our existing shareholders, and may affect the rights of existing shareholders.|
|●||The report of our independent registered public accounting firm contains an explanatory paragraph regarding substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.|
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
|●||We depend entirely on the success of our current products in development, we may not be able to successfully introduce these products and commercialize them, and we may not be able to successfully manage our planned growth, and our operating results and financial condition may fluctuate. Defects in products could give rise to product returns or product liability, warranty or other claims that could result in material expenses, diversion of management time and attention, and damage to our reputation.|
|●||Our business may be adversely affected by changes in railway safety regulations.|
|●||Our business may be subject to risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic which has had an impact our business.|
|●||Under applicable employment laws, we may not be able to enforce covenants not to compete and therefore may be unable to prevent our competitors from benefiting from the expertise of some of our former employees.|
|●||The markets in which we participate are competitive and our failure to compete successfully could cause any future revenues and the demand for our products not to materialize or to decline over time.|
|●||If our relationships with suppliers for our products and services, especially with single source suppliers of components of our products, were to terminate or our manufacturing arrangements were to be disrupted, our business could be interrupted.|
|●||Our planned international operations will expose us to additional market and operational risks, and failure to manage these risks may adversely affect our business and operating results.|
|●||Significant disruptions of our information technology systems or breaches of our data security could adversely affect our business. Additionally, we are subject to data ownership and privacy regulations which may expose us to lawsuits and sanctions for violations.|
|●||We are exposed to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.|
|●||Certain events, developments, or social media posts and interactions may impact our reputation.|
|●||Our business, operating results and growth rates may be adversely affected by current or future unfavorable economic and market conditions and adverse developments with respect to financial institutions and associated liquidity risk.|
|●||Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues, including those related to climate change and sustainability, may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and damage our reputation.|
Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property
|●||If we are unable to obtain and maintain effective patent rights for our products, we may not be able to compete effectively in our markets. If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our trade secrets or know-how, such proprietary information may be used by others to compete against us, affecting our ability to compete.|
|●||We may be involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our intellectual property, which could be expensive, time consuming, and unsuccessful and we may be subject to claims challenging the inventorship of our intellectual property, and we may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.|
Risks Related to the Ownership of Our Securities
|●||Our principal shareholders, officers and directors beneficially own approximately 64.0% of our ordinary shares. They will therefore be able to exert significant control over matters submitted to our shareholders for approval, which could limit your ability to influence the outcome of key transactions, including a change of control, and which may result in conflicts with us or you in the future.|
|●||Certain of our directors have relationships with our principal shareholders, which may cause conflicts of interest with respect to our business.|
|●||As a “foreign private issuer” we are permitted, and intend, to follow certain home country corporate governance practices instead of otherwise applicable SEC and Nasdaq requirements, which may result in less protection than is accorded to investors under rules applicable to domestic U.S. issuers.|
|●||We may be a “passive foreign investment company,” or PFIC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes in the current taxable year or may be one in any subsequent taxable year. There generally would be negative tax consequences for U.S. taxpayers that are holders of our ordinary shares if we are or were to become a PFIC.|
|●||We may be subject to securities litigation, which is expensive and could divert management attention.|
Risks Related to Israeli Law and Our Incorporation, Location and Operations in Israel
|●||Provisions of Israeli law and our articles of association may delay, prevent or otherwise impede a merger with, or an acquisition of, our company, even when the terms of such a transaction are favorable to us and our shareholders.|
|●||Your rights and responsibilities as a holder of our securities are governed by Israeli law, which differs in some material respects from the rights and responsibilities of shareholders of U.S. companies.|
|●||It may be difficult to enforce a judgment of a U.S. court against us and our officers and directors and the Israeli experts named in this Annual Report in Israel or the United States, to assert U.S. securities laws claims in Israel or to serve process on our officers and directors and these experts.|
|●||Our headquarters, research and development and other significant operations are located in Israel, and, therefore, our results may be adversely affected by political, economic and military instability in Israel.|
|●||Our operations may be disrupted as a result of the obligation of management or key personnel to perform military service.|
Risks Related to Our Financial Condition and Capital Requirements
We are a development-stage company and have a limited operating history on which to assess the prospects for our business, have incurred significant losses since the date of our inception, and anticipate that we will continue to incur significant losses until we are able to successfully commercialize our products.
We are a development-stage company with a limited operating history. We have incurred net losses since our inception in 2016, including net losses of approximately $10.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2022. As of December 31, 2022, we had an accumulated deficit of approximately $54.8 million.
We have devoted substantially all of our financial resources to develop our solutions. We have financed our operations primarily through the issuance of equity securities. The amount of our future net losses will depend, in part, on completing the development of our products, the rate of our future expenditures and our ability to obtain funding through the issuance of our securities, strategic collaborations or grants. We expect to continue to incur significant losses until we are able to successfully commercialize our products. We anticipate that our expenses will increase substantially if and as we:
|●||continue the development and testing of our products;|
|●||establish a sales, marketing, and distribution infrastructure to commercialize our products;|
|●||seek to identify, assess, acquire, license, and/or develop other products and subsequent generations of our current products;|
|●||seek to maintain, protect, and expand our intellectual property portfolio;|
|●||seek to attract and retain skilled personnel; and|
|●||create additional infrastructure to support our operations as a public company and our product development and planned future commercialization efforts.|
We have not generated significant revenue from the sale of our current products and may never be profitable.
We have not yet generated significant revenues since the date of our inception. Our first revenues were recorded in our unaudited interim condensed financial statements for the period ended June 30, 2021. Our ability to generate revenue and achieve profitability depends on our ability to successfully complete the development of, and to commercialize, our products. Our ability to generate future revenue from product sales depends heavily on our success in many areas, including but not limited to:
|●||completing development and testing of our products;|
|●||establishing and maintaining supply and manufacturing relationships with third parties that can provide adequate (in amount and quality) products to support market demand for our products;|
|●||launching and commercializing products, either directly or with a collaborator or distributor;|
|●||addressing any competing technological and market developments;|
|●||identifying, assessing, acquiring and/or developing new products;|
|●||negotiating favorable terms in any collaboration, licensing or other arrangements into which we may enter;|
|●||maintaining, protecting and expanding our portfolio of intellectual property rights, including patents, trade secrets and know-how; and|
|●||attracting, hiring and retaining qualified personnel.|
We expect that we will need to invest significant time and raise substantial additional capital before we can expect to become profitable from sales of our products. This additional capital may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Failure to obtain this necessary capital when needed may force us to delay, limit or terminate our product development efforts or other operations.
We expect that we will need to invest significant time and require substantial additional capital to commercialize our products. In addition, our operating plans may change as a result of many factors that may currently be unknown to us, and we may need to seek additional funds sooner than planned. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including but not limited to:
|●||the scope, rate of progress, results and cost of product development, testing and other related activities;|
|●||the cost of establishing commercial supplies of our products;|
|●||the cost and timing of establishing sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities; and|
|●||the terms and timing of any collaborative, licensing, and other arrangements that we may establish.|
Any additional fundraising efforts may divert our management from their day-to-day activities, which may adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize our products. In addition, we cannot guarantee that future financing will be available, when needed, in sufficient amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all. Moreover, the terms of any financing may adversely affect the holdings or the rights of our shareholders and the issuance of additional securities, whether equity or debt, by us, or the possibility of such issuance, may cause the market price of our ordinary shares to decline. The incurrence of indebtedness could result in increased fixed payment obligations, and we may be required to agree to certain restrictive covenants, such as limitations on our ability to incur additional debt, limitations on our ability to acquire, sell or license intellectual property rights and other operating restrictions that could adversely impact our ability to conduct our business. We could also be required to seek funds through arrangements with collaborative partners or otherwise at an earlier stage than otherwise would be desirable, and we may be required to relinquish rights to some of our technologies or products or otherwise agree to terms unfavorable to us, any of which may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and prospects. Even if we believe that we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans, we may seek additional capital if market conditions are favorable or if we have specific strategic considerations.
If we are unable to obtain funding on a timely basis, we may be required to significantly curtail, delay or discontinue one or more of our research or development programs or the commercialization of our products or be unable to expand our operations or otherwise capitalize on our business opportunities, as desired, which could materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Raising additional capital would cause dilution to our existing shareholders, and may affect the rights of existing shareholders.
We may seek additional capital through a combination of private and public equity offerings, debt financings and collaborations and strategic and licensing arrangements. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the issuance of equity or convertible debt securities, your ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a holder of our ordinary shares.
The report of our independent registered public accounting firm contains an explanatory paragraph regarding substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.
The report of our independent registered public accounting firm on our audited financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2022 contains an explanatory paragraph regarding substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. Our financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of the uncertainty regarding our ability to continue as a going concern. This going concern opinion could materially limit our ability to raise additional funds through the issuance of equity or debt securities or otherwise. Further reports on our financial statements may include an explanatory paragraph with respect to our ability to continue as a going concern. If we cannot continue as a going concern, our investors may lose their entire investment in our ordinary shares.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
We depend entirely on the success of our current products in development, and we may not be able to successfully introduce these products and commercialize them.
We have invested almost all of our efforts and financial resources in the research, development and testing of our products in development. As a result, our business is entirely dependent on our ability to complete the development of, and to successfully commercialize, our product candidates. The process of development and commercialization is long, complex, costly and uncertain of outcome. While we have several ongoing tests with train operators through which we hope to demonstrate our technology, we cannot assure you that any of these programs will result in subsequent sales of our products.
Defects in products could give rise to product returns or product liability, warranty or other claims that could result in material expenses, diversion of management time and attention, and damage to our reputation.
Even if we are successful in introducing our products to the market, our products may contain undetected defects or errors that, despite testing, are not discovered until after a product has been used. Specifically, our safety device is complex and could have, or could be alleged to have, defects in design or manufacturing or other errors or failures. This could result in delayed market acceptance of those products, claims from distributors, end-users or others, increased end-user service and support costs and warranty claims, damage to our reputation and business, or significant costs to correct the defect or error. Furthermore, we face a risk of exposure to claims in the event that our products are used in connection with autonomous train operations, and do not perform as expected or experience a malfunction that results in personal injury or death.
Any claim brought against us, regardless of its merit, could result in material expense, diversion of management time and attention, and damage to our reputation, and could cause us to fail to retain or attract customers.
We currently maintain a limited coverage of product liability insurance, which could materially affect our financial condition in the event we have a product liability claim.
Currently, we maintain a limited coverage of product liability insurance in the amount of $3 million, which will be necessary prior to the commercialization of our products. It is likely that our current and/or any future product liability insurance that we will have in the future will be subject to significant deductibles and there is no guarantee that such insurance will be available or adequate to protect against all such claims, or we may elect to self-insure with respect to certain matters. Costs or payments made in connection with warranty and product liability claims and product recalls or other claims could materially affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Our business may be adversely affected by changes in railway safety regulations.
As the autonomous train industry continues to develop, regulators, including the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration, or FRA, and the European Union Agency for Railways, or ERA, may adapt existing regulations and create new ones in order to ensure the compatibility of autonomous trains and autonomous train technology with regulatory expectations, requirements relating to safety and legal liability. On March 29, 2018, for instance, the FRA issued a formal Request For Information, or RFI, regarding the “future of automation in the railroad industry,” which is part of a broader effort by the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance the safe deployment of autonomous technologies. We cannot anticipate what regulations will materialize from the FRA’s RFI, or from parallel inquiries underway in other countries in which we operate. Likewise, we cannot predict the limitations, restrictions and controls nor the economic consequences flowing from such regulations. Should restrictive regulations apply, they could delay the introduction of autonomous train technology, cause us to redesign aspects of our products, impose additional costs and adversely affect our results of operations. We cannot assure you that we have been or will be at all times in complete compliance with such laws, regulations and permits.
Our business is subject to risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic which has impacted and continues to impact our business.
Public health epidemics or outbreaks could adversely impact our business. In late 2019, a novel strain of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, that started in Wuhan, China spread around the globe. Many countries around the world, including Israel and the United States, implemented significant governmental measures to control the spread of the virus, including temporary closure of businesses, severe restrictions on travel and the movement of people, and other material limitations on the conduct of business. In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we implemented business continuity plans designed to address and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our employees and business. In particular, we implemented remote working and workplace protocols for our employees. The implementation of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 resulted in disruptions to our partnering efforts which depend, in part, on attendance at in-person meetings, industry conferences and other events and during 2020 we engaged in cost-cutting measures that included temporary salary reductions, reduction of headcount and placing employees on unpaid leave. Also, due to COVID-19 impacting the global supply chain, supplies and component shortages negatively impacted our ability to plan and deliver upon orders received in a timely fashion. While we have resumed normal operations at this point, it is not possible at this time to estimate the full impact that the COVID-19 pandemic could have on our operations, as the impact will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence. Any actions we take to counteract future consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic may not be successful, and the ultimate impact of COVID-19 on our operations is uncertain. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, we may experience materially adverse impacts to our business as a result of its global economic impact, including any recession that has occurred or may occur in the future.
Our operating results and financial condition may fluctuate.
Even if we are successful in introducing our products to the market, the operating results and financial condition of our company may fluctuate from quarter to quarter and year to year and are likely to continue to vary due to a number of factors, many of which will not be within our control. If our operating results do not meet the guidance that we provide to the marketplace or the expectations of securities analysts or investors, the market price of our ordinary shares will likely decline. Fluctuations in our operating results and financial condition may be due to a number of factors, including those listed below:
|●||the degree of market acceptance of our products and services;|
|●||the mix of products and services that we sell during any period;|
|●||long sale cycles;|
|●||changes in the amount that we spend to develop, acquire or license new products, technologies or businesses;|
|●||changes in the amounts that we spend to promote our products and services;|
|●||changes in the cost of satisfying our warranty obligations and servicing our installed base of systems;|
|●||delays between our expenditures to develop and market new or enhanced systems and the generation of sales from those products;|
|●||development of new competitive products and services by others;|
|●||difficulty in predicting sales patterns and reorder rates;|
|●||litigation or threats of litigation, including intellectual property claims by third parties;|
|●||changes in accounting rules and tax laws;|
|●||changes in regulations and standards;|
|●||the geographic distribution of our sales;|
|●||our responses to price competition;|
|●||general economic and industry conditions that affect end-user demand and end-user levels of product design and manufacturing;|
|●||changes in interest rates that affect returns on our cash balances and short-term investments;|
|●||changes in dollar-NIS exchange rates that affect the value of our net assets, future revenues and expenditures from and/or relating to our activities carried out in those currencies;|
|●||the level of research and development activities by our company; and|
|●||changes in end-use/end-user governmental regulation policy.|
Due to all of the foregoing factors, and the other risks discussed herein, you should not rely on quarter to quarter and year to year comparisons of our operating results as an indicator of our future performance.
The markets in which we participate are competitive. Even if we are successful in completing the development of our products in development, our failure to compete successfully could cause any future revenues and the demand for our products not to materialize or to decline over time.
We aim to sell our products to train operators and/or rolling stock manufacturers. Many of our current and potential competitors have extensive track records and relationships within the rail industry and/or the automotive industry. Many of our current and potential competitors have longer operating histories and more extensive name recognition than we have and may also have greater financial, marketing, manufacturing, distribution and other resources than we have. Current and future competitors may be able to respond more quickly to new or emerging technologies and changes in customer demands and to devote greater resources to the development, promotion and sale of their products than we can. Our current and potential competitors may develop and market new technologies that render our existing or future products obsolete, unmarketable or less competitive (whether from a price perspective or otherwise). We cannot assure you that we will be able to establish a competitive position or to compete successfully against current and future sources of competition.
If our relationships with suppliers for our products and services, especially with single source suppliers of components of our products, were to terminate or our manufacturing arrangements were to be disrupted, our business could be interrupted.
We purchase component parts that are used in our products from third-party suppliers. While there are several potential suppliers of most of these component parts that we use, we currently choose to use only one or a limited number of suppliers for several of these components. Our reliance on a single or limited number of vendors involves a number of risks, including:
|●||potential shortages of some key components;|
|●||product performance shortfalls, if traceable to particular product components, since the supplier of the faulty component cannot readily be replaced;|
|●||discontinuation of a product on which we rely;|
|●||potential delays of several months in the delivery of components in the event a replacement product is sought;|
|●||potential insolvency of these vendors; and|
|●||reduced control over delivery schedules, manufacturing capabilities, quality and costs.|
In addition, we require any new supplier to become “qualified” pursuant to our internal procedures. The qualification process involves evaluations of varying durations, which may cause production delays if we were required to qualify a new supplier unexpectedly. We generally assemble our systems and parts based on our internal forecasts and the availability of assemblies, components and finished goods that are supplied to us by third parties, which are subject to various lead times. If certain suppliers were to decide to discontinue production of an assembly, or component that we use, the unanticipated change in the availability of supplies, or unanticipated supply limitations, could cause delays in, or loss of, sales, increased production or related costs and consequently reduced margins, and damage to our reputation. If we were unable to find a suitable supplier for a particular component or compound, we could be required to modify our existing products or the end-parts that we offer to accommodate substitute components or compounds.
Furthermore, in some of our agreements, customers require the ability to maintain systems for a period of at least ten years. During such a long period, there is a risk that some of the system components of our products will become obsolete and will not be available from our suppliers. Therefore, there is a risk that we will be obliged to hold an inventory of components that may become obsolete, or be forced to locate or develop alternatives to such components.
Discontinuation of operations at our and third-parties’ manufacturing sites could prevent us from timely filling customer orders and could lead to unforeseen costs for us.
We plan to assemble and test the systems that we sell at single facilities in various locations that are specifically dedicated to separate categories of systems. Because of our reliance on all of these production facilities, a disruption at any of those facilities could materially damage our ability to supply our products to the marketplace in a timely manner. Depending on the cause of the disruption, we could also incur significant costs to remedy the disruption and resume product shipments. Such disruptions may be caused by, among other factors, earthquakes, fire, flood and other natural disasters. Accordingly, any such disruption could result in a material adverse effect on our revenue, results of operations and earnings, and could also potentially damage our reputation. Additionally, we rely on third-party manufacturers for components of our products, and we do not have control over the facilities of these third-party manufacturers.
Our planned international operations will expose us to additional market and operational risks, and failure to manage these risks may adversely affect our business and operating results.
We expect to derive a substantial percentage of our sales from international markets. Accordingly, we will face significant operational risks from doing business internationally, including:
|●||having to ship and/or manufacture overseas;|
|●||cultural barriers sustained by conducting business activity in foreign countries;|
|●||fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;|
|●||potentially longer sales and payment cycles;|
|●||potentially greater difficulties in collecting accounts receivable;|
|●||potentially adverse tax consequences;|
|●||reduced protection of intellectual property rights in certain countries, particularly in Asia and South America;|
|●||difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations;|
|●||laws and business practices favoring local competition;|
|●||costs and difficulties of customizing products for foreign countries;|
|●||compliance with a wide variety of complex foreign laws, treaties and regulations;|
|●||tariffs, trade barriers and other regulatory or contractual limitations on our ability to sell or develop our products in certain foreign markets; and|
|●||being subject to the laws, regulations and the court systems of many jurisdictions.|
Our failure to manage the market and operational risks associated with our international operations effectively could limit the future growth of our business and adversely affect our operating results.
Our business and operations might be adversely affected by security breaches, including any cybersecurity incidents.
We depend on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of our computer and communications systems, and those of our consultants, contractors and vendors, which we use for, among other things, sensitive company data, including our intellectual property, financial data and other proprietary business information.
While certain of our operations have business continuity and disaster recovery plans and other security measures intended to prevent and minimize the impact of IT-related interruptions, our IT infrastructure and the IT infrastructure of our consultants, contractors and vendors are vulnerable to damage from cyberattacks, computer viruses, unauthorized access, electrical failures and natural disasters or other catastrophic events. We could experience failures in our information systems and computer servers, which could result in an interruption of our normal business operations and require substantial expenditure of financial and administrative resources to remedy. System failures, accidents or security breaches can cause interruptions in our operations and can result in a material disruption of our targeted phage therapies, product candidates and other business operations. The loss of data from completed or future studies or clinical trials could result in delays in our research, development or regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. To the extent that any disruption or security breach were to result in a loss of, or damage to, our data or applications, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur regulatory investigations and redresses, penalties and liabilities and the development of our product candidates could be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.
Even though we believe we carry commercially reasonable business interruption and liability insurance, we might suffer losses as a result of business interruptions that exceed the coverage available under our insurance policies or for which we do not have coverage. For example, we are not insured against terrorist attacks or cyberattacks. Any natural disaster or catastrophic event could have a significant negative impact on our operations and financial results. Moreover, any such event could delay the development of our product candidates.
We are subject to data ownership and privacy regulations which may expose us to lawsuits and sanctions for violations.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union, there are general restrictions regarding the photographing of images without the knowledge and permission of the person being photographed. In this context, the information collected by our system’s detection units must be protected and encrypted. Failure to comply with these regulations under the GDPR may expose us to lawsuits and sanctions for such violations. In addition, the ownership of the information collected through our system’s detection units is determined in accordance with the local law under which the train operates and will usually remain the property of the customer, with us receiving only limited permission to make use of the information for system improvement but not for other uses, and all subject to the provisions of the said law. These limitations may impede the implementation of our plans to develop certain services through the processing of information obtained by the systems.
We are subject to certain U.S. and foreign anticorruption, anti-money laundering, export control, sanctions and other trade laws and regulations. We can face serious consequences for violations.
Among other matters, U.S. and foreign anticorruption, anti-money laundering, export control, sanctions and other trade laws and regulations, which are collectively referred to as Trade Laws, prohibit companies and their employees, agents, clinical research organizations, legal counsel, accountants, consultants, contractors and other partners from authorizing, promising, offering, providing, soliciting or receiving, directly or indirectly, corrupt or improper payments or anything else of value to or from recipients in the public or private sector. Violations of Trade Laws can result in substantial criminal fines and civil penalties, imprisonment, the loss of trade privileges, debarment, tax reassessments, breach of contract and fraud litigation, reputational harm, and other consequences. We have direct or indirect interactions with officials and employees of government agencies or government-affiliated hospitals, universities and other organizations. We also expect our non-U.S. activities to increase over time. We plan to engage third parties for clinical trials and/or to obtain necessary permits, licenses, patent registrations and other regulatory approvals, and we can be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of our personnel, agents or partners, even if we do not explicitly authorize or have prior knowledge of such activities.
Changes in U.S. and foreign tax laws could have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flow, results of operations or financial conditions
We are subject to taxation in several countries, including the United States and Israel; changes in tax laws or challenges to our tax positions could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. As such, we are subject to tax laws, regulations, and policies of the U.S. federal, state, and local governments and of comparable taxing authorities in foreign jurisdictions. Changes in tax laws, as well as other factors, could cause us to experience fluctuations in our tax obligations and effective tax rates in the future and otherwise adversely affect our tax positions and/or our tax liabilities. There can be no assurance that our effective tax rates, tax payments, tax credits, or incentives will not be adversely affected by changes in tax laws in various jurisdictions.
We may not be able to successfully manage our planned growth and expansion.
We expect to continue to make investments in our products in development. We expect that our annual operating expenses will continue to increase as we invest in business development, marketing, research and development, manufacturing and production infrastructure, and develop customer service and support resources for future customers. Failure to expand operational and financial systems timely or efficiently may result in operating inefficiencies, which could increase costs and expenses to a greater extent than we anticipate and may also prevent us from successfully executing our business plan. We may not be able to offset the costs of operation expansion by leveraging the economies of scale from our growth in negotiations with our suppliers and contract manufacturers. Additionally, if we increase our operating expenses in anticipation of the growth of our business and this growth falls short of our expectations, our financial results will be negatively impacted.
If our business grows, we will have to manage additional product design projects, materials procurement processes, and sales efforts and marketing for an increasing number of products, as well as expand the number and scope of our relationships with suppliers, distributors and end customers. If we fail to manage these additional responsibilities and relationships successfully, we may incur significant costs, which may negatively impact our operating results. Additionally, in our efforts to develop new products with innovative functionality and features, we may devote significant research and development resources to products and product features for which a market does not develop quickly, or at all. If we are not able to predict market trends accurately, we may not benefit from such research and development activities, and our results of operations may suffer.
Our future success depends in part on our ability to retain our executive officers and to attract, retain and motivate other qualified personnel.
We are highly dependent on the services of our executive officers, senior management and qualified employees. The loss of their services without proper replacement may adversely impact the achievement of our objectives. Also, our performance is largely dependent on the talents and efforts of highly skilled individuals, particularly our software engineers. Recruiting and retaining qualified employees, consultants, and advisors for our business, including scientific and technical personnel, will also be critical to our success. There is currently a shortage of skilled personnel in our industry, which is likely to continue. As a result, competition for skilled personnel is intense and the turnover rate can be high. We may not be able to attract and retain personnel on acceptable terms given the competition in the industry in which we operate. Moreover, certain of our competitors or other technology businesses may seek to hire our employees. The inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel, or the loss of the services of our executive officers, without proper replacement, may impede the progress of our development and commercialization objectives.
Under applicable employment laws, we may not be able to enforce covenants not to compete and therefore may be unable to prevent our competitors from benefiting from the expertise of some of our former employees.
We generally enter into non-competition agreements with our employees. These agreements prohibit our employees from competing directly with us or working for our competitors or clients for a limited period after they cease working for us. We may be unable to enforce these agreements under the laws of the jurisdictions in which our employees work and it may be difficult for us to restrict our competitors from benefiting from the expertise that our former employees or consultants developed while working for us. For example, Israeli courts have required employers seeking to enforce non-compete undertakings of a former employee to demonstrate that the competitive activities of the former employee will harm one of a limited number of material interests of the employer that have been recognized by the courts, such as the secrecy of a company’s confidential commercial information or the protection of its intellectual property. If we cannot demonstrate that such interests will be harmed, we may be unable to prevent our competitors from benefiting from the expertise of our former employees or consultants and our ability to remain competitive may be diminished.
Certain events, developments, or social media posts and interactions may impact our reputation.
Damage to our reputation can be the result of the actual or perceived occurrence of any number of events, and could include any negative publicity, whether true or not. The increased usage of social media and other web-based tools used to generate, publish and discuss user-generated content and to connect with other users has made it increasingly easy for individuals and groups to communicate and share opinions and views in regard to issuers and their activities, whether true or not. Negative posts or comments about us on any social network could damage our reputation. In addition, employees or others might disclose non-public sensitive information related to our business through external media channels. The continuing evolution of social media will present us with new challenges and risks. We do not ultimately have direct control over how we are perceived by others. Reputation loss may result in decreased investor confidence, increased challenges in developing and maintaining community relations and an impediment to our overall ability to advance our business strategy and realize on our growth prospects.
We previously identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, which have been remediated. If we identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls, we may not be able to produce timely and accurate financial statements, and we or our independent registered public accounting firm may conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective, which could adversely affect our investors’ confidence and our stock price.
As an emerging growth company under the JOBS Act, our management is required to report upon the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Our independent registered public accounting firm is not required to formally attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until the date we are no longer an emerging growth company and reach accelerated filer status. Any failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation, could cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. In addition, any testing by us conducted in connection with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act may reveal deficiencies in our internal controls over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses or that may require prospective or retroactive changes to our financial statements or identify other areas for further attention or improvement. As previously disclosed, in connection with our financial statement close process for 2021, we identified a material weakness in our entity level control components relating to documenting our financial reporting process. While we have remediated such material weaknesses, we cannot assure you that we have identified all material weaknesses or that there will not be additional material weaknesses or deficiencies that we will identify in the future.
Our business, operating results and growth rates may be adversely affected by current or future unfavorable economic and market conditions and adverse developments with respect to financial institutions and associated liquidity risk.
Our business depends on the economic health of the global economies. If the conditions in the global economies remain uncertain or continue to be volatile, or if they deteriorate, including as a result of the impact of military conflict, such as the war between Russia and Ukraine, terrorism or other geopolitical events, our business, operating results and financial condition may be materially adversely affected. Economic weakness, inflation and increases in interest rates, limited availability of credit, liquidity shortages and constrained capital spending have at times in the past resulted, and may in the future result, in challenging and delayed sales cycles, slower adoption of new technologies and increased price competition, and could negatively affect our ability to forecast future periods, which could result in an inability to satisfy demand for our products and a loss of market share.
In addition, increases in inflation raise our costs for commodities, labor, materials and services and other costs required to grow and operate our business, and failure to secure these on reasonable terms may adversely impact our financial condition. Additionally, increases in inflation, along with the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, geopolitical developments and global supply chain disruptions, have caused, and may in the future cause, global economic uncertainty and uncertainty about the interest rate environment, which may make it more difficult, costly or dilutive for us to secure additional financing. A failure to adequately respond to these risks could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
More recently, the closures of SVB and Signature Bank and their placement into receivership with the FDIC created bank-specific and broader financial institution liquidity risk and concerns. Although the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC jointly released a statement that depositors at SVB and Signature Bank would have access to their funds, even those in excess of the standard FDIC insurance limits, under a systemic risk exception, future adverse developments with respect to specific financial institutions or the broader financial services industry may lead to market-wide liquidity shortages, impair the ability of companies to access near-term working capital needs, and create additional market and economic uncertainty. There can be no assurance that future credit and financial market instability and a deterioration in confidence in economic conditions will not occur. While we do not have any business relationships with SVB or Signature Bank, our general business strategy may be adversely affected by any such economic downturn, liquidity shortages, volatile business environment or continued unpredictable and unstable market conditions. If the current equity and credit markets deteriorate, or if adverse developments are experienced by financial institutions, it may cause short-term liquidity risk and also make any necessary debt or equity financing more difficult, more costly, more onerous with respect to financial and operating covenants and more dilutive. Failure to secure any necessary financing in a timely manner and on favorable terms could have a material adverse effect on our growth strategy, financial performance and stock price and could require us to alter our operating plans. In addition, there is a risk that one or more of our service providers, financial institutions, manufacturers, suppliers and other partners may be adversely affected by the foregoing risks, which could directly affect our ability to attain our operating goals on schedule and on budget.
Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues, including those related to climate change and sustainability, may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and damage our reputation.
There is an increasing focus from certain investors, customers, consumers, employees and other stakeholders concerning ESG matters. Additionally, public interest and legislative pressure related to public companies’ ESG practices continue to grow. If our ESG practices fail to meet regulatory requirements or investor, customer, consumer, employee or other shareholders’ evolving expectations and standards for responsible corporate citizenship in areas including environmental stewardship, support for local communities, Board of Director and employee diversity, human capital management, employee health and safety practices, product quality, supply chain management, corporate governance and transparency, our reputation, brand and employee retention may be negatively impacted, and our customers and suppliers may be unwilling to continue to do business with us.
Customers, consumers, investors and other shareholders are increasingly focusing on environmental issues, including climate change, energy and water use, plastic waste and other sustainability concerns. Concern over climate change may result in new or increased legal and regulatory requirements to reduce or mitigate impacts to the environment. Changing customer and consumer preferences or increased regulatory requirements may result in increased demands or requirements regarding plastics and packaging materials, including single-use and non-recyclable plastic products and packaging, other components of our products and their environmental impact on sustainability, or increased customer and consumer concerns or perceptions (whether accurate or inaccurate) regarding the effects of substances present in certain of our products. Complying with these demands or requirements could cause us to incur additional manufacturing, operating or product development costs.
If we do not adapt to or comply with new regulations, including the SEC’s published proposed rules that would require companies to provide significantly expanded climate-related disclosures in their periodic reporting, which may require us to incur significant additional costs to comply and impose increased oversight obligations on our management and board of directors, or fail to meet evolving investor, industry or stakeholder expectations and concerns regarding ESG issues, investors may reconsider their capital investment in our Company, we may become subject to penalties, and customers and consumers may choose to stop purchasing our products, if approved for commercialization, which could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business or financial condition.
Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property
If we are unable to obtain and maintain effective patent rights for our products, we may not be able to compete effectively in our markets. If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our trade secrets or know-how, such proprietary information may be used by others to compete against us.
Historically, we have relied on trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements to protect the intellectual property related to our technologies and products. Since our incorporation, we have also sought patent protection for certain of our products. Our success depends in large part on our ability to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection in the United States and in other countries with respect to our proprietary technology and new products.
We have sought to protect our proprietary position by filing patent applications in the United States and in other countries with respect to our novel technologies and products, which are important to our business. Patent prosecution is expensive and time consuming, and we may not be able to file and prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. It is also possible that we will fail to identify patentable aspects of our research and development output before it is too late to obtain patent protection.
We have a growing portfolio of six patents registered in the USA; two patent registered in China; one patent registered from the European Patent Office (EPO) and being validated in Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Austria, Denmark, France and Great Britain; two patent issued in Japan; 24 pending patent applications, of which two are US provisional patent applications and 21 are national phase patent applications filed in the USA, EPO, China, Japan and India under the provisions of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) through World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); and one of which is a patent application in Hong Kong and requested based on the Chinese national phase patent application. We cannot offer any assurances about which, if any, patent applications will be issued, the breadth of any such patent once issued, or whether any issued patents will be found invalid or unenforceable or will be threatened by third parties. Any successful opposition to these patents or any other patents owned by or licensed to us could deprive us of rights necessary for the successful commercialization of any existing or new products.
Also, there is no guarantee that the patent registration applications that were submitted by us with regards to our technologies will result in patent registration. In the event of failure to complete patent registration, the Company’s developments will not be proprietary, which might allow other entities to manufacture the Company’s products and compete with us.
Further, there is no assurance that all potentially relevant prior art relating to our patent applications has been found, which can invalidate a patent or prevent a patent from issuing from a pending patent application. Even if patents do successfully issue, and even if such patents cover our products, third parties may challenge their validity, enforceability or scope, which may result in such patents being narrowed, found unenforceable or invalidated. Furthermore, even if they are unchallenged, our patent applications and any future patents may not adequately protect our intellectual property, provide exclusivity for our new products, or prevent others from designing around our claims. Any of these outcomes could impair our ability to prevent competition from third parties, which may have an adverse impact on our business.
If we cannot obtain and maintain effective patent rights for our products, we may not be able to compete effectively, and our business and results of operations would be harmed.
If we are unable to maintain effective proprietary rights for our products, we may not be able to compete effectively in our markets.
In addition to the protection afforded by any patents that may be granted, we seek to protect our proprietary technology and processes, in part, by entering into confidentiality agreements with our employees, consultants, scientific advisors, and contractors. We also seek to preserve the integrity and confidentiality of our data, trade secrets and intellectual property by maintaining physical security of our premises and physical and electronic security of our information technology systems. Agreements or security measures may be breached, and we may not have adequate remedies for any breach. In addition, our trade secrets and intellectual property may otherwise become known or be independently discovered by competitors.
We cannot provide any assurances that our trade secrets and other confidential proprietary information will not be disclosed in violation of our confidentiality agreements or that competitors will not otherwise gain access to our trade secrets or independently develop substantially equivalent information and techniques. Also, misappropriation or unauthorized and unavoidable disclosure of our trade secrets and intellectual property could impair our competitive position and may have a material adverse effect on our business. Additionally, if the steps taken to maintain our trade secrets and intellectual property are deemed inadequate, we may have insufficient recourse against third parties for misappropriating any trade secret.
Intellectual property rights of third parties could adversely affect our ability to commercialize our products, and we might be required to litigate or obtain licenses from third parties in order to develop or market our product candidates. Such litigation or licenses could be costly or not available on commercially reasonable terms.
It is inherently difficult to conclusively assess our freedom to operate without infringing on third party rights. Our competitive position may be adversely affected if existing patents or patents resulting from patent applications issued to third parties or other third party intellectual property rights are held to cover our products or elements thereof, or our manufacturing or uses relevant to our development plans. In such cases, we may not be in a position to develop or commercialize products or our product candidates unless we successfully pursue litigation to nullify or invalidate the third party intellectual property right concerned, or enter into a license agreement with the intellectual property right holder, if available on commercially reasonable terms. There may also be pending patent applications that if they result in issued patents, could be alleged to be infringed by our products. If such an infringement claim should be brought and be successful, we may be required to pay substantial damages, be forced to abandon our products or seek a license from any patent holders. No assurances can be given that a license will be available on commercially reasonable terms, if at all.
It is also possible that we have failed to identify relevant third party patents or applications. For example, U.S. patent applications filed before November 29, 2000 and certain U.S. patent applications filed after that date that will not be filed outside the United States remain confidential until patents are issued. Patent applications in the United States and elsewhere are published approximately 18 months after the earliest filing for which priority is claimed, with such earliest filing date being commonly referred to as the priority date. Therefore, patent applications covering our new products or platform technology could have been filed by others without our knowledge. Additionally, pending patent applications which have been published can, subject to certain limitations, be later amended in a manner that could cover our platform technologies, our products or the use of our products. Third party intellectual property right holders may also actively bring infringement claims against us. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to successfully settle or otherwise resolve such infringement claims. If we are unable to successfully settle future claims on terms acceptable to us, we may be required to engage in or continue costly, unpredictable and time-consuming litigation and may be prevented from or experience substantial delays in pursuing the development of and/or marketing our products. If we fail in any such dispute, in addition to being forced to pay damages, we may be temporarily or permanently prohibited from commercializing our products that are held to be infringing. We might, if possible, also be forced to redesign our new products so that we no longer infringe the third party intellectual property rights. Any of these events, even if we were ultimately to prevail, could require us to divert substantial financial and management resources that we would otherwise be able to devote to our business.
Patent policy and rule changes could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of any issued patents.
Changes in either the patent laws or interpretation of the patent laws in the United States and other countries may diminish the value of any patents that may issue from our patent applications, or narrow the scope of our patent protection. The laws of foreign countries may not protect our rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. Publications of discoveries in the scientific literature often lag behind the actual discoveries, and patent applications in the United States and other jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after filing, or in some cases not at all. We therefore cannot be certain that we were the first to file the invention claimed in our owned and licensed patent or pending applications, or that we or our licensor were the first to file for patent protection of such inventions. Assuming all other requirements for patentability are met, in the United States prior to March 15, 2013, the first to make the claimed invention without undue delay in filing, is entitled to the patent, while outside the United States, the first to file a patent application is entitled to the patent. After March 15, 2013, under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or the Leahy-Smith Act, enacted on September 16, 2011, the United States has moved to a first to file system. The Leahy-Smith Act also includes a number of significant changes that affect the way patent applications will be prosecuted and may also affect patent litigation. In general, the Leahy-Smith Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of any issued patents, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.
We may be involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our intellectual property, which could be expensive, time consuming, and unsuccessful.
Competitors may infringe our intellectual property. If we were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent covering one of our products, the defendant could counterclaim that the patent covering our product candidate is invalid and/or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity and/or unenforceability are commonplace. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, including lack of novelty, obviousness, or non-enablement. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion could be an allegation that someone connected with prosecution of the patent withheld relevant information from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or the USPTO, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. Under the Leahy-Smith Act, the validity of U.S. patents may also be challenged in post-grant proceedings before the USPTO. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable.
Derivation proceedings initiated by third parties or brought by us may be necessary to determine the priority of inventions and/or their scope with respect to our patent or patent applications or those of our licensors. An unfavorable outcome could require us to cease using the related technology or to attempt to license rights to it from the prevailing party. Our business could be harmed if the prevailing party does not offer us a license on commercially reasonable terms. Our defense of litigation or interference proceedings may fail and, even if successful, may result in substantial costs and distract our management and other employees. In addition, the uncertainties associated with litigation could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise the funds necessary to continue our research programs, license necessary technology from third parties, or enter into development partnerships that would help us bring our products to market.
Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation. There could also be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions, or other interim proceedings or developments. If securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a material adverse effect on the price of our ordinary shares.
We may be subject to claims challenging the inventorship of our intellectual property.
We may be subject to claims that former employees, collaborators or other third parties have an interest in, or right to compensation, with respect to our current patent and patent applications, future patents or other intellectual property as an inventor or co-inventor. For example, we may have inventorship disputes arise from conflicting obligations of consultants or others who are involved in developing our products. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these and other claims challenging inventorship or claiming the right to compensation. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights, such as exclusive ownership of, or rights to use, valuable intellectual property. Such an outcome could have a material adverse effect on our business. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees.
In addition, under the Israeli Patent Law, 5727-1967, or the Patent Law, inventions conceived by an employee in the course and as a result of or arising from his or her employment with a company are regarded as “service inventions,” which belong to the employer, absent a specific agreement between the employee and employer giving the employee service invention rights. The Patent Law also provides that if there is no such agreement between an employer and an employee, the Israeli Compensation and Royalties Committee, or the Committee, a body constituted under the Patent Law, shall determine whether the employee is entitled to remuneration for his inventions. Recent case law clarifies that the right to receive consideration for “service inventions” can be waived by the employee. The Committee will examine, on a case-by-case basis, the general contractual framework between the parties, using interpretation rules of the general Israeli contract laws. Further, the Committee has not yet determined one specific formula for calculating this remuneration (but rather uses the criteria specified in the Patent Law). Although we generally enter into assignment-of-invention agreements with our employees pursuant to which such individuals assign to us all rights to any inventions created in the scope of their employment or engagement with us, we may face claims demanding remuneration in consideration of assigned inventions. As a consequence of such claims, we could be required to pay additional remuneration or royalties to our current and former employees, or be forced to litigate such claims, which could negatively affect our business.
We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.
Filing, prosecuting, and defending patents on products, as well as monitoring their infringement in all countries throughout the world, would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries can be less extensive than those in the United States.
Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we have not obtained patent protection to develop their own products and may also export otherwise infringing products to territories where we have patent protection but enforcement is not as strong as that in the United States. These products may compete with our products. Future patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent such products from competing with our products.
Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, do not favor the enforcement of patents, trade secrets, and other intellectual property protection, which could make it difficult for us to stop the marketing of competing products in violation of our proprietary rights generally. Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign jurisdictions, whether or not successful, could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put our future patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and our patent applications at risk of not issuing and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. Accordingly, our efforts to monitor and enforce our intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we develop or license.
Risks Related to the Ownership of Our Securities
Our principal shareholders, officers and directors beneficially own approximately 64% of our outstanding ordinary shares. They will therefore be able to exert significant control over matters submitted to our shareholders for approval, which could limit your ability to influence the outcome of key transactions, including a change of control, and which may result in conflicts with us or you in the future.
Our principal shareholders, officers and directors beneficially own approximately 64% of our ordinary shares. This significant concentration of share ownership may adversely affect the trading price for our ordinary shares because investors often perceive disadvantages in owning shares in companies with controlling shareholders. As a result, these shareholders, if they acted together, could significantly influence or even unilaterally approve matters requiring approval by our shareholders, including the election of directors and the approval of mergers or other business combination transactions. The interests of these shareholders may not always coincide with our interests or the interests of other shareholders, and which may result in conflicts with us or you in the future.
Certain of our directors have relationships with our principal shareholders, which may cause conflicts of interest with respect to our business.
Three of our current directors were appointed by Knorr-Bremse and one director was nominated by Foresight, our largest shareholders. In addition, pursuant to our amended and restated articles of association, shareholders are entitled to appoint a director to our board of directors for each 10% of our outstanding share capital that they own and in such case the appointment will be for an undefined period. As a result, these directors may face real or apparent conflicts of interest with respect to matters affecting both us and Knorr-Bremse or Foresight, whose interests may be adverse to ours in certain circumstances.
The JOBS Act will allow us to postpone the date by which we must comply with some of the laws and regulations intended to protect investors and to reduce the amount of information we provide in our reports filed with the SEC, which could undermine investor confidence in our company and adversely affect the market price of our ordinary shares.
For so long as we remain an “emerging growth company” as defined in the JOBS Act, we intend to take advantage of certain exemptions from various requirements that are applicable to public companies that are not “emerging growth companies” including:
|●||the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requiring that our independent registered public accounting firm provide an attestation report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting;|
|●||any rules that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board requiring mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report on the financial statements; and,|
|●||Section 107 of the JOBS Act, which provides that an “emerging growth company” can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, for complying with new or revised accounting standards. This means that an “emerging growth company” can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have elected to delay such adoption of new or revised accounting standards. As a result of this adoption, our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with the public company effective date.|
We intend to take advantage of these exemptions until we are no longer an “emerging growth company.” We will remain an emerging growth company until the earlier of (1) the last day of the fiscal year (a) following the fifth anniversary of the date of our first sale of common equity securities pursuant to an effective registration statement under the Securities Act, (b) in which we have total annual gross revenue of at least $1.07 billion, or (c) in which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer, which means the market value of our ordinary shares that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the prior June 30, and (2) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt during the prior three-year period.
We cannot predict if investors will find our ordinary shares less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our ordinary shares less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our ordinary shares, and our market prices may be more volatile and may decline.
As a “foreign private issuer” we are permitted, and intend, to follow certain home country corporate governance practices instead of otherwise applicable SEC and Nasdaq requirements, which may result in less protection than is accorded to investors under rules applicable to domestic U.S. issuers.
Our status as a “foreign private issuer” exempts us from compliance with certain SEC laws and regulations and certain regulations of the Nasdaq Stock Market, including the proxy rules, the short-swing profits recapture rules, and certain governance requirements such as independent director oversight of the nomination of directors and executive compensation. In addition, we will not be required under the Exchange Act to file current reports and financial statements with the SEC as frequently or as promptly as U.S. domestic companies whose securities are registered under the Exchange Act and we will generally be exempt from filing quarterly reports with the SEC. Also, although the Israeli Companies Law, or the Companies Law, will require us to disclose the annual compensation of our five most highly compensated senior officers on an individual basis, this disclosure will not be as extensive as that required of a U.S. domestic issuer. For example, the disclosure required under the Companies Law is limited to compensation paid in the immediately preceding year without any requirement to disclose option exercises and vested stock options, pension benefits or potential payments upon termination or a change of control. Furthermore, as a foreign private issuer, we are also not subject to the requirements of Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure) promulgated under the Exchange Act.
These exemptions and leniencies will reduce the frequency and scope of information and protections to which you are entitled as an investor.
We may be a “passive foreign investment company,” or PFIC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes in the current taxable year or may become one in any subsequent taxable year. There generally would be negative tax consequences for U.S. taxpayers that are holders of our ordinary shares if we are or were to become a PFIC.
Based on the projected composition of our income and valuation of our assets, we may have been a PFIC during 2022, and although we have not determined whether we will be a PFIC in 2023, or in any subsequent year, our operating results for any such years may cause us to be a PFIC. The determination of whether we are a PFIC is made on an annual basis and will depend on the composition of our income and assets from time to time. We will be treated as a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes in any taxable year in which either (1) at least 75% of our gross income is “passive income” or (2) on average at least 50% of our assets by value produce passive income or are held for the production of passive income. Passive income for this purpose generally includes, among other things, certain dividends, interest, royalties, rents and gains from commodities and securities transactions and from the sale or exchange of property that gives rise to passive income. Passive income also includes amounts derived by reason of the temporary investment of funds, including those raised in a public offering. In determining whether a non-U.S. corporation is a PFIC, a proportionate share of the income and assets of each corporation in which it owns, directly or indirectly, at least a 25% interest (by value) is taken into account. The tests for determining PFIC status are applied annually, and it is difficult to make accurate projections of future income and assets which are relevant to this determination. In addition, our PFIC status may depend in part on the market value of our ordinary shares. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that we currently are not or will not become a PFIC in the future. If we are a PFIC in any taxable year during which a U.S. taxpayer holds our ordinary shares, such U.S. taxpayer would be subject to certain adverse U.S. federal income tax rules. In particular, if the U.S. taxpayer did not make an election to treat us as a “qualified electing fund,” or QEF, or make a “mark-to-market” election, then “excess distributions” to the U.S. taxpayer, and any gain realized on the sale or other disposition of our ordinary shares by the U.S. taxpayer: (1) would be allocated ratably over the U.S. taxpayer’s holding period for the ordinary shares; (2) the amount allocated to the current taxable year and any period prior to the first day of the first taxable year in which we were a PFIC would be taxed as ordinary income; and (3) the amount allocated to each of the other taxable years would be subject to tax at the highest rate of tax in effect for the applicable class of taxpayer for that year, and an interest charge for the deemed deferral benefit would be imposed with respect to the resulting tax attributable to each such other taxable year. In addition, if the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, determines that we are a PFIC for a year with respect to which we have determined that we were not a PFIC, it may be too late for a U.S. taxpayer to make a timely QEF or mark-to-market election. U.S. taxpayers that have held our ordinary shares during a period when we were a PFIC will be subject to the foregoing rules, even if we cease to be a PFIC in subsequent years, subject to exceptions for U.S. taxpayer who made a timely QEF or mark-to-market election. A U.S. taxpayer can make a QEF election by completing the relevant portions of and filing IRS Form 8621 in accordance with the instructions thereto. We do not intend to notify U.S. taxpayers that hold our ordinary shares if we believe we will be treated as a PFIC for any taxable year in order to enable U.S. taxpayers to consider whether to make a QEF election. In addition, we do not intend to furnish such U.S. taxpayers annually with information needed in order to complete IRS Form 8621 and to make and maintain a valid QEF election for any year in which we or any of our, if any, are a PFIC. U.S. taxpayers that hold our ordinary shares are strongly urged to consult their tax advisors about the PFIC rules, including tax return filing requirements and the eligibility, manner, and consequences to them of making a QEF or mark-to-market election with respect to our ordinary shares in the event that we are a PFIC. See “Taxation—U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Passive Foreign Investment Companies” for additional information.
If a United States person is treated as owning at least 10% of our ordinary shares, such holder may be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences.
If a United States person is treated as owning (directly, indirectly, or constructively) at least 10% of the value or voting power of our ordinary shares, such person may be treated as a “United States shareholder” with respect to each controlled foreign corporation, or CFC. A United States shareholder of a CFC may be required to report annually and include in its U.S. taxable income its pro rata share of “Subpart F income,” “global intangible low-taxed income,” and investments in U.S. property by CFCs, regardless of whether we make any distributions, and may be subject to tax reporting obligations. An individual that is a United States shareholder with respect to a CFC generally would not be allowed certain tax deductions or foreign tax credits that would be allowed to a United States shareholder that is a U.S. corporation. Failure to comply with these reporting obligations may subject a United States shareholder to significant monetary penalties and may prevent the statute of limitations with respect to such shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax return for the year for which reporting was due from starting. We cannot provide any assurances that we will assist investors in determining whether we are treated as CFC or whether any investor is treated as a United States shareholder with respect to CFC or furnish to any United States shareholders information that may be necessary to comply with the aforementioned reporting and tax paying obligations. The United States Internal Revenue Service has provided limited guidance on situations in which investors may rely on publicly available information to comply with their reporting and tax paying obligations with respect to CFCs. A United States investor should consult its advisors regarding the potential application of these rules to an investment in our ordinary shares.
We may be subject to securities litigation, which is expensive and could divert management attention.
In the past, companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their shares have been subject to securities class action litigation. We may be the target of this type of litigation in the future. Litigation of this type could result in substantial costs and diversion of management’s attention and resources, which could seriously hurt our business. Any adverse determination in litigation could also subject us to significant liabilities.
The market price of our securities may be highly volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
The market price of our ordinary shares and warrants is likely to be volatile. This volatility may prevent you from being able to sell your ordinary shares or warrants at or above the price you paid for your securities. Our share price could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to a variety of factors, which include:
|●||whether we achieve our anticipated corporate objectives;|
|●||actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly or annual operating results;|
|●||changes in our financial or operational estimates or projections;|
|●||our ability to implement our operational plans;|
|●||termination of the lock-up agreement or other restrictions on the ability of our shareholders to sell shares after the initial public offering;|
|●||changes in the economic performance or market valuations of companies similar to ours; and|
|●||general economic or political conditions in the United States or elsewhere.|
In addition, the stock market in general has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of these companies. Broad market and industry factors may negatively affect the market price of our ordinary shares, regardless of our actual operating performance, and we have little or no control over these factors.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish or cease publishing research or reports about us, our business or our market, or if they adversely change their recommendations or publish negative reports regarding our business or the ordinary shares, our share price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for the ordinary shares will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts may publish about us, our business, our market or our competitors. We do not have any control over these analysts and we cannot provide any assurance that analysts will cover us or provide favorable coverage. If any of the analysts who may cover us adversely change their recommendation regarding the ordinary shares, or provide more favorable relative recommendations about our competitors, the price of our ordinary shares would likely decline. If any analyst who may cover us were to cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause the price of our ordinary shares or trading volume to decline.
As a “foreign private issuer,” we are permitted, and intend, to follow certain home country corporate governance practices instead of otherwise applicable SEC and Nasdaq Capital Market requirements, which may result in less protection than is accorded to investors under rules applicable to domestic U.S. issuers.
We are a “foreign private issuer” and are not subject to the same requirements that are imposed upon U.S. domestic issuers by the SEC. Under the Exchange Act, we will be subject to reporting obligations that, in certain respects, are less detailed and less frequent than those of U.S. domestic reporting companies. For example, we will not be required to issue quarterly reports or proxy statements that comply with the requirements applicable to U.S. domestic reporting companies. Furthermore, although under regulations promulgated under the Companies Law, as an Israeli public company listed overseas we will be required to disclose the compensation of our five most highly compensated office holders on an individual basis (rather than on an aggregate basis), this disclosure will not be as extensive as that required of U.S. domestic reporting companies. We will also have four months after the end of each fiscal year to file our annual reports with the SEC and will not be required to file current reports as frequently or promptly as U.S. domestic reporting companies. Furthermore, our officers, directors and principal shareholders will be exempt from the requirements to report transactions and short-swing profit recovery required by Section 16 of the Exchange Act. Also, as a “foreign private issuer,” we are not subject to the requirements of Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure) promulgated under the Exchange Act. These exemptions and leniencies will reduce the frequency and scope of information and protections available to investors in comparison to those applicable to a U.S. domestic reporting companies.
In addition, as a “foreign private issuer,” we are permitted to follow certain home country corporate governance practices instead of those otherwise required under the listing rules of the Nasdaq for domestic U.S. issuers. For instance, we follow home country practice in Israel instead of the listing rules of the Nasdaq requiring that a majority of a listed company’s board of directors be comprised of independent directors within a specified period after listing. In addition, we will follow our home country law instead of the listing rules of the Nasdaq that require that we obtain shareholder approval for certain dilutive events, such as the establishment or amendment of certain equity based compensation plans, an issuance that will result in a change of control of our company, certain transactions other than a public offering involving issuances of a 20% or greater interest in the company, and certain acquisitions of the stock or assets of another company. We may in the future elect to follow home country corporate governance practices in Israel with regard to other matters. Following our home country corporate governance practices as opposed to the requirements that would otherwise apply to a U.S. company listed on the Nasdaq may provide less protection to investors than what would otherwise be accorded to investors under the listing rules of the Nasdaq applicable to domestic U.S. issuers.
Risks Related to Israeli Law and Our Incorporation, Location and Operations in Israel
We are exposed to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, which could negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Our functional and reporting currency is the U.S. dollar. A material portion of our operating expenses is incurred outside the United States, mainly in NIS, and is subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates, particularly changes in NIS. Our foreign currency-denominated expenses consist primarily of personnel, rent and other overhead costs. Since a significant portion of our expenses is incurred in NIS, any appreciation of the NIS relative to the U.S. dollar would adversely impact our net loss or net income, as relevant. We are therefore exposed to foreign currency risk due to fluctuations in exchange rates. This may result in gains or losses with respect to movements in exchange rates which may be material and may also cause fluctuations in reported financial information that are not necessarily related to its operating results. In relation to the effect of inflation, results for tax purposes are measured in terms of earnings in NIS after certain adjustments for increases in the Israeli Consumer Price Index, or CPI. As the results in our financial statements are measured in U.S. dollars, the difference between the annual change in the Israeli CPI and in the NIS/U.S. dollar exchange rate can cause a difference between taxable income and the net loss shown in the financial statements. We expect that the majority of our revenues will be generated in U.S. dollars with the balance in EURO for the foreseeable future, and that a significant portion of our expenses will continue to be denominated in NIS and partially in U.S. dollars and EURO. To date, foreign currency transaction gains and losses and exchange rate fluctuations have not been material to our financial statements, and we have not engaged in any foreign currency hedging transactions.
Provisions of Israeli law and our articles of association may delay, prevent or otherwise impede a merger with, or an acquisition of, our company, even when the terms of such a transaction are favorable to us and our shareholders.
As a company incorporated under the law of the State of Israel, we are subject to Israeli law. Israeli corporate law regulates mergers, requires tender offers for acquisitions of shares above specified thresholds, requires special approvals for transactions involving directors, officers or significant shareholders and regulates other matters that may be relevant to such types of transactions. For example, a merger may not be consummated unless at least 50 days have passed from the date on which a merger proposal is filed by each merging company with the Israel Registrar of Companies and at least 30 days have passed from the date on which the shareholders of both merging companies have approved the merger. In addition, a majority of each class of securities of the target company must approve a merger. Moreover, a tender offer for all of a company’s issued and outstanding shares can only be completed if the acquirer receives positive responses from the holders of at least 95% of the issued share capital and a majority of the offerees that do not have a personal interest in the tender offer approves the tender offer, unless, following consummation of the tender offer, the acquirer would hold at least 98% of the company’s outstanding shares. Furthermore, the shareholders, including those who indicated their acceptance of the tender offer, may, at any time within six months following the completion of the tender offer, claim that the consideration for the acquisition of the shares does not reflect their fair market value, and petition an Israeli court to alter the consideration for the acquisition accordingly, unless the acquirer stipulated in its tender offer that a shareholder that accepts the offer may not seek such appraisal rights, and the acquirer or the company published all required information with respect to the tender offer prior to the tender offer’s response date.
Israeli tax considerations also may make potential transactions unappealing to us or to our shareholders whose country of residence does not have a tax treaty with Israel exempting such shareholders from Israeli tax. For example, Israeli tax law does not recognize tax-free share exchanges to the same extent as U.S. tax law. With respect to mergers, Israeli tax law allows for tax deferral in certain circumstances but makes the deferral contingent on the fulfillment of a number of conditions, including, in some cases, a holding period of two years from the date of the transaction during which sales and dispositions of shares of the participating companies may be subject to certain restrictions and additional terms. Moreover, with respect to certain share swap transactions, the tax deferral is limited in time, and when such time expires, the tax becomes payable even if no disposition of the shares has occurred. See “Taxation—Israeli Tax Considerations and Government Programs” for additional information.
Your rights and responsibilities as a holder of our securities are governed by Israeli law, which differs in some material respects from the rights and responsibilities of shareholders of U.S. companies.
We are incorporated under Israeli law. The rights and responsibilities of the holders of our ordinary shares are governed by our articles of association and by Israeli law. These rights and responsibilities differ in some material respects from the rights and responsibilities of shareholders in typical U.S.-based corporations. In particular, a shareholder of an Israeli company has certain duties to act in good faith and in a customary manner in exercising its rights and performing its obligations towards the company and other shareholders and to refrain from abusing its power in the company including, among other things, in voting at the general meeting of shareholders on certain matters, such as an amendment to the company’s articles of association, an increase of the company’s authorized share capital, a merger of the company, and approval of related party transactions that require shareholder approval. In addition, a controlling shareholder or a shareholder who knows that it possesses the power to determine the outcome of a shareholder vote or to appoint or prevent the appointment of an officer of the company has a duty to act in fairness towards the company with regard to such vote or appointment. However, Israeli law does not define the substance of this duty of fairness. There is limited case law available to assist us in understanding the nature of this duty or the implications of these provisions. These provisions may be interpreted to impose additional obligations on holders of our ordinary shares that are not typically imposed on shareholders of U.S. corporations. See “Directors, Senior Management and Employees—Board Practices—Duties of Shareholders” for additional information.
It may be difficult to enforce a judgment of a U.S. court against us and our officers and directors and the Israeli experts named in this Annual Report in Israel or the United States, to assert U.S. securities laws claims in Israel or to serve process on our officers and directors and these experts.
We were incorporated in Israel and our corporate headquarters are located in Israel. All of our executive officers and directors and the Israeli experts named in this Annual Report are located outside of the U.S. All of our assets and most of the assets of these persons are located in Israel. Therefore, a judgment obtained against us, or any of these persons, including a judgment based on the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws, may not be collectible in the United States and may not necessarily be enforced by an Israeli court. It also may be difficult to affect service of process on these persons in the United States or to assert U.S. securities law claims in original actions instituted in Israel. Additionally, it may be difficult for an investor, or any other person or entity, to initiate an action with respect to U.S. securities laws in Israel. Israeli courts may refuse to hear a claim based on an alleged violation of U.S. securities laws reasoning that Israel is not the most appropriate forum in which to bring such a claim. In addition, even if an Israeli court agrees to hear a claim, it may determine that Israeli law and not U.S. law is applicable to the claim. If U.S. law is found to be applicable, the content of applicable U.S. law must be proven as a fact by expert witnesses, which can be a time consuming and costly process. Certain matters of procedure will also be governed by Israeli law.
There is little binding case law in Israel that addresses the matters described above. As a result of the difficulty associated with enforcing a judgment against us in Israel, you may not be able to collect any damages awarded by either a U.S. or foreign court.
Our headquarters, research and development and other significant operations are located in Israel, and, therefore, our results may be adversely affected by political, economic and military instability in Israel.
Our executive offices, corporate headquarters and research and development facilities are located in Israel. In addition, all of our officers and directors are residents of Israel. Accordingly, political, economic and military conditions in Israel and the surrounding region may directly affect our business. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, a number of armed conflicts have taken place between Israel and its neighboring Arab countries, the Hamas (an Islamist militia and political group that controls the Gaza strip) and the Hezbollah (an Islamist militia and political group based in Lebanon). Any hostilities involving Israel or the interruption or curtailment of trade between Israel and its trading partners could negatively affect business conditions in Israel in general and our business in particular, and adversely affect our operations and results of operations. Ongoing and revived hostilities or other Israeli political or economic factors, such as, an interruption of operations at the Ben Gurion International Airport, could prevent or delay our regular operation, product development and delivery of products.
In addition, political uprisings, social unrest and violence in various countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Israel’s neighbor Syria, is affecting the political stability and may lead to deterioration in the political and trade relationships that exist between the State of Israel and certain other countries. Any armed conflicts, terrorist activities or political instability in the region could adversely affect business conditions, could harm our results of operations and the market price of our securities, and could make it more difficult for us to raise capital. Parties with whom we do business may sometimes decline to travel to Israel during periods of heightened unrest or tension, forcing us to make alternative arrangements when necessary in order to meet our business partners face to face. Several countries, principally in the Middle East, still restrict doing business with Israel and Israeli companies, and additional countries may impose restrictions on doing business with Israel and Israeli companies if hostilities in Israel or political instability in the region continues or increases. Similarly, Israeli companies are limited in conducting business with entities from several countries. For instance, the Israeli legislature passed a law forbidding any investments in entities that transact business with Iran. In addition, the political and security situation in Israel may result in parties with whom we have agreements involving performance in Israel claiming that they are not obligated to perform their commitments under those agreements pursuant to force majeure provisions in such agreements.
Our insurance does not cover losses that may occur as a result of an event associated with the security situation in the Middle East or for any resulting disruption in our operations. Although the Israeli government has in the past covered the reinstatement value of direct damages that were caused by terrorist attacks or acts of war, we cannot assure you that this government coverage will be maintained or, if maintained, will be sufficient to compensate us fully for damages incurred, and the government may cease providing such coverage or the coverage might not suffice to cover potential damages. Any losses or damages incurred by us could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Further, in the past, the State of Israel and Israeli companies have been subjected to economic boycotts. Several countries still restrict business with the State of Israel and with Israeli companies. These restrictive laws and policies may have an adverse impact on our operating results, financial conditions or the expansion of our business.
Our operations may be disrupted as a result of the obligation of management or key personnel to perform military service.
Our employees and consultants in Israel, including members of our senior management, may be obligated to perform one month, and in some cases longer periods, of military reserve duty until they reach the age of 40 (or older, for citizens who hold certain positions in the Israeli armed forces reserves) and, in the event of a military conflict or emergency circumstances, may be called to immediate and unlimited active duty. In the event of severe unrest or other conflict, individuals could be required to serve in the military for extended periods of time. In response to increases in terrorist activity, there have been periods of significant call-ups of military reservists. It is possible that there will be similar large-scale military reserve duty call-ups in the future. Our operations could be disrupted by the absence of a significant number of our officers, directors, employees and consultants related to military service. Such disruption could materially adversely affect our business and operations. Additionally, the absence of a significant number of the employees of our Israeli suppliers and contractors related to military service or the absence for extended periods of one or more of their key employees for military service may disrupt their operations.
General Risk Factors
We incur significant additional costs as a result of being a public company subject to SEC reporting requirements in the United States, and our management is required to devote substantial additional time to new compliance initiatives as well as to compliance with ongoing United States reporting requirements.
As a U.S. public reporting company, we are incurring significant additional accounting, legal, and other expenses in the future. Our management and other personnel need to devote substantial time to the compliance requirements of being a U.S. public company; in addition, the implementation of such compliance processes and systems may require us to hire outside consultants and incur other significant costs. Any future changes in the laws and regulations affecting public companies in the United States and the rules and regulations adopted by the SEC and the Nasdaq Market, for so long as they apply to us, will result in increased costs to us as we respond to such changes. These laws, rules, and regulations could make it more difficult or more costly for us to obtain certain types of insurance, including director and officer liability insurance, and we may be forced to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. The impact of these requirements could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors, on our board committees, if any, or as senior management.
If we engage in future acquisitions or strategic partnerships, this may increase our capital requirements, dilute our shareholders, cause us to incur debt or assume contingent liabilities, and subject us to other risks.
We may evaluate various acquisition opportunities and strategic partnerships, including licensing or acquiring complementary products, intellectual property rights, technologies or businesses. Any potential acquisition or strategic partnership may entail numerous risks, including:
|●||increased operating expenses and cash requirements;|
|●||the assumption of additional indebtedness or contingent liabilities;|
|●||the issuance of our equity securities;|
|●||assimilation of operations, intellectual property and products of an acquired company, including difficulties associated with integrating new personnel;|
|●||the diversion of our management’s attention from our existing product programs and initiatives in pursuing such a strategic merger or acquisition;|
|●||retention of key employees, the loss of key personnel and uncertainties in our ability to maintain key business relationships;|
|●||risks and uncertainties associated with the other party to such a transaction, including the prospects of that party and their existing products or product candidates and marketing approvals; and|
|●||our inability to generate revenue from acquired technology and/or products sufficient to meet our objectives in undertaking the acquisition or even to offset the associated acquisition and maintenance costs.|
ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY
A. History and Development of the Company
We are a development stage technology company that is seeking to revolutionize railway safety and the data-related market. We believe we have developed cutting edge, AI based, industry-leading detection technology specifically designed for railways, with investments from Knorr-Bremse, a world-class rail system manufacturer. We have developed our railway detection and systems to save lives, increase efficiency, and dramatically reduce expenses for the railway operator.
We were incorporated under the laws of the State of Israel in April 2016. Our principal executive offices are located at 15 Hatidhar St. Ra’anana, 4366517 Israel. Our telephone number in Israel is +972-9-957-7706. Our website address is http://www.railvision.io/. Information contained on or accessible through our website is not a part of this Annual Report on Form 20-F, and the inclusion of our website address herein is an inactive textual reference only. Puglisi & Associates, or Puglisi, serves as our authorized representative in the United States for certain limited matters. Puglisi’s address is 850 Library Avenue, Newark, Delaware 19711.
The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at http://sec.gov. We use our website (http://www.railvision.io), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/rail-vision), , and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/railvision.io) as channels of distribution of Company information. The information we post through this channel may be deemed material. Accordingly, investors should monitor our website, in addition to following our press releases, SEC filings and public conference calls and webcasts. The contents of our website are not, however, a part of this Annual Report on Form 20-F.
We are an emerging growth company, as defined in Section 2(a) of the Securities Act, as implemented under the JOBS Act. As such, we are eligible to, and intend to, take advantage of certain exemptions from reporting requirements that generally apply to public companies, including the auditor attestation requirements with respect to internal control over financial reporting under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, compliance with new standards adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board which may require mandatory audit firm rotation or auditor discussion and analysis, exemption from say on pay, say on frequency, and say on golden parachute voting requirements, and reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements. We will be an emerging growth company until the earliest of: (i) the last day of the fiscal year during which we had total annual gross revenues of $1.07 billion or more, (ii) the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the first sale of the ordinary shares pursuant to an effective registration statement (i.e., December 31, 2027), (iii) the date on which we have, during the previous three-year period, issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt, or (iv) the date on which we are deemed a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Regulation S-K under the Securities Act, which means the market value of our ordinary shares that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the prior June 30th.
As a foreign private issuer, we are exempt from certain rules and regulations under the Exchange Act that are applicable to other public companies that are not foreign private issuers. For example, although we intend to report our financial results on a quarterly basis, we will not be required to issue quarterly reports, proxy statements that comply with the requirements applicable to U.S. domestic reporting companies, or individual executive compensation information that is as detailed as that required of U.S. domestic reporting companies. We will also have four months after the end of each fiscal year to file our annual report with the SEC and will not be required to file current reports as frequently or promptly as U.S. domestic reporting companies. Our senior management, directors, and principal shareholders will be exempt from the requirements to report transactions in our equity securities and from the short-swing profit liability provisions contained in Section 16 of the Exchange Act. As a foreign private issuer, we will also not be subject to the requirements of Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure) promulgated under the Exchange Act.
B. Business Overview
We are a development stage technology company that is seeking to revolutionize railway safety and the data-related market. We believe we have developed cutting edge, AI based, industry-leading detection technology specifically designed for railways, with investments from Knorr-Bremse, a world-class rail system manufacturer. We have developed our railway detection and systems to save lives, increase efficiency, and dramatically reduce expenses for the railway operator. Following a long-term pilot with Israel Railways that was concluded in August 2022, in January 2023, we signed an agreement with Israel Railways for the purchase of 10 Rail Vision Main Line Systems. In addition, our railway detection system is currently in a pilot phase with several industry leading railway operators as we seek to move to the next stage of receiving commercial orders. We believe that our technology will significantly increase railway safety around the world, while creating significant benefits and adding value to everyone who relies on the train ecosystem: from passengers using trains for transportation to companies that use railways to deliver goods and services. In addition, we believe that our technology has the potential to advance the revolutionary concept of autonomous trains into a practical reality.
The increasing electrification and automation of railways and trains are two key factors that are driving growth in the transportation market. Autonomous trains are integrated with advanced systems to provide improved control over the train for stopping, departing and movement between train stations – for example the operators are aiming to increase the density on a given track that’s to say more trains per kilometer. From everyday passengers to train operators, there is a rising demand for safe, secure, and efficient transport systems. Additionally, various technological advancements, such as the integration of the Internet of Things, or IoT, and artificial intelligence, or AI, solutions into railway detection systems, are market categories expected to grow in the coming years. These technologies aid in improving the overall operational efficiency and maintaining freight operations and systems.
Autonomous trains, also known as driverless trains, are operated automatically without any human intervention, and are monitored from the control station when communication is available. In case of any obstacle incurred in the route, the obstacle detection system commands the train to stop and in parallel a message is sent to operational control center and to the attendant on the train if any, to further command the train. Owing to increase in traffic congestion on road network, the need for smart and frequent trains has boosted the growth of the global market. According to Allied Market Research, the autonomous train technology market was valued at $5.88 billion in 2018, and is projected to reach $15.57 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 12.9% from 2019 to 2026.
Since our founding in April 2016, we have developed unique railway detection systems for railway safety, based on image processing and deep leaning technologies that provide early warnings to train driver of hazards on and around the railway track, including during severe weather and in all lighting conditions. Our unique system uses special high resolution cameras to identify objects up to 2,000 meters away, along with a computer unit that uses AI machine learning algorithms to analyze the images, identify objects on or near the tracks, and warn the train driver of the obstacle and potential danger. In 2017, we were recognized as the winner of Deutche Banh’s MINDBOX competition for our automated early warning systems to prevent railway accidents.
Our railway detection system includes different types of cameras, including optics, visible light spectrum cameras (video) and thermal cameras that transmit data to a ruggedized on-board computer which is designed to be suitable for the rough environment of a train’s locomotive. Our railway detection and classification system includes an image-processing and machine-learning algorithm that processes the data for identifying potential hazards on and around the track. These algorithms are designed to identify and classify objects such as people, animals, vehicles, signs, signals along the track, and anomalies. Our railway detection system actively classifies objects by severity to determine if an alarm should be signaled to the train driver. These data collection and classification capabilities can be extended to further use-cases such as predictive maintenance and big-data analyses.
We believe that our technology demonstrates capabilities and results that are better than existing solutions. Most of the currently available safety solutions for the railway industry focus on stationary systems in dedicated hazardous locations, such as at level track crossings and passenger train stations, among others. At these dedicated locations, different technologies are used for detecting obstacles that are on the vicinity of level crossing tracks, and usually include different cameras and radars. The problem with this type of solution is that the train is only monitored at specific points in the railroad junction, leaving the vast majority of the railway unprotected. In addition, even when detected something on the level crossing tracks, the message has to be transmitted in a way that the driver would be able to react on time. In recognition of the limitations of existing solutions, we integrate a collision avoidance system using long-range real-time AI and electro-optics technologies on trains that is designed to address this unmet need. as well as providing solutions to most of the challenges train operators face during transit such as collisions, derailments and other accidents caused by obstacles on tracks, or poor infrastructure.
Industry Overview and Market Opportunity
The railway is an essential form of transportation. Efficient and safe railway infrastructure plays a central role in the global economy. The process of expanding and upgrading railways is taking place worldwide, driving the importance to produce safe and reliable railway infrastructure. A lack of safety and inefficiency may reduce the reliability of train travel, decrease public usage and cause economic damage, including heavier road traffic, more air pollution, and diminish to the quality of life in general.
Railway accidents are generally attributed to several factors, such as the human factor, which include the driver’s failure to notice and respond to obstacles on the track, the driver’s ability to react to potential dangers, and the driver’s field of view, which is made worse in poor lighting or severe weather conditions. Other factors that cause railway accidents include faults in the railway track signaling system, damaged infrastructure, and weather conditions such as rain, fog and snow.
According to the “Report on railway safety and interoperability in the EU, 2022”, the economic cost of significant accidents alone was estimated at about EUR 3.2 billion in 2020. Progress has also been very uneven across the EU Member states, with variation in safety levels remaining high. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2021, in the U.S. there were 8,094 train accidents and incidents, 754 fatalities and 4,628 injuries.
Due to the braking distance required for a train to stop, train operators require advanced notice to stop a train in time and avoid an obstacle on the track. The braking distance of a passenger train traveling at a moderate speed (i.e., 87 mi/h) is between 600 and 800 meters; freight trains typically require a similar distance to safely brake – depending on the load size and speed of the train. Human operators, however, do not have the capacity to detect obstructions on the railway track, and halt a train within these braking distances. Our advanced technology is designed to address this human deficiency.
Our railway detection system monitors the short and long-distance region of interest in front of the train, at an operational range of up to 2,000 meters (1.2 miles), which is longer than the braking distance of most trains. Our system is designed to detect, classify and alert train operators on real-time railway track obstacles, which allows the train operator to make educated decisions in how to best operate the train, and to decide whether it is necessary to stop to avoid a collision. Additionally, after being integrated into the train’s computer, our railway detection system’s artificial intelligence capabilities will facilitate by taking emergency autonomous actions, such as halting the train, braking once an obstacle is classified, sounding a horn and flashing lights to alert others.
Over the past several years, there has been an increased demand for automated solutions in railway detection systems to make train travel safer and more efficient. There are several technological systems available in the market today that have been designed to reduce the risk of railway accidents, to avoid injuries and damage to property, to limit unplanned closures of railway tracks, to make railway transport more efficient, and to increase the usage of existing railway infrastructure. Generally, such railway detection systems fall into two main categories – those which are installed on the train (such as our railway detection system), and those that are fixed signaling systems installed as part of the stationary infrastructure.
We believe that the market potential for our railway detection systems that are installed on the train is large and ever growing, as every single railway train or drivers’ cabin worldwide is a potential customer. Based on our own internal research, we estimate there are approximately 300,000 potential customers, and if considering two (2) systems per loco for each direction the potential can go significantly higher.
According to 2018 estimates of SCI, the global market for railway technology is estimated at approximately $200 billion with a steady growth curve of 2.8% per year. According to currently displayed statistics on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website, the freight train industry in the United States is estimated at approximately $80 billion, as determined by the by the seven Class 1 railroads operating in the United States. Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation it is estimated that $25 billion is spent annually on maintaining and adding capacity to freight railroads. Also, according to McKinsey & Company, in 2016, the cost of infrastructure maintenance and renewal exceeds €25 billion per year across Europe and is rising.
The railway aftermarket revenue is anticipated to record a valuation of USD 120 billion by 2027, according to the most recent study by Global Market Insights Inc. which anticipates that rising investments in rail and infrastructure maintenance combined with the penetration of high-speed trains is expected to bolster the industry growth.
Railway tracks are a controlled environment, usually owned by one entity in the country where they are located. An obstacle that causes an accident on a train carrying hundreds of passengers or hauling thousands of tons of cargo might be a significant cost in the event of an accident due to injuries and damaged property. In addition, the section of track that is damaged or occupied with the stuck train, which is in any event restricted infrastructure, has to be closed until the investigation is completed, debris is collected and the infrastructure is checked for safety before train travel on the railway tracks can continue. This affects the timetable of many other trains, which causes an increase in downtime and the associated financial loss of such downtime. In addition, the reputation of the train operator is damaged, and as a consequence, the train operator may experience a decrease in business.
The Current Train Vision Market Status and the Transition to Autonomous Train Vision
Many trains are equipped with certain advanced automated technologies to assist railway operators such as Automatic Train Control, or ATC, and Automatic Train Protection, or ATP. ATC is a general group of systems that include mechanisms for controlling a train’s speed in response to receiving external data. ATP is a system that, among other things, continuously verifies that the train’s speed complies with the permitted speed.
In addition to ATC and ATP systems, there are currently other available technologies for Automatic Train Operation, or ATO, which include components to promote safety and control all stages of operating the train, from acceleration to precision stopping. While there are various levels of implementation of ATO, the most common use of ATO is on underground railways. For example, the London Underground uses semi-automatic train operation on certain lines. The Light Railway in eastern London is even more advanced, and the driver’s cabin has been replaced by a controller.
ATO covers five Grades of Automation (GoA):
|-||GoA 0 refers to a train with a human driver who exercises full control of the train – starting, stopping, opening and closing doors, and operation in emergencies.|
|-||GoA 1 refers to operation where the driver controls starting and stopping the train, operation of doors, emergencies and sudden deviations, with the assistance of ATP systems.|
|-||GoA 2 refers to semi-automatic operation, where stopping is automatic, but the driver starts the train, operates the doors, and drives the train in emergencies.|
|-||GoA 3 refers to operation without a driver, where starting and stopping is automatic, but the controller operates the doors and drives the train in emergencies.|
|-||GoA 4 refers to train operation without supervision; starting, stopping, door operation and operation in emergencies is all automatic with no staff on the train.|
We believe that railway companies will gradually implement autonomous trains. While a full transition to autonomous trains will require the development of additional technologies beyond those currently available, we believe that our obstacle detection technology has the potential to advance GoA 3 and GoA 4.
As part of the autonomous train vision being promoted worldwide, an automatic detection system will be required to enable train operators to detect obstacles in the train’s travel route beyond the braking distance of a train. An automatic detection system has about twice the human detection capabilities during the day, and much more at night. As part of our efforts to advance operating levels of GoA 3 and GoA 4, we are investing efforts in collaborations with train operators and train manufacturers to examine the integration of our railway detection systems within various trains. We focus on detection systems, whereby the additional auxiliary systems required for an autonomous train (ATC and ATP systems) will be provided by other manufacturers. Our railway detection system is a standalone product that does not require any supportive additional equipment. The interface with an ATO concept of operation can be done at a later time, since our railway detection system, once engaged, can be used regardless of the integration with other autonomous technologies.
GoA 4 freight trains already operate in certain parts of the world (such as Rio Tinto Australia, and Iron Ore Canada). We believe that our railway detection systems are ideal for these trains, and part of our strategy is to engage and collaborate with the operators of these trains. To that end, we have signed a contract to supply demonstrations over several months of testing with the Autonomous GoA4 rail operator Rio Tinto Iron Ore, as described below.
Beyond GoA 4 freight trains, there are some very specific environments where trains are operated without drivers and rely on signaling systems and a sterile testing environment, such as train lines in airports or underground train lines. Such autonomous lines are rare and can only be implemented if the conditions are precise. These types of trains require a safety infrastructure that is separate from the railway track in the external environment. This infrastructure is expensive to build and maintain, and therefore is not a viable option for most operators. While these types of trains are rare and not our main strategic focus, we do believe that our system will be ideal for these trains as well, as they require a solution that is installed on the train and capable of timely identifying potential hazards on and around the track.
We develop solutions for a number of verticals in the railway market:
|1.||The RV2000 system for Main Line passenger and freight trains|
The RV2000 Main Line System is an application of our railway detection system for passengers and freight trains that travels in main line. The system includes an external sensor unit installed on the train along with an on-board computer system (see below). The on-board computer system receives data from the external sensor unit and uses artificial intelligence to perform algorithmic calculations in real time to identify potential hazards for the train operator.
Our railway detection system is designed to discover and warn the train operator about hazards of up to 2,000 meters (1.2 miles) ahead of the train. To detect hazards up to this distance, our railway detection system is dependent on a continuous line of sight that is not obscured by buildings, curves in the track, or dense fog which can limit the detection range.
The braking distance of a train traveling at high speeds of about 160 KPH / 100 MPH is approximately 800 meters (0.5 miles). The RV2000 railway detection system has been optimized to identify hazards at a distance more than 800 meters (0.5 miles) to provide the train operator with enough time to react to the hazard, and stop the train if necessary. The braking distance of the train may differ as a result of various factors, including weather conditions and the total weight of the train.
Our railway detection system can technically interface with the train’s control and monitoring systems, such as the brake system. This interface is achieved by setting up a communication interface between our railway detection system and the train’s existing operating system. However, interfacing with the brake system or other systems of a train will require compliance with a more stringent level of train safety (SIL) than the current safety levels we are certified for, as of the date of this Annual Report.
Our railway detection system is designed to detect and classify objects, indict their location on the track and the distance from the locomotive, and detect the position of the switch. The switch is a device that is part of the railway track and is used to switch between two adjacent tracks or merge two tracks into one track. It is important to detect the position of the switch because the switch selects the train’s continued direction from the main track line on which the train is currently riding to another rail.
An advanced prototype of the RV2000 system was completed and finalized its first field test phase with Israel Railways in March 2022. We are now updating the system and working on the next version of the system.
Following a long-term pilot with Israel Railways that was concluded in August 2022, in January 2023, we signed an agreement with Israel Railways for the purchase of 10 Rail Vision Main Line Systems. First delivery of the system is expected during Q4, 2023. The potential sales opportunity with Israel Railways for our RV2000 system to be installed on up to 200 trains and assuming we can negotiate bidirectional installation, the potential sale opportunity could be doubled to install up to 400 RV2000 systems on up to 200 trains.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore, or RTIO, the world’s second-largest metals and mining corporation has engaged us to work on part of its AutoHaul autonomous train to improve train safety. RTIO has 60 operations in 35 countries, has 47,500 employees and 2,000 customers. The RTIO fleet is autonomous and does not have the technical capability to foresee any obstacles or anomalies in front of the moving train. As such, RTIO is exploring solutions that can detect, alert and respond to an obstacle on the tracks. In April 2021, we entered into an equipment, personnel and services supply agreement with Hitachi Rail STS Australia Pty Ltd., or STS, which enables STS, as the principal supplier, to supply Rio Tinto Railway Network with our RV2000 system for demonstrations and to examine the RV2000’s operational performance. The long-term pilot was concluded in August 2022. Following the completion of the long-term pilot, the company submitted a summary report of the pilot. Following a technical workshop with Rio Tinto that was performed in Nov. 2022, Rio Tinto should send the company more detailed requirements for the next phase.
2. The RV200 system for the Shunting Yard
The RV200 system used at the shunting yard is meant to streamline work in the operational areas of railways (shunting yards) which are used for the assembly, loading and unloading of freight trains.
The shunting yard application of the railway detection system consists of two external sensor units installed on either side of the locomotive that are linked to the central processing unit inside the train, and uses algorithms, artificial intelligence/deep learning neural nets, to classify these obstacles in real time, at a range of up to 200 meters on and beside the track, under severe weather and poor visibility conditions. These warnings are shown to the driver with some recommendations to stop or slow down. The system also has the technical ability to interface with the locomotive’s control systems, such as the train’s brakes. This is done by setting up a communication interface with existing systems in the train and doing so in accordance with the customer’s requirements. However, interfacing with the brakes or other systems in the locomotive requires compliance with a stricter Safety Integrity Level (SIL) than the levels for which we have currently have obtained certification (SIL 0). Rail Vision has completed a homologation process of a drive assist system on trains in a use-case of Switch Yard (SIL-0 according to EN50126).
In October 2020, we supplied a prototype of the RV200 system to Schweizerische Bundes Bahnen Cargo, or SBBC, for functional testing, which began in April 2021. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 20-F, SBB (the mother company of SBB cargo) is planning to issue a tender for purchasing 9 systems for evaluation. For additional information, see “Business and Marketing Strategy” – “Locomotives for shunting yards,” below.
3. The Light Rail Vehicle (LRV RV100) system for light rail and subways
Many cities utilize light railways and underground railways as part of the city’s public transportation system. Light railways in cities also intersect with travel environments used by vehicles and pedestrians alike. This hybrid use of a road by cars, trains and people, causes a greater risk of traffic safety incidents.
As part of a cooperation with Knorr Bremse, the company developed a preliminary prototype, LRV RV100 system. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 20-F, the Company does not allocate its efforts or resources within this segment. The Company will explore business opportunities and will base its decision of whether or not to allocate resources within this segment on a case by case basis.
4. Maintenance, Predictive maintenance applications based on measurements and data collection
Predictive maintenance as a feature in the current systems will be developed according to customer specific use-cases. The Company has developed a preliminary paid prototype for one customer thus far. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 20-F, the Company does not allocate its efforts or resources towards this product. The Company will explore business opportunities and will base its decision of whether or not to allocate resources towards this product on a case by case basis.
Business and Marketing Strategy
Our vision is to become a global leading developer and supplier of innovative railway detection technologies to the railway industry. We believe that our advanced technologies will enable safer train driving, reduce train accidents, increase the flow of traffic, and save money for our customers. We also believe that the transition to autonomous train driving will not occur without an advanced detection system such as ours.
We focus on the following three main segments of the market as described above:
Locomotives for shunting yards – We have focused on selling the RV200 system to shunting yard operators. Our railway detection system for this market segment is at a relatively advanced stage, as we have a prototype of the RV200 system that is being tested by SBBC, a freight train company in Switzerland. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 20-F, SBB (the mother company of SBB cargo) is planning to issue a tender for purchasing 9 systems for evaluation. Upon successful trial, the company estimation that the total potential is above 100 systems. We believe that SBBC’s reputation will assist us in the promotion and sales of our railway detection systems to other customers in this segment. If the transaction with SBBC evolves into an order, we expect SBBC to order several dozen of our railway detection systems. In addition to the transaction with SBBC, the Company has demonstrated the system to a Class I freight operator in the US. The demonstration was successful, and we were asked to give an additional demonstration for the customer’s executives.
Locomotives for passenger and freight trains – Our strategic focus on this market segment derives from the fact that it includes the largest number of trains, and that the trains operating in this market segment are exposed to serious risks and the realistic probability for potentially fatal accidents. We invest significant efforts in promoting sales to passenger and freight train operators. The sales processes for this market segment includes a demonstration of the system’s capabilities according to specific requirements of each train operator. In addition, we are engaged in the process of licensing systems that are intended for this market segment on the assumption that obtaining a permit in one country may significantly facilitate the licensing process in another country. The Company has signed a contract with Israel Railways to supply 10 systems. The delivery is expected to start during Q4 2023. The company believes that the first order for such system by a commercial operator will have an impact on the market. The Company concluded a long-term pilot with Rio Tinto in August 2022. Following the completion of the long-term pilot, the Company submitted a summary report of the pilot. Following a technical workshop with Rio Tinto that was performed in Nov. 2022, the Company expects to receive from Rio Tinto more detailed requirements for the next phase.
Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) – As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 20-F, the Company does not allocate its efforts or resources within this segment. The Company will explore business opportunities and will base its decision of whether or not to allocate resources within this segment on a case by case basis.
Our strategic focus is reflected in our marketing strategy:
|●||We plan on increasing our marketing and sales department to reach more potential customers. Increasing the number of sales and marketing personnel will enable us to initiate and create additional opportunities while the sales and marketing personnel focus on and specialize in the territories that our strategy defines as most relevant.|
|●||We are focused on the following markets: North America, Europe and Australia. The reason for the focus on these markets stems from an analysis we conducted to identify the most relevant countries likely to adopt our railway detection systems. We have defined several parameters which may indicate commercial viability of the market relevant to our railway detection systems. The parameters examined by us included, among other things, the total length of the railway tracks in the country examined, the number of passengers per kilometer/ mile of track traveled, the number of tons of goods per kilometer/ mile of track transported, the total number of trains in the country, the level of innovation in the country, and the openness to integrate new technologies.|
|●||We are investing in efforts to create and develop collaborations with leading train manufacturers. These collaborations are meant to be long-term, with the aim of integrating our railway detection systems into the future production lines of these train manufacturers. We believe that the railway detection systems we develop will be an integral part of future trains, and therefore it is important to invest marketing efforts as early as possible to promote partnerships with train manufacturers and increase market adoption of our railway detection systems.|
|●||Leverage and develop our strategic partnership with Knorr-Bremse to serve as a non-exclusive distributor and be a local partner engaged in marketing, sales and the implementation of projects, including integration, installation and services regarding our products in the relevant markets in which Knorr-Bremse operates worldwide. As part of this marketing strategy, we will seek the assistance of Knorr-Bremse’s marketing team. Knorr-Bremse’s marketing staff promotes and sell our products to their existing customers.|
|●||We intend to invest in advertising in traditional industry channels, social media networks and digital channels to better advertise and market our railway detection systems to potential customers in the railway industry.|
|●||We strive to increase collaborations with other companies operating in the railway industry, such as communications companies that are engaged in constructing communications infrastructure or companies that manufacture complementary products for the railway industry. Collaboration with types of companies may provide added value to our customers, whether it be in the field of data communications where customers seek to transfer data in real time from the trains to the control centers, or through cooperation with companies that manufacture additional auxiliary systems, such as sign manufacturers, and manufacturers of automatic coupling systems (systems that enable automatic coupling between a locomotive and a carriage or between carriages for towing) where our systems will provide a complementary solution.|
|●||Big data – Following the dissemination of our technology and products among many customers, we intend to offer our Main line and Shunting yard systems customers predictive maintenance services and digital mapping services based on the gathering of the visual information stored in its systems. We see big data services as one of its most important growth engines in the next 3-5 years.|
New Products and Applications
We are currently exploring a number of additional railway detection system applications that are in various stages of research and development, as follows:
Maintenance and predictive maintenance: customers who have installed Rail Vision Main line and Shunting yard systems for real time identification of objects, will have the option of receiving predictive track maintenance services, such as identification of vegetation invading the tracks, damage to infrastructures, sunk pylons, etc. This railway detection system application will be able to collect the data from the sensors and check for any changes in and around the track infrastructure in order to indicate possible defects in the infrastructures. Currently, this application is in the initial research and development (R&D) stage.
Mapping and updates – Geographic Information Systems (GIS): since trains travel the same route several times a day, the comparison of observed data received by our railway detection system can discover infrastructures such as posts, signaling systems, electronics boxes, and check their actual location using system measurements based on an image-based navigation (IBN) algorithm, and compare the data with existing records and provide updates. This saves both time and money, as the expense of remapping a railway track is rarely done, and usually forces stretches of track to be closed for such updates. This application of our railway detection system is in the R&D stage.
Big Data: this application of our system will be based on long-term collection of data from Company’s sensors installed on trains to provide relevant data on infrastructure, train traffic and the surroundings. Analysis of the data will generate reports showing trends in driver behavior and the surrounding area and conditions, which will help train operators reduce downtime caused by infrastructure problems, and improve the synchronization of trains, as required by the customer.
Currently, this application is only at the start of the research and development stages and is also conditioned on the installation and operation of about one hundred railway detection systems in order to obtain sufficient data for its operation, assuming the successful completion of its development.
We intend to offer the Big Data applications as an added value to our system to be installed at the customer and not as a separate product.
The Company has signed a contract with Israel Railways to supply 10 systems. The delivery is expected to start during Q4 2023. The Company believe that the first order for such system by a commercial operator will have an impact on the market. The total amount is approximately $1.40 million USD.
We have entered into a series of strategic and investment agreements with Knorr-Bremse or affiliates of Knorr-Bremse. Knorr-Bremse is a 110 year old multi-billion dollar market cap company traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. With more than 30,000 employees at over 100 locations in more than 30 countries around the globe Knorr-Bremse is a world leader in braking & peripheral systems generating total of sales of EUR 6.7 billion in 2021. As one of our strategic investors, Knorr-Bremse has invested approximately $25 million in us. See “Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions—Related Party Transactions—Knorr-Bremse” for additional information
KBCH Framework Agreement
In August 2020, we entered into a framework agreement, or the Framework Agreement, with KBCH (a subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse operating in Switzerland) regarding the supply of a prototype of our system to the shunting yard of a company operating cargo trains in Switzerland, or SBBC. Under the Framework Agreement, we provided KBCH one prototype of the system which was installed on an operating locomotive in an SBBC shunting yard, for the purpose of examining the operational performance of the system, or the Operational Function Test. In consideration for the prototype provided in October 2020 for the Operational Function Test, KBCH paid us approximately EUR 244,000 (approx. $293,000). The Company continues the cooperation with KBCH under the Framework Agreement for the upcoming tender. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 20-F, SBB (the mother company of SBB cargo) is planning to issue a tender for purchasing 9 systems for evaluation. Upon successful trial, the Company estimates that the total potential is above 100 systems.
LRV System MOU
As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 20-F, the Company does not allocate its efforts or resources within this segment. The Company will explore business opportunities and will base its decision of whether or not to allocate resources within this segment on a case by case basis.
Strategic Partnership Agreement
On August 19, 2021, we entered into a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Knorr-Bremse. Under the terms of the Strategic Partnership Agreement, we will collaborate with Knorr-Bremse with respect to joint projects, based on the following principles: (a)(i) the expansion of the Knorr-Bremse Railway Driver Assistance Systems to the field of environmental observation, or (ii) future collaboration in the areas of barrier identification and classification systems in the railway industry; and (b) as part of the framework, we will provide Knorr-Bremse the technology needed in order to fulfilling the customer’s requirements.
The agreement further provides, among other things, that (i) in the event that a customer is presented to us by Knorr-Bremse, subject to the certain conditions, Knorr-Bremse will be entitled to serve as the main contractor for such project, (ii) for any joint project, the parties will mutually agree on the identity of the main contractor and (iii) we will instruct and train the local Knorr-Bremse missions to provide field support services for our systems.
The implementation of the terms of the agreement is subject to future approvals and agreements between the parties and third parties, including transactions that may be subject to the related party transaction rules under the Companies Act, and, as such, there is no certainty that such transactions will be executed, in whole or in part.
The term of the agreement will expire three years after the date of the agreement, or August 19, 2024.
Knorr-Bremse has been in the railway business for 110 years, as a world leader in braking and other system operations. Knorr-Bremse has a global presence with 30,000 employees at 100 sites in 30 countries and is trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with sales totaling €6.7 billion in 2021.
Collaboration Agreement with Israel Railways
On August 3, 2016, we entered into a Cooperation Agreement with Israel Railways Ltd. (a governmental company fully owned by the State of Israel), which was further amended on January 19, 2020.
Under the terms of the agreement, we undertook to fulfill certain functions for the development, marketing, distribution and sale of the system, and Israel Railways undertook to provide us with services and the means to perform tests and experiments, mainly in logistics and manpower, and to provide us with information on certain data that will be given at the discretion of Israel Railways.
Pursuant to the agreement, we agreed to pay Israel Railways the following payments: (i) during the period from August 3, 2016 and until the earliest of (a) a period of 5 years from the date of our first commercial sale or (b) our initial public offering on April 4, 2022 or (c) a change of control (as defined in the agreement), Israel Railways will be entitled to a payment of royalties in the amount of 2.75% of our net sales, and (ii) during the period from August 3, 2016 until the earliest of: (a) our initial public offering on April 4, 2022 or (b) a change of control (as defined in the agreement) Israel Railways will be entitled to 1.5% of the total proceeds from an IPO or consideration, received by us or our shareholders, as a result of a change of control.
Upon the completion of our initial public offering, the Israel Railways became entitled to a consideration of 1.5% of the actual proceeds from our initial public offering, which was approximately $213,000, and accordingly their right to royalties has expired.
The agreement further provides that Israel Railways will be entitled to purchase our products and services at a price equal to half the lowest price charged by us for those products and services to an unrelated third party.
In addition, as part of the agreement and in consideration for services provided to us by Israel Railways, we granted Israel Railways warrants to purchase 195,448 of our ordinary shares with a nominal exercise price. The warrants were initially exercisable upon the earlier of an IPO or a change of control. According to amendments to the agreement we amended the warrant to extend the exercise period, until the earlier of: (1) five business days following the day in which Israel Railways obtained the necessary governmental approvals; or (2) June 30, 2023. On January 25, 2023, Israel Railways provided notice of its exercise of the warrants, pursuant to which we issued 195,448 ordinary shares to Israel Railways.
The agreement may be terminated by either party by providing a 60 days prior written notice. In addition, Israel Railways may terminate the agreement with 30 days prior written notice in the event of a change of control in us. The agreement was terminated and canceled by the parties on January 31, 2023.
Many of our current and potential competitors have extensive track records and relationships within the rail industry and/or the automotive industry. Many of our current and potential competitors have longer operating histories and more extensive name recognition than we have and may also have greater financial, marketing, manufacturing, distribution and other resources than we have. In particular, we operate in a market where most of our competitors are giant corporations such as Bosch Engineering GmbH, ALSTOM Holdings, Siemens Mobility GmbH and Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation with others such as 4Tel Pty Ltd and Cognitive Pilot LLC. Current and future competitors may be able to respond more quickly to new or emerging technologies and changes in customer demands and to devote greater resources to the development, promotion and sale of their products than we can.
Unlike some of the competitors that have used existing systems from the motor vehicle world and adjusted them to the railway environment, we develop our railway detection systems from the beginning to operate on trains. Additionally, in terms of the ability to identify hazards at far longer distances, our railway detection system functions can not only discover obstacles on the tracks but also identify these obstacles. We believe that our railway detection system’s contribution to train safety will be greater than that of existing railway detection systems by our competitors. Thus, by our estimate, the railway detection systems offered by competitors for mainline trains have relatively limited capabilities compared to the capabilities of our RV2000 system. From our own analysis, we believe that our competitors offer a shorter range-detection distance and provide a lower detection probability of obstacles than the railway detection systems we have developed.
Some of our competitors offer a shorter range-detection distance and provide a lower detection probability of obstacles. Our systems consist of electro-optic sensors using artificial intelligence for automatic identification, classification of obstacles along the tracks at distances which, to the best of our knowledge, are longer than those of the competition. Our railway detection systems also have a greater degree of accuracy and higher probability to detect obstacles, which, to the best of our knowledge, results in fewer false alerts compared to competing products.
Apart from the expected contribution of our systems to increase the safety of train operations, our railway systems are also designed to help in predictive maintenance of railway infrastructure, due to the constant monitoring of the railway tracks by its sensors. As far as we know, this function does not exist in any competing systems.
To the best of our knowledge, several competing companies are developing systems to help drivers. Some derive from the world of trains, others from the wheeled vehicle industry. These companies adapt technologies from the vehicle industry for use with trains, for long distance identification of hazards, particularly in the LRV segment. These technologies are generally based on LIDAR technology and/or radar scans with cameras, and as far as we know, have not yet been shown to be suitable for the railway environment, in terms of discovery ranges and required performance. In addition, we don’t expect our LRV system to be sold at a lower price than competitors’ prices due to our use of more advanced components than our competitors.
We differentiate our systems by focusing on their unique ability to use AI algorithms in real time to provide alerts to the driver throughout the entire drive. In our estimation, the advantages of our technology over the competition are:
|●||Our railway detection system is based on passive technology that uses video images or thermal images, unlike other railway detection systems that are based on obstacle discovery using radar or lasers (which emit radiation along the railway track) in train stations, and already exist in the market for LRV and in level crossing – we do not know of any other system that reaches 2 kilometers classification.|
|●||In several field trials, our railway detection systems have shown an ability to identify objects at distances of up to 2,000 meters. Discovering obstacles at a long range is essential for effectively discovering obstacles since there is a long braking distances required by trains to come to a complete stop from the time the obstacle is identified.|
|●||Our railway detection systems, compared to LIDAR technology, are less sensitive to platform speed or rocking motions, higher resolution and are able to classify obstacles at longer distances compared to competing railway detection systems.|
|●||Our detection systems are based on passive technology, and are therefore not exposed to interference due to hot spots and reflection overload. Other technologies such as radar are sensitive to the presence of metallic objects (such as screws, springs and other metallic objects etc.) which are often found on or near railway tracks.|
We believe the following table gives representative details of various solutions currently available on the market in the field of identifying obstacles on railway tracks. The following information is based on our beliefs, has been provided to us from publications by the various competitors listed below and has not been independently verified by us.
|Name||Segment||Product & Features||Competitive Analysis||Homologation|
|Cognitive Pilot LLC||Shunting Yard||
Based on a combination of daylight camera + radar
1. The system incorporates a short-range radar camera;
1. To the best of the Company’s knowledge, the system is in development and has not yet been sold in serial production. No existing customers are known beyond demos.
2. The Company understands that the system operates at shorter ranges than the Company’s system.
3. To the best of the Company’s knowledge, the competitor’s system does not include a thermal camera, unlike the Company’s system, which has a thermal camera that enables visual identification even at night.
We are not aware of a standardization process that this competitor has initiated.
|Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation||Shunting Yard||Based on a high resolution daylight camera with AI capabilities||
1. To the best of the Company’s knowledge, the detection ranges of Toshiba’s system are similar to the detection ranges of the Company’s system;
2. The competitor is a train manufacturer with high technological and financial capabilities; able to integrate the system as an integral product in its systems;
1. To the best of the Company’s knowledge, the system is still under development.
2. To the best of the Company’s knowledge, the competing system does not include a thermal camera, unlike the Company’s system, which has a thermal camera that enables visual identification even at night.
We are not aware of a standardization process that this competitor has initiated.
|Bosch Engineering GmbH||Shunting Yard||
Tram forward collision warning (TFCW), Based on a solution from the wheeled vehicle industry, on the market since 2017. Approved for use with LRV under a European standard.
1. According to public announcements, the system has been sold to LRV customers. Bosch’s past experience is an advantage.
2. To the best of the Company’s knowledge, the Bosch system is sold at a competitive price at the LRV market
3. Bosch is a global company with high technological and financial capabilities compared to the Company.
4. The system also includes short-range radar.
1. To the best of the Company’s knowledge Bosch system is designed to the LRV market, not for shunting.
2. Bosch’s system does not include a thermal camera like the system developed by the Company, which includes a thermal camera that allows visual identification even at night.
The Company is aware that the competing system has a high false alarm rate.
As the installation of such a system requires standardization, it can be assumed that Bosch has the standard required to install such a system in the cities where the system is installed.
|Name||Segment||Product & Features||Competitive Analysis||Homologation|
The system is based on an array of day cameras with integrated AI.
1. EU based company
2. Mobile system
1. To the best of the Company’s knowledge, the ranges are lower than our system.
2. Depends on 4G/5G – might be a problem when there is no cellular connectivity.
We are not aware of a standardization process that this competitor has initiated.
|ALSTROM Holdings||Shunting Yard||
The system is based on an array of day cameras with integrated AI.
1. Alstom is a major player within the railways industry with high technological and financial capabilities
2. Partnering with ELTA (major player in Radar’s)
We are not aware of a standardization process that this competitor has initiated.
|Name||Segment||Product & Features||Competitive Analysis||Homologation|
|4Tel Pty Ltd (AI machine)||Main Line||
The system is based on an array of day cameras with integrated AI.
A local competitor in Australia in the RIO TINTO project. The competitor may have an advantage due to its being a local manufacturer in Australia.
To the best of the Company’s knowledge, the demo has been shown to a customer for a specific use.
|We are not aware of a standardization process that this competitor has initiated.|
|ELTA Systems Ltd||Main Line||
The system is based on an array of day cameras with integrated AI.
1. ELTA is world leader in Radar technology with years of experience within Radar and EO systems.
Won the RDSO tender in India
1. To the best of our knowledge, the system is still under development
We are not aware of a standardization process that this competitor has initiated.
|Thales Group (RailBot)||Main Line||Based on a daylight camera with AI capabilities||
1. Thales is a major player within the railways industry with high technological and financial capabilities.
1. To the best of the Company’s knowledge, the ranges are lower than our system.
We are not aware of a standardization process that this competitor has initiated.
Our competitive approach is in developing a unique know-how, achieving an advantage and differentiating our railway detection system technology by incorporating advanced technological solutions. We believe that the railway detection system we are developing can provide an effective economic solution for our customers, which includes a return of the investment brought about by the railway detection system’s contribution to the train’s increased safety, the prevention of accidents and unplanned delays in train traffic, and improving the accuracy of railway operations, all of which can save railway operators extensive operating costs.
Another advantage of our railway detection system is the option, currently in development, to use the system as an aid to predictive maintenance of railway infrastructure due to the system’s continuous monitoring of the railway tracks on which it travels.
Apart from that, we engage the competitive landscape by developing new products, and to the extent that such developments are successfully completed, these products will enable us to face the competition. To provide our customers with additional added value, we are developing maintenance, predictive maintenance, Big Data and GIS services, which may be added on top of our existing system components to make our railway detection system more attractive to the customer.
Because our railway detection system regularly monitors railway infrastructures and tracks, the system can record and store visual information. Huge amounts of data are built up (Big Data) which, subject to contractual and legal restrictions, could be available to customers for purposes such as identifying possible gaps and faults in tracks and other infrastructure, and updating maps. This capability is an added value to the existing system. To the best of our knowledge, Siemens Mobility GmbH and the 4Tel Pty Ltd company also use infrastructure monitoring capabilities that are based on artificial intelligence. We have no information about the veracity of this competitor’s statement.
As the autonomous train industry continues to develop, regulators, including the FRA and the ERA, may adapt existing regulations and create new ones in order to ensure the compatibility of autonomous trains and autonomous train technology with regulatory expectations, requirements relating to safety and legal liability. On March 29, 2018, for instance, the FRA issued a RFI regarding the “future of automation in the railroad industry,” which is part of a broader effort by the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance the safe deployment of autonomous technologies. We cannot anticipate what regulations will materialize from the FRA’s RFI, or from parallel inquiries underway in other countries in which we operate. Likewise, we cannot predict the limitations, restrictions and controls nor the economic consequences flowing from such regulations. Should restrictive regulations apply, they could delay the introduction of autonomous train technology, cause us to redesign aspects of our products, impose additional costs and adversely affect our results of operations. We cannot assure you that we have been or will be at all times in complete compliance with such laws, regulations and permits.
In addition, we are subject to a number of laws and regulations that involve matters central to our business. These laws and regulations involve privacy, data protection, intellectual property, competition, and other subjects. Many of the laws and regulations to which we are subject are still evolving and being tested in courts and could be interpreted in ways that could harm our business. In addition, the application and interpretation of these laws and regulations are often uncertain, particularly in the new and rapidly evolving industry in which we operate. Because global laws and regulations have continued to develop and evolve rapidly, it is possible that we may not be, or may not have been, compliant with each such applicable law or regulation.
We seek patent protection as well as other effective intellectual property rights for our products and technologies in the United States and internationally. Our policy is to pursue, maintain and defend intellectual property rights developed internally and to protect the technology, inventions and improvements that are commercially important to the development of our business.
We have eleven registered patents and 24 pending patent applications. Failure to gain approval for the patent applications filed by us or a change in the patents granted to us, in whole or in part, and the promotion and creation of alternative technologies to our technology, may adversely affect our status and ability to sell the system developed by it.
A provisional patent application is a preliminary application that establishes a priority date for the patenting process for the invention concerned and provide certain provisional patent rights. We cannot be certain that patents will be granted with respect to any of our pending patent applications or with respect to any patent applications filed by us in the future, nor can we be sure that any of our existing patents or any patents granted to us in the future will be commercially useful in protecting our technology. Despite our efforts to protect our intellectual property, any of our intellectual property and proprietary rights could be challenged, invalidated, circumvented, infringed or misappropriated, or such intellectual property and proprietary rights may not be sufficient to permit us to take advantage of current market trends or otherwise to provide competitive advantages. For more information, please see “Risks Related to our Intellectual Property.”
In addition, we may be exposed to claims and/or suits regarding the use of proprietary rights of third parties who received approval for the registration of a patent in respect of an application which had already been filed when we made use of such rights.
We are not currently party to any pending material legal proceedings. From time to time, we may become a party to litigation incident to the ordinary course of our business. Regardless of the outcome, litigation can have an adverse impact on us because of defense and settlement costs, diversion of management resources and other factors.
As of March 15, 2023, we have five senior management positions, all of whom are engaged on a full-time basis. In addition to our senior management, we have 60 employees in full or part-time capacities. All our employees are located in Israel.
None of our employees are represented by labor unions or covered by collective bargaining agreements. We believe that we maintain good relations with all our employees. However, in Israel, we are subject to certain Israeli labor laws, regulations and national labor court precedent rulings, as well as certain provisions of collective bargaining agreements applicable to us by virtue of extension orders issued in accordance with relevant labor laws by the Israeli Ministry of Economy and which apply such agreement provisions to our employees even though they are not part of a union that has signed a collective bargaining agreement.
All of our employment and consulting agreements include employees’ and consultants’ undertakings with respect to non-competition and assignment to us of intellectual property rights developed in the course of employment and confidentiality. The enforceability of such provisions is subject to Israeli law.
C. Organizational Structure
We currently have no subsidiaries.
D. Property, Plant and Equipment
Our corporate headquarters, which includes our offices and research and development facility, is located at 15 Ha’Tidhar St., Ra’anana 4366517, Israel, where we currently occupy approximately 16,900 square feet. We lease our facilities and our lease ends in September 2026. At the end of the term, we have the option to extend the lease for an additional five years. Our monthly rent payment is NIS 91,000 (approximately $26,000). In 2023, the monthly rent payments will increase to an average of NIS 92,000 (approximately $26,000), and in 2026, the monthly rent will increase to NIS 96,175 (approximately $27,000).
We consider our current space sufficient to meet our anticipated needs for the foreseeable future and believe our current space is suitable for the conduct of our business.
ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS
DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this annual report. The discussion below contains forward-looking statements that are based upon our current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from these expectations due to inaccurate assumptions and known or unknown risks and uncertainties, including those identified in “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and under “Risk Factors” elsewhere in this annual report. The following discussion of the financial condition and results of operations is for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021. Discussion regarding our financial condition and results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2021 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2020 is included in Item 5 of our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2021, filed with the SEC on May 16, 2022 (the “2021 Form 20-F”).
We are a development stage technology company that is seeking to revolutionize railway safety and the data-related market. We believe we have developed cutting edge, AI based, industry-leading detection technology specifically designed for railways, with investments from Knorr-Bremse, a world-class rail system manufacturer. We have developed our railway detection and systems to save lives, increase efficiency, and dramatically reduce expenses for the railway operator. Following a long-term pilot with Israel Railways that was concluded in August 2022, in January 2023, we signed an agreement with Israel Railways for the purchase of 10 Rail Vision Main Line Systems. Our railway detection system is currently in the pilot phase with several industry leading railway operators as we seek to move to the next stage of receiving commercial orders. We believe that our technology will significantly increase railway safety around the world, while creating significant benefits and adding value to everyone who relies on the train ecosystem: from passengers using trains for transportation to companies that use railways to deliver goods and services. In addition, we believe that our technology has the potential to advance the revolutionary concept of autonomous trains into a practical reality.
A. Operating Results
Our current operating expenses consist of two components — research and development expenses, and general and administrative expenses. To date, we have not generated significant revenues.
Research and Development Expenses, net
Our research and development expenses consist primarily of salaries and related personnel expenses (including share-based payment), subcontractor’s expenses and other related research and development expenses.
The following table discloses the breakdown of research and development expenses:
|(in thousands of USD)||2022||2021|
|Payroll and related expenses||5,049||5,586|
|Subcontracted work and consulting||15||64|
|Rent and office maintenance||355||390|
|Travel and other expenses||347||110|
We expect that our research and development expenses will materially increase as we continue to develop our products and recruit additional research and development employees.
General and Administrative Expenses
General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and related expenses, share-based payment, professional service fees for accounting, legal and bookkeeping, facilities, travel expenses and other general and administrative expenses.
The following table discloses the breakdown of general and administrative expenses:
|(in thousands of USD)||2022||2021|
|Payroll and related expenses||1,845||1,508|
|Rent and office maintenance||118||130|
|Marketing and other||393||75|
Comparison of the Year Ended December 31, 2022, to the Year Ended December 31, 2021
Results of Operations
|December 31||December 31,|
|(in thousands of USD)||2022||2021|
|Cost of revenues||(661||)||(657||)|
|Research and development expenses||(6,230||)||(7,208||)|
|General and administrative expenses||(4,265||)||(3,316||)|
|Financial income, net||260||73|
Our revenues for the Year ended December 31, 2022, amounted to $421,000 including $219,000, due to the completion of the demonstration with a customer in the US and $202,000, due to the completion of the Long Term Pilot LTP with Rio Tinto.
Research and Development Expenses
Our research and development expenses for the year ended December 31, 2022, amounted to $6,230,000 representing a decrease of $978,000 or 13.5% as compared to $7,208,000 for the year ended December 31, 2021. The decrease was primarily attributable to a decrease of $536,000 in payroll and related expenses related to employee’s resignation and significant changes in USD/NIS exchange rate, and a decrease of $434,000 in share-based payments related to end of vesting periods of Israeli railways warrants and employees options in 2021.
General and administrative expenses
Our general and administrative expenses totaled $4,265,000 for the year ended December 31, 2022, an increase of $949,000 or 28.6% compared to $3,316,000 for the year ended December 31, 2021. The increase was primarily attributable to an increase of $337,000 in salaries related to salaries update and one time IPO bonuses, an increase of $366,000 in professional fees mainly due to public company expenses and an increase of $233,000 in marketing and others mainly due to exhibition expenses and welfare expenses.
As a result of the foregoing, our operating loss for the year ended December 31, 2022 was $10,735,000 compared an operating loss of $10,293,000 for the year ended December 31, 2021, an increase of $442,000 or 4.3%.
Financial expense and income
Financial expense and income consist of bank fees and other transactional costs and exchange rate differences.
We recognized net financial income of $260,000 for the year ended December 31, 2022, compared to net financial expenses of $73,000 for the year ended December 31, 2021. The increase was primarily attributable to exchange rate differences and Interest from bank deposits.
As a result of the foregoing, our net loss for the year ended December 31, 2022, was $10,475,000 compared to $10,220,000 for the year ended December 31, 2021, an increase of $255,000 or 2.49%.
B. Liquidity and Capital Resources
Since our inception through December 31, 2022, we have funded our operations principally with approximately $13,575,000 (net of issuance expenses) from the issuance of ordinary shares, Preferred Shares, and warrants. As of December 31, 2022, we had approximately $8,492,000 in cash and cash equivalents.
The table below presents our cash flows for the periods indicated:
|December 31,||December 31,|
|(in thousands of USD)||2022||2021|
|Net increase (increase) in cash and cash equivalents||$||6,643||$||(5,094||)|
Net cash used in operating activities of $9,981,000 during the year ended December 31, 2022, was primarily used for payment of an aggregate of approximately $6,894,000 in salaries and related personnel expenses. The remaining amount of $3,087,000 was used, for professional services, travel, rent and other miscellaneous expenses.
Net cash used in operating activities of $9,948,000 during the year ended December 31, 2021, was primarily used for payment of an aggregate of approximately $7,093,000 in salaries and related personnel expenses. The remaining amount of approximately $2,855,000 was used for professional services, travel, rent and other miscellaneous expenses.
Net cash used in investing activities of $29,000 during 2022 and $273,000 during 2021, primarily reflected the purchase of fixed assets in both periods.
Net cash provided by financing activities in the year ended December 31, 2022, consisted of $13,643,000 of net proceeds from our IPO in April 2022 and approximately $3,000,000 of pre-IPO Investment. Net cash provided by financing activities in the year ended December 31, 2021, consisted of $5,127,000 of net proceeds from our issuance of Preferred A Shares and exercise of options to purchase ordinary shares.
On October 13, 2020, we and Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH, or Knorr-Bremse, entered into an investment agreement under which we issued 51,282 Preferred A shares to Knorr-Bremse, in consideration of a total investment of $10,000,000. The investment amount was transferred to us in two equal installments, the first installment upon closing and the second installment on April 13, 2021.
In addition, pursuant to the terms of the agreement, we were granted a call option for an additional amount of $5,000,000 at the same price per share and in exchange for the same class of shares. According to an amendment signed by and among the parties the exercise period of the option was extended to be in full force and effect until March 31, 2022. On February 14, 2022, we and Knorr-Bremse signed a second amendment to the investment agreement according to which from February 14, 2022 we are entitled to exercise the option in two installments as follows: (i) to call for up to $2,000,000 out of the option amount no later than March 31, 2022; and (ii) to call for up to $2,286,000 out of the option amount no later than June 30, 2022. The aforesaid option expired on the closing of our initial public offering on April 4, 2022. On March 6, 2022, we issued to Knorr-Bremse, a total of 10,256 Preferred A shares at a price of $195 per share, after we called an amount of $2,000,000 out of the option amount.
In January 2022, the Company entered into a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (“SAFE”) with its two main shareholders providing for financing in the aggregate amount of $1,000 (the “Investment Amount”) which was subsequently amended in March 2022. The SAFE provides for the conversion of the Investment Amount into the Company’s ordinary shares under certain circumstances including in particular in the case of an Initial Public Offering (“IPO”) such that immediately prior to the closing of an IPO the Investment Amount shall automatically convert into the number of shares and warrants equal to the Investment Amount divided by the IPO price. The warrants which shall be issued shall have the same terms as the warrants to be issued in the IPO except such warrants shall not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and shall not be tradeable. Immediately prior to the completion of the IPO on April 4, 2022, the Investment Amount was automatically converted to 242,131 ordinary shares and 242,131 warrants to purchase ordinary shares, with an exercise price of $4.13 per share, immediately exercisable and will expire five years from the date of issuance.
On April 4, 2022, the Company completed its IPO, in which the Company issued 3,787,241 units. Each unit includes one ordinary share and one warrant to purchase one ordinary share at an exercise price of $4.13. The warrants are exercisable at any time up to five years after the IPO. Gross proceeds for the offering were approximately $15,647 (including exercise of over-allotment options as described below) and net proceeds of approximately $13,587 after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses. The Company granted Aegis Capital Corp, the underwriter (“Aegis”), a 45-day over-allotment option to purchase additional ordinary shares and/or warrants to purchase additional ordinary shares up to 15% of the number of ordinary shares and warrants, respectively, sold in the IPO solely to cover over-allotments, if any. On April 4, 2022, Aegis partially exercised its over-allotment option with respect to 568,086 warrants to purchase ordinary shares.
We have financed our operations to date primarily through proceeds from sales of our Ordinary and Preferred Shares. We have incurred losses and generated negative cash flows from operations since inception in April 2016. Since inception, we have not generated significant revenues from the sale of products, and we do not expect to generate significant revenues from the sale of our products in the near future.
As of December 31, 2022, our cash and cash equivalents were $8,492,000. We expect that we will require substantial additional capital to complete the development of additional features of our system according to customers’ requirements, including algorithm optimization, cognitive layer development, system minimization and optical development, as well as to commercialize our products. In addition, our operating plans may change as a result of many factors that may currently be unknown to us, and we may need to seek additional funds sooner than planned. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including:
|●||the progress and costs of our research and development activities;|
|●||the costs of manufacturing our products;|
|●||the costs of filing, prosecuting, enforcing and defending patent claims and other intellectual property rights;|
|●||the potential costs of contracting with third parties to provide marketing and distribution services for us or for building such capacities internally; and|
|●||the magnitude of our general and administrative expenses.|
Until we can generate significant recurring revenues and profit, we expect to satisfy our future cash needs through debt or equity financings, through the utilization of our current financial resources and sales of our products. We cannot be certain that additional funding will be available to us when needed, on acceptable terms, if at all. If funds are not available, we may be required to delay, reduce the scope of, or eliminate research or development plans for, or commercialization efforts with respect to our products.
Such conditions raise substantial doubts about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. Management’s plan includes raising funds from existing shareholders and/or outside potential investors. However, there is no assurance such funding will be available to the Company or that it will be obtained on terms favorable to the Company or will provide the Company with sufficient funds to successfully complete the development of, and to commercialize, its products.
The following table summarizes our contractual obligations at December 31, 2022:
|1-3 years||3-5 years||More
|(in thousands of U.S. dollars)|
C. Research and development, patents and licenses, etc.
For a description of our research and development programs and the amounts that we have incurred over the last two years pursuant to those programs, please see “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects— A. Operating Results— Operating Expenses— Research and Development Expenses, net” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects— A. Operating Results— Comparison of the year ended December 31, 2022 to the year ended December 31, 2021— Research and Development Expenses.”
D. Trend Information
We continue to closely monitor macro-economic conditions, including the headwinds caused by supply chain problems, inflation, increased interest rates and other trends that have been adversely impacting economic activity on a global scale in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been assessing, on an ongoing basis, the implications of those global conditions for our operations, supply chain, liquidity, cash flow and product orders, and will act in an effort to mitigate adverse consequences as needed. To the extent inflation increases our costs and expenses, we could consider price increases to offset those cost pressures.
Specific developments that may potentially impact our operating performance in an adverse manner include:
|●||further actions taken by central banks in Europe and the U.S. to increase interest rates as a means to slow down inflation, which may worsen credit/financing conditions for our customers who purchase our products;|
|●||potential contraction of economic activities and recessionary conditions that could arise as a result of interest rate increases and a decrease in consumer demand; and|
|●||the continued depreciated value of the Euro relative to the U.S. dollar, which may have an adverse impact on the U.S.- denominated value of our European-derived revenues for purposes of our financial statements.|
We cannot provide any assurances as to the extent of our resilience to the adverse impact of these specific developments in future periods.
Other than the foregoing and as disclosed elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 20-F, we are not aware of any trends, uncertainties, demands, commitments or events for the period from January 1, 2022 to the present time that are reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on our net revenue, income, profitability, liquidity or capital resources, or that would cause the disclosed financial information to be not necessarily indicative of future operating results or financial condition.
E. Critical Accounting Estimates
We describe our significant accounting policies more fully in Note 2 to our financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2022. We believe that the accounting policies below are critical in order to fully understand and evaluate our financial condition and results of operations.
An appreciation of our critical accounting policies is necessary to understand our financial results. The accounting policies outlined below are considered to be critical because they can materially affect our operating results and financial condition, as these policies may require us to make difficult and subjective judgments regarding uncertainties. The accuracy of these estimates and the likelihood of future changes depend on a range of possible outcomes and a number of underlying variables, many of which are beyond our control, and there can be no assurance that our estimates are accurate.
The Company’s critical accounting estimate affecting the financial statements is its stock-based compensation:
From time to time, the Company may grant options to its employees, directors and non-employees. The Company recognizes this compensation expense at its fair value.
Changes in the Company’s assumptions can materially affect the estimate of the fair value of stock-based compensation and, consequently, the related expense recognized. The assumptions used in the calculations of the fair value of stock-based payment awards is represented by best estimates which involve inherent uncertainties and the application of judgment when considering inherent uncertainties. As a result, if the Company’s assumptions change and different assumptions are used, the expense of a stock-based compensation award could be materially different in the future than what was originally planned for.
ITEM 6. DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES
A. Directors and Senior Management
The following table sets forth information regarding our executive officers, and directors as of March 23, 2023:
|Shahar Hania||50||Chief Executive Officer|
|Ofer Naveh||51||Chief Financial Officer|
|Zachi Bar-Yehoshua||48||Chief Operating Officer|
|Ofer Grisaro||46||Vice President of Marketing and Sales|
|Amit Klir||53||Vice President of Research and Development|
|Mark Cleobury||63||Chairman of the Board of Directors|
|Inbal Kreiss (1)(2)(3)||56||Director|
|Yossi Daskal (1)(2)(3)(4)||69||Director|
|Oz Adler (1)(2)(3)(4)||36||Director|
|(1)||Member of the audit committee.|
|(2)||Member of the compensation committee.|
|(3)||Independent director (as defined under Nasdaq Stock Market Listing Rules)|
|(4)||External director (as defined under the Companies Law)|
Shahar Hania, Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Shahar Hania has served as our Chief Executive Officer since November 2020. Previously, Mr. Hania served as a member of our board of directors from November 2020 to March 2022, and as our Vice President of Research and Development from April 2016 to March 2021. Mr. Hania is an electro-optics expert with vast experience (since 1994) in the fields of combined electro-optics systems, detection, infrared systems and lasers. Mr. Hania held senior system engineering positions in Bird Aerosystems Ltd. From April 2012 to May 2016, and Elbit Systems Electro-Optics ELOP Ltd. From 2000 to 2012. Mr. Hania holds a B.Sc. in Physics and Electro-optics engineering from the Jerusalem College of Technology, Israel and a M.Sc. in electro-optics engineering from Ben-Gurion University, Israel.
Ofer Naveh, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Ofer Naveh has served as our Chief Financial Officer since June 2017. Mr. Naveh brings more than 15 years of experience in accounting and financial management, at KPMG’s audit practice from December 1999 to November 2005, and in numerous financial and accounting roles at public companies traded in Israel and the United States. Mr. Naveh served as chief financial officer of Accel Solutions Group Ltd (formerly: Dolomite Holdings Ltd.), a public company organized under the laws of the State of Israel and listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, or the TASE, from 2010 through June 2017. Since March 2021, Mr. Naveh has served as an external director of Upsellon Brands Holdings Ltd (TASE: UPSL). Mr. Naveh holds a B.A. in Accounting and Business from the College of Management Academic Studies, Israel and a M.A. in Law from Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Mr. Naveh is a Certified Public Accountant in Israel.
Zachi Bar-Yehoshua, Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Zachi Bar-Yehoshua has served as our Vice president of Operations since June 2017. Mr. Bar-Yehoshua has combined managerial experience of more than 20 years, both in the high-tech sector and traditional industries in several service and operation roles. Mr. Bar-Yehoshua served as operation and customer manager at Zoko Enterprises Ltd., an infrastructure and transportation company, from June 2015 through June 2017 and as vice president of technologies services at Team-Netcom Ltd. (Malam Group), a hardware development company, from March 2011 through May 2015. Mr. Bar-Yehoshua holds a B.A. in Management and M.B.A in Business Administration from the Open University of Israel.
Ofer Grisaro, Vice President of Marketing and Sales
Mr. Ofer Grisaro has served as our Vice President of Marketing and Sales since February 1, 2021. Mr. Grisaro has more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing and business development. Prior to joining us, between February 2019 and January 2021, Mr. Grisaro worked as a regional sales manager of NSO Technologies Ltd., a Cyber intelligence company. Prior to that, Mr. Grisaro worked as a sales director at D.S.I.T. Solutions Ltd., an underwater surveillance company, between March 2017 and February 2019. Mr. Grisaro holds B.A. degree in Management and an M.B.A. in International Marketing Pricing, both from the Ben Gurion University, Israel.
Amit Klir, Vice President of Research and Development
Mr. Amit Klir has served as our Vice President of Technology, Research and Development since March 2021. Mr. Klir has more than 25 years of experience in development and leadership of video and audio applications. Prior to joining us, Mr. Klir worked as the Head of Engineering at Continuse Biometrics Ltd., an innovative medical company, between May 2015 and March 2021. Mr. Klir holds a B.Sc. degree in Electric Engineering and Computers from the Ben Gurion University, Israel.
Mark Cleobury, Director
Mr. Mark Cleobury has served on our board of directors since December 1, 2022 and was appointed as the Chairman on January 19, 2023. Mr Cleobury currently serves as Senior Vice President of Knorr-Bremse’s Rail Systems Division, since April 2022. Prior to this role, Mr. Cleobury held positions of increasing responsibility at Knorr-Bremse, including between July 2016 and April 2022, Mr. Cleobury served as a Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Systems for Rail. Prior to that, between April 2011 and June 2016, Mr. Cleobury served as Vice President Sales and Systems for Client Management Trains. Prior to that, between January 2007 and April 2011, he served as Manager Sales & Systems Trains.
During his twenty years of tenure at Knorr-Bremse, in addition to his executive roles, Mr. Cleobury held several global directorship roles within the Knorr-Bremse group, including serving as Vice President for the Knorr-Bremse Company in the U.S., a Director of Knorr-Bremse Investment (UK) Ltd in the UK, Chairman of Knorr-Bremse Nordic Rail Services in Sweden, a Director of Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK) Ltd in the UK, a Member of the Board of Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems Italia S.r.L in Italy, a Member of the Supervisory Board of Knorr-Bremse systemy Kolejowe Polska Sp. Zoo in Poland, a Director of Knorr-Bremse Systemes Ferroviares France SA in France, Consiglio D’Amministrazione at Microelettrica Scientifica s.p.a in Italy, a Director of Knorr-Bremse Systems for Railways in Russia, and a Director of Knorr-Bremse 1520 in Russia.
Shmuel Donnerstein, Director
Mr. Shmuel Donnerstein has served on our board of directors since June 2020. Mr. Donnerstein served as the Chairman of our board until January 2023. Since 2008, Mr. Donnerstein serves as the Chairman of the board of directors of Rav Bariach (08) Industries Ltd, a leading company in the door & locks industry in Israel for over 40 years, and also served as the CEO until 2016. Mr. Donnerstein also serves on the board of directors of Scoutam Ltd. (OTCMKTS: SCTC), Safe-Food Ltd., Rav Bariach Locking Products Ltd, Doors (08) Industries Ltd., Norieali Construction Industries Ltd. And Rav Bariach (08) Industries Ltd. Mr. Donnerstein holds a B.A. in Economics from Tel-Aviv University.
Eli Yoresh, Director
Mr. Eli Yoresh has served on our board of directors since August 2017. Mr. Yoresh is a seasoned executive with over 15 years of executive and financial management experience, mainly with companies in the financial, technology and industrial sectors. Mr. Yoresh has served as chief financial officer since March 2010, and as a director since October 2010, at Foresight Autonomous Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq and TASE: FRSX), one of our shareholders. Mr. Yoresh served as the chief executive officer of Tomcar Global Holdings Ltd., a global manufacturer of off-road vehicles, from 2005 to 2008. In addition, since March 2014, Mr. Yoresh has served as a director at Nano Dimension Ltd. (Nasdaq and TASE: NNDM). Mr. Yoresh’s previous directorships include Greenstone Industries Ltd. (TASE: GRTN) from January 2013 to June 2015, as the chairman of both Zmicha Investment House Ltd. (TASE: TZMI-M) from February 2013 to July 2015 and Gefen Biomed Investments Ltd. (TASE: GEFEN) from April 2013 to July 2015. Mr. Yoresh holds a B.A. in Business Administration from the College of Management, Israel and an M.A. in Law from Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Mr. Yoresh is a Certified Public Accountant in Israel.
Maximilian Eichhorn, Director
Mr. Maximilian Eichhorn has served on our board of directors since October 2020. Mr. Eichhorn has more than 15 years of experience in the rail industry. Mr. Eichhorn currently serves as the Vice President Digital Products and Services of Knorr-Bremse’s Rail Systems Division since November 2020. Prior to that Mr. Eichhorn worked for 20 years for Siemens and served as Vice President Mobility Operating System and ATMS Software Solutions (July 2019 to September 2020), as Senior Vice President Strategy & Business Development (May 2018 to June 2019), and as Vice President Digital Transformation (January 2018 to May 2018), at Siemens Mobility GmbH, a 100% daughter company of Siemens AG. Prior to that, from January 2015 to December 2017, Mr. Eichhorn served as the Executive General Manager at Siemens Ltd. And as the Managing Director / CEO at Siemens Rail Automation Pty. Ltd., both located in Melbourne, Australia. Since January 2022, he also serves on the board of directors of Railnova S.A., Brussels, Belgium, a minority investment of Knorr-Bremse. Mr. Eichhorn holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Vienna, Austria, and a Ph.D. degree at Business Management from the University of Gottingen, Germany.
Inbal Kreiss, Director
Mrs. Inbal Kreiss has served on our board of directors since March 2022. Mrs. Kreiss is currently the Head of Innovation at the Systems, Missiles and Space Division of the Israeli Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) and Chairwoman of RAKIA, Israel’s 2nd Scientific and Technological Mission to the International Space Station. Since 2013, Mrs. Kreiss has served as Deputy Director of the Space Division at IAI, leading the development, construction, launch and operation of observation and communication satellites for both Israeli and foreign users. Prior to that, Mrs. Kreiss held various leadership positions within IAI, including chief engineer of Israel’s Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missile defense system from 2000 to 2006, and project manager of the Arrow 3 exo-atmospheric interceptor from 2007 to 2013. Mrs. Kreiss holds a B.Sc in chemical engineering from the Technion, Israeli Institute of Technology, an Executive Masters in Business Administration from Tel Aviv University, and completed a visiting research fellowship at the Aeronautics & Astronautics Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Yossi Daskal, Director
Mr. Daskal has served on our board of directors since March 2022. Mr. Daskal serves as the President of Israel-Canada Chamber of Commerce since 2013. From 2003 to 2019, Mr. Daskal established Bombardier Israel, working as Chief Country Representative, Project Manager, Financing & Head of Sales. Prior to that, Mr. Daskal was the General Manager of Chemitron Technologies from 1999 to 2003. Since 2021, he is the chairman of the board of directors and the director of the finance committee of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Mr. Daskal has a Bachelors of Arts in Mediterranean and Arabic History Science and a Masters of Arts in Political Science, and is completing a PhD in Decision-Making from Haifa University.
Oz Adler, Director
Mr. Adler, CPA, has served on our board of directors since June 2022. Mr. Adler currently serves as the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of SciSparc Ltd. Mr. Adler has served as SciSparc’s chief financial officer since April 2018 and as its chief executive officer since January 2022. Prior to that, from September 2017 until March 2018, he served as the VP Finance of SciSparc. From December 2020 to April 2021, Mr. Adler served as the chief financial officer of Medigus Ltd. Mr. Adler also worked in the audit department of Kost Forer Gabbay & Kasierer, a member of Ernst & Young Global between December 2012 and August 2017. Additionally, Mr. Adler currently serves on the board of directors of numerous private and publicly traded companies, including Elbit Imaging Ltd. (TASE: EMITF), Clearmind Medicine Inc. (CSE: CMND) (OTC: CMNDF) (FSE:CWY), Jeffs’ Brands Ltd., Polyrizon Ltd. and Charging Robotics Ltd. Mr. Adler is a certified public accountant in Israel and holds a B.A. degree in Accounting and Business Management from The College of Management, Israel.
Keren Aslan, Director
Mrs. Keren Aslan has served on our board of directors since February 1, 2023. Ms. Aslan currently serves as the chief financial officer of Israel Post Ltd. Ms. Aslan served from April 2019 to September 2022 as chief executive officer of Superbus, a company in the Israeli public transportation market. Prior to that, from 2012 to 2018, Ms. Aslan served as the chief financial officer of Israel Railways Ltd., leading its innovation department and its first public bonds raise on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Ms. Aslan holds a B.A. degree in Economics and Business Management from Tel Aviv University and a M.A degree in Economics from Tel Aviv University. Ms. Aslan also serves as a director of Hanan Mor Group Holdings Ltd. and Rav Bariach (08) Industries Ltd., both listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and Trans Israel Ltd., an Israeli government-owned corporation functioning as a project management agency of the Israeli Ministry of Transport and Road Safety.
There are currently no family relationships between any members of our executive management and our directors.
Arrangements for Election of Directors and Members of Management
Pursuant to our amended and restated articles of association, shareholders are entitled to appoint a director to our board of directors for each 10% of our outstanding share capital that they own and in such case the appointment will be for an undefined period. As such, Knorr-Bremse has appointed Mrs. Keren Aslan, Mr. Maximilian Eichhorn and Mark Cleobury to the board of directors, and Foresight has appointed Eli Yoresh to the board of directors. Additional board members are elected at our shareholder’s annual meetings and in such case they shall serve on the board of directors until the next annual general meeting (except for external directors which will serve for up to three terms, each term of three years’ period). In addition, our amended and restated articles allow our board of directors to appoint directors to fill vacancies and/or as an addition to the board of directors (subject to the maximum number of directors) to serve until the next annual general meeting. All of the elected directors, other than external directors, may be re-elected for an unlimited number of terms upon completion of their then-current term of office. There are no other arrangements or understandings with major shareholders, customers, suppliers or others pursuant to which any of our executive management or our directors were selected. See “Related Party Transactions” for additional information.
The following table presents in the aggregate all compensation we paid to all of our directors and senior management as a group for the year ended December 31, 2022. The table does not include any amounts we paid to reimburse any of such persons for costs incurred in providing us with services during this period.
All amounts reported in the table below reflect the cost to us in thousands of U.S. dollars, for the year ended December 31, 2022. Amounts paid in NIS are translated into U.S. dollars at the rate of NIS 3.358 = $1.00, based on the average representative rate of exchange between the NIS and the U.S. dollar as reported by the Bank of Israel in the year ended December 31, 2022.
|All directors and senior management as a group, consisting of 12 persons (as of December 31, 2022).||$||1,454,771||--||$||273,286|
As of December 31, 2022, options to purchase 1,269,568 ordinary shares granted to our directors and executive officers were outstanding under our Option Plan at a weighted average exercise price of $3.094 per share.
In accordance with the Companies Law, we are required to disclose the compensation granted to our five most highly compensated officers. The table below reflects the compensation granted during or with respect to the year ended December 31, 2022.
|Executive Officer - Name and Principal Position (1) (2)|
(in thousands, US dollars)
|Shahar Hania, CEO||$||393||(3)||$||38||$||431|
|Ofer Naveh, CFO||$||297||(4)||$||32||$||329|
|Shmuel Donnerstein, Director (former Chairman) ||$||149||(5)||$||163||$||312|
|Amit Klir, VP R&D||$||216||$||2||$||218|
|Zachi Bar- Yehoshua, COO||$||176||$||20||$||196|
|(1)||All amounts reported in the table are in terms of cost to us, as recorded in our financial statements.|
|(2)||Cash compensation amounts denominated in NIS were converted into U.S. dollars at the average conversion rate for the year ended December 31, 2022.|
|(3)||Includes a one-time IPO bonus to our Chief Executive Officer in the amount of NIS 312,000 (approximately $97,000).|
|(4)||Includes a one-time IPO bonus to our Chief Financial Officer in the amount of NIS 270,000 (approximately $84,000)|
|(5)||Includes a one-time IPO bonus to our former Chairman in the amount of $50,000 (plus VAT)|
Employment Agreements and Service Agreements with Executive Officers
We have entered into written employment agreements and/or service agreements with each of our executive officers. These agreements are terminable by either party upon prior written notice ranging from 30 to 60 days. All of these agreements contain customary provisions regarding noncompetition, confidentiality of information and assignment of inventions. However, the enforceability of the noncompetition provisions may be limited under applicable law. In addition, we have entered into agreements with each executive officer and director pursuant to which we have agreed to indemnify each of them up to a certain amount and to the extent that these liabilities are not covered by directors and officers insurance. We contribute (usually following a trial period of three months) monthly amounts for the benefit and on behalf of all our employees located in Israel to a pension fund pursuant to Section 14 of Israel’s Severance Pay Law. Employees covered by Section 14 are entitled to monthly deposits at a rate of 8.33% of their monthly salary, made on their behalf by us. Payments in accordance with Section 14 release us from any future severance liabilities in respect of those employees. We do not set aside or accrue any additional amounts to provide pension, severance, retirement or other similar benefits or expenses. Most of our executive officers do not receive benefits upon the termination of their respective employment with us, other than benefits under Section 14.
With the completion of our initial public offering, we paid a one-time IPO bonus to our Chief Executive Officer in the amount of NIS 312,000 (approximately $97,000), and granted our Chief Executive Officer options to purchase 156,081 ordinary shares (equal to 0.75% of our post-IPO share capital on a fully diluted basis), with an exercise price of $1.85 per share (equal to the average closing share price on the Nasdaq over the first 30 calendar days that followed our initial public offering on April 4, 2022). Such options will vest one-third following 12 months from the completion date of our initial public offering and the balance on a quarterly basis during the following 24 months.
In addition, with the completion of our initial public offering, we paid a one-time IPO bonus to our Chief Financial Officer in the amount of NIS 270,000 (approximately $84,000), and granted our Chief Financial Officer options to purchase 124,865 ordinary shares (equal to 0.6% of our post-IPO share capital on a fully diluted basis), with an exercise price of $1.85 per share (equal to the average closing share price on the Nasdaq over the first 30 calendar days that followed our initial public offering on April 4, 2022). Such options will vest one-third following 12 months from the completion date of our initial public offering and the balance on quarterly basis during the following 24 months.
Directors’ Service Contracts
We do not have written agreements with any director providing for benefits upon the termination of his engagement with our company.
Our board members are each entitled to (i) an annual fee of NIS 48,000 and a per meeting fee of NIS 2,000. Board members may waive there right to receive the above fees or options or any part thereof, and director nominees may assign their right to remunerations to the shareholder which appointed them.
On October 21, 2020, we entered into a service agreement with Mr. Donnerstein under which he was engaged to serve as our active Chairman of the board. On January 19, 2023, this service agreement was terminated as Mr. Donnerstein resigned from his position as chairman and remained serving as a director. Pursuant to the agreement, in consideration for his services, Mr. Donnerstein was entitled to a monthly fee of $3,000 (plus VAT) which was increased to $10,000 (plus VAT) following our initial public offering. In addition, with the completion of our initial public offering, we paid Mr. Donnerstein a one-time IPO bonus in the amount of $50,000 (plus VAT) and granted Mr. Donnerstein options to purchase 266,216 ordinary shares, with an exercise price of $1.85 per share (equal to the average closing share price on the Nasdaq over the first 30 calendar days that followed our initial public offering on April 4, 2022). Such options will vest one-half following 12 months from the completion date of our initial public offering and the balance on quarterly basis during the following 24 months.
C. Board Practices
Under our amended and restated articles of association, our board of directors must consist of at least four (4) directors and not more than thirteen (13) directors, including at least two external directors if required to be appointed under the Companies Law. Pursuant to the Companies Law, the management of our business is vested in our board of directors. Our board of directors may exercise all powers and may take all actions that are not specifically granted to our shareholders or to management. Our executive officers are responsible for our day-to-day management and have individual responsibilities established by our board of directors. Our Chief Executive Officer is appointed by, and serves at the discretion of, our board of directors, subject to the services agreement that we have entered into with him. All other executive officers are appointed by our Chief Executive Officer. Their terms of employment are subject to the approval of the board of directors’ compensation committee and of the board of directors, as well as our shareholders in the event such terms deviate from our office holder compensation policy, and are subject to the terms of any applicable employment agreements that we may enter into with them.
Each director, except external directors and directors appointed by shareholders entitled to appoint a director for each 10% of the issued and outstanding share capital of the company that the shareholders owns, will hold office until the annual general meeting of our shareholders for the year in which his or her term expires, he or she resigns or upon the occurrence of certain events, in accordance with the Companies Law and our amended and restated articles of association.
In addition, under certain circumstances, our amended and restated articles of association allow our board of directors to appoint directors to fill vacancies on our board of directors or in addition to the acting directors (subject to the limitation on the number of directors), until the next annual general meeting or special general meeting in which directors may be appointed or terminated. External directors may be elected for up to two additional three-year terms after their initial three-year term under the circumstances described below, with certain exceptions as described below. External directors may be removed from office only under the limited circumstances set forth in the Companies Law. See “Directors, Senior Management and Employees—Board Practices—External Directors” below.
Under the Companies Law, any shareholder holding at least one percent of our outstanding voting power may request that the board of directors include a matter on the agenda of a general meeting to be held in the future, provided that the board determines that the matter is appropriate to be considered in a general meeting including in order to nominate a director. Any such notice must include certain information, including the consent of the proposed director nominee to serve as our director if elected, and a declaration signed by the nominee declaring that he or she possess the requisite skills and has the availability to carry out his or her duties. Additionally, the nominee must provide details of such skills, and demonstrate an absence of any limitation under the Companies Law that may prevent his or her election, and affirm that all of the required election-information is provided to us, pursuant to the Companies Law.
Under the Companies Law, our board of directors must determine the minimum number of directors who are required to have accounting and financial expertise. In determining the number of directors required to have such expertise, our board of directors must consider, among other things, the type and size of the company and the scope and complexity of its operations. Our board of directors has determined that we must have at least one director with accounting and financial expertise.
The board of directors may elect one director to serve as the chairman of the board of directors to preside at the meetings of the board of directors, and may also remove that director as chairman. Pursuant to the Companies Law, neither the chief executive officer nor any of his or her relatives is permitted to serve as the chairman of the board of directors of a public company, and a public company may not vest the chairman or any of his or her relatives with the chief executive officer’s authorities. In addition, a person who reports, directly or indirectly, to the chief executive officer may not serve as the chairman of the board of directors; the chairman may not be vested with authorities of a person who reports, directly or indirectly, to the chief executive officer; and the chairman may not serve in any other position in the company or a controlled company, but he or she may serve as a director or chairman of a controlled company. However, the Companies Law permits a company’s shareholders to determine, for a period not exceeding three years from each such determination, that the chairman or his or her relative may serve as chief executive officer or be vested with the chief executive officer’s authorities, and that the chief executive officer or his or her relative may serve as chairman or be vested with the chairman’s authorities. Such determination of a company’s shareholders requires either: (1) the approval of at least a majority of the shares of those shareholders present and voting on the matter (other than controlling shareholders and those having a personal interest in the determination) (shares held by abstaining shareholders shall not be considered); or (2) that the total number of shares opposing such determination does not exceed 2% of the total voting power in the company.
The board of directors may, subject to the provisions of the Companies Law and certain limitations set forth therein, delegate its powers to committees of the board, and it may, from time to time, revoke such delegation or alter the composition of any such committees. Unless otherwise expressly provided by the board of directors, the committees shall not be empowered to further delegate such powers. The composition and duties of our audit committee and compensation committee are described below.
The board of directors oversees how management monitors a company’s compliance with its risk management policies and procedures, and reviews the adequacy of the risk management framework in relation to the risks faced by a company. The board of directors is assisted in its oversight role by an internal auditor. The internal auditor undertakes both regular and ad hoc reviews of risk management controls and procedures, the results of which are reported to the audit committee.
Diversity of the Board of Directors
Board Diversity Matrix (As of March 23, 2023)
|Country of Principal Executive Offices||Israel|
|Foreign Private Issuer||Yes|
|Disclosure Prohibited under Home Country Law||No|
|Total Number of Directors||8|
|Part I: Gender Identity||Female||Male||Non-Binary|
|Part II: Demographic Background|
|Underrepresented Individual in Home Country Jurisdiction||-|
|Did Not Disclose Demographic Background||8|
Under the Companies Law, an Israeli company whose shares have been offered to the public or whose shares are listed for trading on a stock exchange in or outside of Israel is required to appoint at least two external directors to serve on its board of directors. External directors must meet stringent standards of independence. Mr. Yossi Daskal and Mr. Oz Adler have agreed to serve as our external directors.
According to regulations promulgated under the Companies law, at least one of the external directors is required to have “financial and accounting expertise,” unless another member of the audit committee, who is an independent director under the Nasdaq Listing Rules, has “financial and accounting expertise,” and the other external director or directors are required to have “professional expertise.” An external director may not be appointed to an additional term unless: (1) such director has “accounting and financial expertise;” or (2) he or she has “professional expertise,” and on the date of appointment for another term there is another external director who has “accounting and financial expertise” and the number of “accounting and financial experts” on the board of directors is at least equal to the minimum number determined appropriate by the board of directors. We have determined that Mr. Oz Adler has accounting and financial expertise.
A director with accounting and financial expertise is a director who, due to his or her education, experience and skills, possesses a high degree of proficiency in, and an understanding of, business – accounting matters and financial statements, such that he or she is able to understand the financial statements of the company in depth and initiate a discussion about the manner in which financial data is presented. A director is deemed to have “professional expertise” if he or she holds an academic degree in certain fields or has at least five years of experience in certain senior positions. The board of directors is charged with determining whether a director possesses financial and accounting expertise or professional qualifications.
External directors are elected by a majority vote at a shareholders’ meeting, so long as either:
|●||at least a majority of the shares held by shareholders who are not controlling shareholders and do not have personal interest in the appointment (excluding a personal interest that did not result from the shareholder’s relationship with the controlling shareholder) have voted in favor of the proposal (shares held by abstaining shareholders shall not be considered); or|
|●||the total number of shares voted against the election of the external director, does not exceed 2% of the aggregate voting rights of our Company.|
The Companies Law provides for an initial three-year term for an external director. Thereafter, an external director may be reelected by shareholders to serve in that capacity for up to two additional three-year terms, provided that:
|(1)||his or her service for each such additional term is recommended by one or more shareholders holding at least one percent of the company’s voting rights and is approved at a shareholders meeting by a disinterested majority, where the total number of shares held by non-controlling, disinterested shareholders voting for such reelection exceeds two percent of the aggregate voting rights in the company and subject to additional restrictions set forth in the Companies Law with respect to the affiliation of the external director nominee as described below;|
|(2)||his or her service for each such additional term is recommended by the board of directors and is approved at a shareholders meeting by the same disinterested majority required for the initial election of an external director (as described above); or|
|(3)||the external director offered his or her service for each such additional term and was approved in accordance with the provisions of section (1) above.|
The term of office for external directors for Israeli companies traded on certain foreign stock exchanges, including the Nasdaq Stock Market, may be extended indefinitely in increments of additional three-year terms, in each case provided that the audit committee and the board of directors of the company confirm that, in light of the external director’s expertise and special contribution to the work of the board of directors and its committees, the reelection for such additional period(s) is beneficial to the company, and provided that the external director is reelected subject to the same shareholder vote requirements as if elected for the first time (as described above). Prior to the approval of the reelection of the external director at a general shareholders meeting, the company’s shareholders must be informed of the term previously served by him or her and of the reasons why the board of directors and audit committee recommended the extension of his or her term.
External directors may be removed only by a special general meeting of shareholders called by the board of directors after the board has determined that circumstances allow such dismissal, at the same special majority of shareholders required for their election or by a court, and in both cases only if the external directors cease to meet the statutory qualifications for their appointment or if they violate their duty of loyalty to our company. In the event of a vacancy created by an external director which causes the company to have fewer than two external directors, the board of directors is required under the Companies Law to call a shareholders meeting as soon as possible to appoint such number of new external directors in order that the company thereafter has two external directors.
Each committee of the board of directors that exercises the powers of the board of directors must include at least one external director, except that the audit committee and the compensation committee must include all external directors then serving on the board of directors and an external director must serve as the chair thereof. Under the Companies Law, external directors of a company are prohibited from receiving, directly or indirectly, any compensation from the company other than for their services as external directors pursuant to the Companies Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder. Compensation of an external director is determined prior to his or her appointment and may not be changed during his or her term subject to certain exceptions.
The Companies Law provides that a person is not qualified to be appointed as an external director if (i) the person is a relative of a controlling shareholder of the company, or (ii) if that person or his or her relative, partner, employer, another person to whom he or she was directly or indirectly subordinate, or any entity under the person’s control, has or had, during the two years preceding the date of appointment as an external director: (a) any affiliation or other disqualifying relationship with the company, with any person or entity controlling the company or a relative of such person, or with any entity controlled by or under common control with the company; or (b) in the case of a company with no shareholder holding 25% or more of its voting rights, had at the date of appointment as an external director, any affiliation or other disqualifying relationship with a person then serving as chairman of the board or chief executive officer, with a holder of 5% or more of the issued share capital or voting power in the company or with the most senior financial officer.
The term “Controlling Shareholder” means a shareholder with the ability to direct the activities of the company, other than by virtue of being an office holder. A shareholder is presumed to have “control” of the company and thus to be a controlling shareholder of the company if the shareholder holds 50% or more of the “means of control” of the company. “Means of control” is defined as (1) the right to vote at a general meeting of a company or a corresponding body of another corporation; or (2) the right to appoint directors of the corporation or its general manager. For the purpose of approving related-party transactions, the term also includes any shareholder that holds 25% or more of the voting rights of the company if the company has no shareholder that owns more than 50% of its voting rights. For the purpose of determining the holding percentage stated above, two or more shareholders who have a personal interest in a transaction that is brought for the company’s approval are deemed as joint holders.
The term “relative” is defined in the Companies Law as a spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent or descendant; spouse’s sibling, parent or descendant; and the spouse of each of the foregoing persons.
Under the Companies Law, the term “affiliation” and the similar types of disqualifying relationships, as used above, include (subject to certain exceptions):
|●||an employment relationship;|
|●||a business or professional relationship even if not maintained on a regular basis (excluding insignificant relationships);|
|●||service as an office holder, excluding service as a director in a private company prior to the initial public offering of its shares if such director was appointed as a director of the private company in order to serve as an external director following the initial public offering.|
The term “office holder” is defined in the Companies Law as a general manager, chief business manager, deputy general manager, vice general manager, any other person assuming the responsibilities of any of these positions regardless of that person’s title, a director and any other manager directly subordinate to the general manager.
In addition, no person may serve as an external director if that person’s position or professional or other activities create, or may create, a conflict of interest with that person’s responsibilities as a director or otherwise interfere with that person’s ability to serve as an external director or if the person is an employee of the Israel Securities Authority or of an Israeli stock exchange. A person may furthermore not continue to serve as an external director if he or she received direct or indirect compensation from the company including amounts paid pursuant to indemnification or exculpation contracts or commitments and insurance coverage, other than for his or her service as an external director as permitted by the Companies Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder.
Following the termination of an external director’s service on a board of directors, such former external director and his or her spouse and children may not be provided a direct or indirect benefit by the company, its controlling shareholder or any entity under its controlling shareholder’s control. This includes engagement as an office holder of the company or a company controlled by its controlling shareholder or employment by, or provision of services to, any such company for consideration, either directly or indirectly, including through a corporation controlled by the former external director. This restriction extends for a period of two years with regard to the former external director and his or her spouse or child and for one year with respect to other relatives of the former external director.
If at the time at which an external director is appointed all members of the board of directors who are not controlling shareholders or relatives of controlling shareholders of the company are of the same gender, the external director to be appointed must be of the other gender. A director of a company may not be appointed as an external director of another company if at the same time a director of such other company is acting as an external director of the first company.
In addition, under regulations promulgated pursuant to the Companies Law, a company with no controlling shareholder whose shares are listed for trading on specified exchanges outside of Israel, including the Nasdaq Capital Market, may adopt exemptions from various corporate governance requirements of the Companies Law so long as such company satisfies the requirements of applicable foreign country laws and regulations, including applicable stock exchange rules, that apply to companies organized in that country and relating to the appointment of independent directors and the composition of audit and compensation committees. Such exemptions include an exemption from the requirement to appoint external directors and the requirement that an external director be a member of certain committees, as well as the exemption from limitations on directors’ compensation. We may use these exemptions in the future if we do not have a controlling shareholder.
Independent Directors Under the Companies Law
Under the Companies Law an “independent director” is either an external director or a director who meets the same non-affiliation criteria as an external director, (except for (i) the requirement that the director be an Israeli resident (which does not apply to companies such as ours whose securities have been offered outside of Israel or are listed outside of Israel) and (ii) the requirement for accounting and financial expertise or professional qualifications) as determined by the audit committee, and who has not served as a director of the company for more than nine consecutive years. For these purposes, ceasing to serve as a director for a period of two years or less would not be deemed to sever the consecutive nature of such director’s service. Mrs. Inbal Kreiss has agreed to serve as our independent director.
Regulations promulgated pursuant to the Companies Law provide that a director in a public company whose shares are listed for trading on specified exchanges outside of Israel, including the Nasdaq Capital Market, who qualifies as an independent director under the relevant non-Israeli rules and who meets certain non-affiliation criteria, which are less stringent than those applicable to independent directors as set forth above, would be deemed an “independent” director pursuant to the Companies Law provided: (i) he or she has not served as a director for more than nine consecutive years; (ii) he or she has been approved as such by the audit committee; and (iii) his or her remuneration shall be in accordance with the Companies Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder. For these purposes, ceasing to serve as a director for a period of two years or less would not be deemed to sever the consecutive nature of such director’s service.
Furthermore, pursuant to these regulations, such company may reappoint a person as an independent director for additional terms, beyond nine years, which do not exceed three years each, if each of the audit committee and the board of directors determine, in that order, that in light of the independent director’s expertise and special contribution to the board of directors and its committees, the reappointment for an additional term is in the company’s best interest.
Our amended and restated articles of association provide, as allowed by the Companies Law, that any director may, subject to the conditions set thereto, appoint a person as an alternate to act in his place, to remove the alternate and appoint another in his place and to appoint an alternate in place of an alternate whose office is vacated for any reason whatsoever. Under the Companies Law, a person who is not qualified to be appointed as a director, a person who is already serving as a director or a person who is already serving as an alternate director for another director, may not be appointed as an alternate director. Nevertheless, a director who is already serving as a director may be appointed as an alternate director for a member of a committee of the board of directors so long as he or she is not already serving as a member of such committee, and if the alternate director is to replace an external director, he or she is required to be an external director and to have either “financial and accounting expertise” or “professional expertise,” depending on the qualifications of the external director he or she is replacing. A person who does not have the requisite “financial and accounting experience” or the “professional expertise,” depending on the qualifications of the external director he or she is replacing, may not be appointed as an alternate director for an external director. A person who is not qualified to be appointed as an independent director, pursuant to the Companies Law, may not be appointed as an alternate director of an independent director qualified as such under the Companies Law. Unless the appointing director limits the time or scope of the appointment, the appointment is effective for all purposes until the appointing director ceases to be a director or terminates the appointment.
Committees of the Board of Directors
Our audit committee is comprised of at least three directors, including all of the external directors (one of whom must serve as chair of the committee). The audit committee may not include the chairman of the board; a controlling shareholder of the company or a relative of a controlling shareholder; a director employed by or providing services on a regular basis to the company, to a controlling shareholder or to an entity controlled by a controlling shareholder; or a director who derives most of his or her income from a controlling shareholder.
In addition, a majority of the members of the audit committee of a publicly-traded company must be independent directors under the Companies Law.
The members of our audit committee are Mr. Yossi Daskal, Mrs. Inbal Kreiss and Mr. Oz Adler.
Our audit committee will also act as a committee for review of our financial statements as required under the Companies Law, and in such capacity will oversee and monitor our accounting; financial reporting processes and controls, audits of the financial statements, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements as they relate to financial statements or accounting matters, and the independent registered public accounting firm’s qualifications, independence and performance; and provide the board of directors with reports on the foregoing.
Under the Companies Law, our audit committee is responsible for:
|●||determining whether there are deficiencies in the business management practices of our company, and making recommendations to the board of directors to improve such practices;|
|●||determining whether to approve certain related party transactions (including transactions in which an office holder has a personal interest and whether such transaction is extraordinary or material under Companies Law) (see “Directors, Senior Management and Employees—Board Practices—Approval of Related Party Transactions under Israeli law”);|
|●||determining the approval process for transactions that are ‘non-negligible’ (i.e., transactions with a controlling shareholder that are classified by the audit committee as non-negligible, even though they are not deemed extraordinary transactions), as well as determining which types of transactions would require the approval of the audit committee, optionally based on criteria which may be determined annually in advance by the audit committee;|
|●||examining our internal controls and internal auditor’s performance, including whether the internal auditor has sufficient resources and tools to dispose of its responsibilities;|
|●||where the board of directors approves the working plan of the internal auditor, examining such working plan before its submission to the board of directors and proposing amendments thereto;|
|●||examining the scope of our auditor’s work and compensation and submitting a recommendation with respect thereto to our board of directors or shareholders, depending on which of them is considering the appointment of our auditor; and|
|●||establishing procedures for the handling of employees’ complaints as to the management of our business and the protection to be provided to such employees.|
Our audit committee may not conduct any discussions or approve any actions requiring its approval (see “Directors, Senior Management and Employees—Board Practices—Approval of Related Party Transactions under Israeli law”), unless at the time of the approval a majority of the committee’s members are present, which majority consists of independent directors under the Companies Law, including at least one external director.
Nasdaq Stock Market Requirements for Audit Committee
Under the Nasdaq Listing Rules, we are required to maintain an audit committee consisting of at least three members, all of whom are independent and are financially literate and one of whom has accounting or related financial management expertise.
As noted above, the members of our audit committee are Mr. Yossi Daskal and Mr. Oz Adler, who will serve as external directors, and Mrs. Inbal Kreiss, who will serve as an independent director, each of whom is “independent,” as such term is defined in under Nasdaq Listing Rules. The members of our audit committee meet the requirements for financial literacy under the Nasdaq Listing Rules. Our board of directors has determined that each member of our audit committee is an audit committee financial expert as defined by the SEC rules and has the requisite financial experience as defined by the Nasdaq Listing Rules.
Our board of directors has adopted an audit committee charter setting forth among others, the responsibilities of the audit committee consistent with the rules of the SEC and Nasdaq Listing Rules (in addition to the requirements for such committee under the Companies Law).
Under the Companies Law, the board of directors of any public company must establish a compensation committee. The compensation committee must be comprised of at least three directors, including all of the external directors, who must constitute a majority of the members of the compensation committee. Each compensation committee member that is not an external director must be a director whose compensation does not exceed an amount that may be paid to an external director. The compensation committee is subject to the same Companies Law restrictions as the audit committee as to (a) who may not be a member of the committee and (b) who may not be present during committee deliberations as described above.
The members of our compensation committee are Mr. Yossi Daskal, Mr. Oz Adler and Mrs. Inbal Kreiss, each of whom is “independent,” as such term is defined under the Nasdaq Listing Rules. Our compensation committee complies with the provisions of the Companies Law, the regulations promulgated thereunder, and our amended and restated articles of association, on all aspects referring to its independence, authorities and practice. Our compensation committee follows home country practice as opposed to complying with the compensation committee membership and charter requirements prescribed under the Nasdaq Listing Rules. Our board of directors has adopted a compensation committee charter.
Our compensation committee reviews and recommends to our board of directors, with respect to our executive officers’ and directors’: (1) annual base compensation; (2) annual incentive bonus, including the specific goals and amount; (3) equity compensation; (4) employment agreements, severance arrangements, and change in control agreements and provisions; (5) retirement grants and/or retirement bonuses; and (6) any other benefits, compensation, compensation policies or arrangements.
The duties of the compensation committee include the recommendation to the company’s board of directors of a policy regarding the terms of engagement of office holders, to which we refer as a compensation policy. Such policy must be adopted by the company’s board of directors, after considering the recommendations of the compensation committee. The compensation policy is then brought for approval by our shareholders, which requires a special majority (see “Directors, Senior Management and Employees—Board Practices—Approval of Related Party Transactions under Israeli law”). Under the Companies Law, the board of directors may adopt the compensation policy if it is not approved by the shareholders, provided that after the shareholders oppose the approval of such policy, the compensation committee and the board of directors revisit the matter and determine that adopting the compensation policy would be in the best interest of the company. Our board has adopted a compensation policy which was approved by our shareholders on March 27, 2022.
The compensation policy must serve as the basis for decisions concerning the financial terms of employment or engagement of executive officers and directors, including exculpation, insurance, indemnification or any monetary payment or obligation of payment in respect of employment or engagement. The compensation policy must relate to certain factors, including advancement of the company’s objectives, the company’s business and its long-term strategy, and creation of appropriate incentives for executives. It must also consider, among other things, the company’s risk management, size and the nature of its operations. The compensation policy must furthermore consider the following additional factors:
|●||the knowledge, skills, expertise and accomplishments of the relevant director or executive;|
|●||the director’s or executive’s roles and responsibilities and prior compensation agreements with him or her;|
|●||the relationship between the cost of the terms of service of an office holder and the average and median compensation of the other employees of the company (including those employed through manpower companies), including the impact of disparities in salary upon work relationships in the company;|
|●||the possibility of reducing variable compensation at the discretion of the board of directors; and the possibility of setting a limit on the exercise value of non-cash variable compensation; and|
|●||as to severance compensation, the period of service of the director or executive, the terms of his or her compensation during such service period, the company’s performance during that period of service, the person’s contribution towards the company’s achievement of its goals and the maximization of its profits, and the circumstances under which the person is leaving the company.|
The compensation policy must also include the following principles:
|●||the link between variable compensation and long-term performance and measurable criteria;|
|●||the relationship between variable and fixed compensation, and the ceiling for the value of variable compensation at the time of its grant;|
|●||the conditions under which a director or executive would be required to repay compensation paid to him or her if it was later shown that the data upon which such compensation was based was inaccurate and was required to be restated in the company’s financial statements;|
|●||the minimum holding or vesting period for variable, equity-based compensation; and|
|●||maximum limits for severance compensation.|
The compensation policy must also consider appropriate incentives from a long-term perspective.
The compensation committee is also responsible for:
|●||recommending whether a compensation policy should continue in effect, if the then-current policy has a term of greater than three years (approval of either a new compensation policy or the continuation of an existing compensation policy must in any case occur every three years);|
|●||recommending to the board of directors periodic updates to the compensation policy;|
|●||assessing implementation of the compensation policy;|
|●||determining whether the terms of compensation of certain office holders of the company need not be brought to approval of the shareholders; and|
|●||determining whether to approve the terms of compensation of office holders that require the committee’s approval.|
Under the Companies Law, the board of directors of an Israeli public company must appoint an internal auditor nominated by the audit committee. Our internal auditor is Mrs. Dana Spira, who has been serving as our internal auditor since May 2022. Mrs. Spira is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a B.A. degree in accounting and business and L.L.B law from Reichman University, Israel
The role of the internal auditor is to examine, among other things, whether a company’s actions comply with the law and proper business procedure. The audit committee is required to oversee the activities, and to assess the performance of the internal auditor as well as to review the internal auditor’s work plan. An internal auditor may not be an interested party or office holder, or a relative of any interested party or office holder, and may not be a member of the company’s independent accounting firm or its representative. The Companies Law defines an interested party as a holder of 5% or more of the outstanding shares or voting rights of a company, any person or entity that has the right to nominate or appoint at least one director or the general manager of the company or any person who serves as a director or as the general manager of a company. We intend to appoint an internal auditor.
Remuneration of Directors
Under the Companies Law, remuneration of directors is subject to the approval of the compensation committee, thereafter by the board of directors and thereafter, unless exempted under the regulations promulgated under the Companies Law, by the general meeting of the shareholders. External directors are entitled to remuneration (including reimbursement of expenses) subject to the provisions and limitations set forth in the regulations promulgated under the Companies Law. Where the director is also a controlling shareholder, the requirements for approval of transactions with controlling shareholders apply.
There are no service contracts between us, on the one hand, and our directors in their capacity as directors, on the other hand, providing for benefits upon termination of service.
Fiduciary Duties of Office Holders
The Companies Law imposes a duty of care and a duty of loyalty on all office holders of a company.
The duty of care requires an office holder to act with the level of care with which a reasonable office holder in the same position would have acted under the same circumstances. The duty of care of an office holder includes a duty to use reasonable means to obtain:
|●||information on the advisability of a given action brought for his approval or performed by him by virtue of his position; and|
|●||all other important information pertaining to these actions.|
The duty of loyalty of an office holder requires an office holder to act in good faith and for the benefit of the company, and includes a duty to:
|●||refrain from any conflict of interest between the performance of his duties in the company and his performance of his other duties or personal affairs;|
|●||refrain from any action that is competitive with the company’s business;|
|●||refrain from exploiting any business opportunity of the company to receive a personal gain for himself or others; and|
|●||disclose to the company any information or documents relating to the company’s affairs which the office holder has received due to his position as an office holder.|
Under the Companies Law, a company may obtain insurance for any of its office holders against the following liabilities incurred due to acts he or she performed as an office holder, if and to the extent provided for in the company’s articles of association:
|●||breach of his or her duty of care to the company or to another person, to the extent such a breach arises out of the negligent conduct of the office holder;|
|●||a breach of his or her duty of loyalty to the company, provided that the office holder acted in good faith and had reasonable cause to assume that his or her act would not prejudice the company’s interests; and|
|●||a financial liability imposed upon him or her in favor of another person.|
On March 23, 2023 the Compensation Committee of our Board of Directors resolved to approve the renewal of the Company’s directors’ and officers’ insurance policy, for a period of 12 months as of March 31, 2023, of a $7.5 million coverage, and an annual premium not to exceed $313,415, pursuant to the applicable regulations under Companies Law.
On March 28, 2022, our board of directors approved the purchase of a run-off insurance policy for directors and officers, which will cover past events. The insurance amount is NIS 18 million (approximately US$ 5.6 million) in aggregate plus reasonable legal defense costs, with Company retention for claims in North America of NIS 90,000 (approximately US$ 28,125) and Company retention for other claims of NIS 18,000 (approximately US$ 5,600). The policy is for seven (7) years as of April 4, 2022, and cost NIS 49,140 (approximately US$ 15,260). The purchase of the run-off director and officer insurance policy was approved by the Company’s shareholders on June 6, 2022.
The Companies Law provide that a company may indemnify an office holder against the following liabilities and expenses incurred for acts performed by him or her as an office holder, either pursuant to an undertaking made in advance of an event or following an event, provided its articles of association include a provision authorizing such indemnification:
|●||a financial liability imposed on him or her in favor of another person by any judgment concerning an act performed in his or her capacity as an office holder, including a settlement or arbitrator’s award approved by a court. However, if an undertaking to indemnify an office holder with respect to such liability is provided in advance, then such an undertaking must be limited to events which, in the opinion of the board of directors, can be foreseen based on the company’s activities when the undertaking to indemnify is given, and to an amount or according to criteria determined by the board of directors as reasonable under the circumstances, and such undertaking shall detail the abovementioned foreseen events and amount or criteria;|
|●||reasonable litigation expenses, including attorneys’ fees, expended by the office holder (a) as a result of an investigation or proceeding instituted against him or her by an authority authorized to conduct such investigation or proceeding, provided that (1) no indictment (as defined in the Companies Law) was filed against such office holder as a result of such investigation or proceeding; and (2) no financial liability as a substitute for the criminal proceeding (as defined in the Companies Law) was imposed upon him or her as a result of such investigation or proceeding, or, if such financial liability was imposed, it was imposed with respect to an offense that does not require proof of criminal intent; and (b) in connection with a monetary sanction;|
|●||reasonable litigation expenses, including attorneys’ fees, expended by the office holder or imposed on him or her by a court: (1) in proceedings that the company institutes, or that another person institutes on the company’s behalf, against him or her; (2) in a criminal proceedings of which he or she was acquitted; or (3) as a result of a conviction for a crime that does not require proof of criminal intent; and|
|●||expenses incurred by an office holder in connection with an Administrative Procedure under the Securities Law, including reasonable litigation expenses and reasonable attorneys’ fees. An “Administrative Procedure” is defined as a procedure pursuant to chapters H3 (Monetary Sanction by the Israeli Securities Authority), H4 (Administrative Enforcement Procedures of the Administrative Enforcement Committee) or I1 (Arrangement to prevent Procedures or Interruption of procedures subject to conditions) to the Securities Law.|
Under the Companies Law, an Israeli company may not exculpate an office holder from liability for a breach of his or her duty of loyalty, but may exculpate in advance an office holder from his or her liability to the company, in whole or in part, for damages caused to the company as a result of a breach of his or her duty of care (other than in relation to distributions), but only if a provision authorizing such exculpation is included in its articles of association.
The Companies Law provides that we may not exculpate or indemnify an office holder nor enter into an insurance contract that would provide coverage for any liability incurred as a result of any of the following: (1) a breach by the office holder of his or her duty of loyalty unless (in the case of indemnity or insurance only, but not exculpation) the office holder acted in good faith and had a reasonable basis to believe that the act would not prejudice us; (2) a breach by the office holder of his or her duty of care if the breach was carried out intentionally or recklessly (as opposed to merely negligently); (3) any act or omission committed with the intent to derive an illegal personal benefit; or (4) any fine, monetary sanction, penalty or forfeit levied against the office holder.
Under the Companies Law, exculpation, indemnification and insurance of office holders in a public company must be approved by the compensation committee and the board of directors and, with respect to certain office holders or under certain circumstances, also by the shareholders (see “Directors, Senior Management and Employees—Board Practices—Approval of Related Party Transactions under Israeli Law”).
Our amended and restated articles of association permits us to exculpate, indemnify and insure our office holders to the fullest extent permitted or to be permitted by the Companies Law.
We have entered into agreements with each of our directors and executive officers exculpating them from liability to us for damages caused to us as a result of a breach of duty of care and undertaking to indemnify them, in each case, to the fullest extent permitted by our amended and restated articles of association and the Companies Law, to the extent that these liabilities are not covered by insurance.
Approval of Related Party Transactions under Israeli Law
Under the Companies Law, we may approve an action by an office holder from which the office holder would otherwise have to refrain, as described above, if:
|●||the office holder acts in good faith and the act or its approval does not cause harm to the company; and|
|●||the office holder disclosed the nature of his or her interest in the transaction (including any significant fact or document) to the company at a reasonable time before the company’s approval of such matter.|
Disclosure of Personal Interests of an Office Holder
The Companies Law requires that an office holder disclose to the company, promptly, and, in any event, not later than the board meeting at which the transaction is first discussed, any direct or indirect personal interest that he or she may have and all related material information known to him or her relating to any existing or proposed transaction by the company. If the transaction is an extraordinary transaction, the office holder must also disclose any personal interest held by:
|●||the office holder’s relatives; or|
|●||any corporation in which the office holder or his or her relatives holds 5% or more of the shares or voting rights, serves as a director or general manager or has the right to appoint at least one director or the general manager.|
An office holder is not, however, obliged to disclose a personal interest if it derives solely from the personal interest of his or her relative in a transaction that is not considered an extraordinary transaction. Under the Companies Law, an extraordinary transaction is a transaction:
|●||not in the ordinary course of business;|
|●||not on market terms; or|
|●||that is likely to have a material effect on the company’s profitability, assets or liabilities.|
The Companies Law does not specify to whom within us nor the manner in which required disclosures are to be made. We require our office holders to make such disclosures to our board of directors.
Under the Companies Law, once an office holder complies with the above disclosure requirement, the board of directors may approve a transaction between the company and an office holder, or a third party in which an office holder has a personal interest, unless the articles of association provide otherwise and provided that the transaction is in the company’s interest. If the transaction is an extraordinary transaction in which an office holder has a personal interest, first the audit committee and then the board of directors, in that order, must approve the transaction. Under specific circumstances, shareholder approval may also be required. Generally, a person who has a personal interest in a matter which is considered at a meeting of the board of directors or the audit committee may not be present at such a meeting unless the chairman of the audit committee or board of directors (as applicable) determines that he or she should be present in order to present the transaction that is subject to approval. A director who has a personal interest in a transaction, which is considered at a meeting of the board of directors or the audit committee, may not be present at this meeting or vote on this matter, unless a majority of the members of the board of directors or the audit committee, as the case may be, has a personal interest. If a majority of the board of directors has a personal interest, then shareholder approval is generally also required.
Disclosure of Personal Interests of a Controlling Shareholder
Under the Companies Law, the disclosure requirements that apply to an office holder also apply to a controlling shareholder of a public company. Extraordinary transactions with a controlling shareholder or in which a controlling shareholder has a personal interest, including a private placement in which a controlling shareholder has a personal interest, as well as transactions for the provision of services whether directly or indirectly by a controlling shareholder or his or her relative, or a company such controlling shareholder controls, and transactions concerning the terms of engagement and compensation of a controlling shareholder or a controlling shareholder’s relative, whether as an office holder or an employee, require the approval of the audit committee or the compensation committee, as the case may be, the board of directors and a majority of the shares voted by the shareholders of the company participating and voting on the matter in a shareholders’ meeting. In addition, the shareholder approval must fulfill one of the following requirements:
|●||at least a majority of the shares held by shareholders who have no personal interest in the transaction and are voting at the meeting must be voted in favor of approving the transaction, excluding abstentions; or|
|●||the shares voted by shareholders who have no personal interest in the transaction who vote against the transaction represent no more than 2% of the voting rights in the company.|
In addition, any extraordinary transaction with a controlling shareholder or in which a controlling shareholder has a personal interest with a term of more than three years requires the abovementioned approval every three years; however, such transactions not involving the receipt of services or compensation can be approved for a longer term, provided that the audit committee determines that such longer term is reasonable under the circumstances.
The Companies Law requires that every shareholder that participates, in person, by proxy or by voting instrument, in a vote regarding a transaction with a controlling shareholder, must indicate in advance or in the ballot whether or not that shareholder has a personal interest in the vote in question. Failure to so indicate will result in the invalidation of that shareholder’s vote.
Approval of the Compensation of Directors and Executive Officers
Directors. Under the Companies Law, the compensation of our directors requires the approval of our compensation committee, the subsequent approval of the board of directors and, unless exempted under the regulations promulgated under the Companies Law, the approval of the general meeting of our shareholders. If the compensation of our directors is inconsistent with our stated compensation policy, then, provided that those provisions that must be included in the compensation policy according to the Companies Law have been considered by the compensation committee and board of directors, shareholder approval by a special majority will be required.
Executive officers other than the chief executive officer. The Companies Law requires the approval of the compensation of a public company’s executive officers (other than the chief executive officer) in the following order: (i) the compensation committee, (ii) the company’s board of directors, and (iii) only if such compensation arrangement is inconsistent with the company’s stated compensation policy, the company’s shareholders by a special majority. However, if the shareholders of the company do not approve a compensation arrangement with an executive officer that is inconsistent with the company’s stated compensation policy, the compensation committee and board of directors may override the shareholders’ decision if each of the compensation committee and the board of directors provides detailed reasons for their decision.
Chief executive officer. Under the Companies Law, the compensation of a public company’s chief executive officer is required to be approved by: (i) the company’s compensation committee; (ii) the company’s board of directors, and (iii) the company’s shareholders by a special majority. However, if the shareholders of the company do not approve the compensation arrangement with the chief executive officer, the compensation committee and board of directors may override the shareholders’ decision if each of the compensation committee and the board of directors provides detailed reasons for their decision. In addition, the compensation committee may exempt the engagement terms of a candidate to serve as the chief executive officer from shareholders’ approval, if the compensation committee determines that the compensation arrangement is consistent with the company’s stated compensation policy, that the chief executive officer did not have a prior business relationship with the company or a controlling shareholder of the company, and that subjecting the approval to a shareholder vote would impede the company’s ability to attain the candidate to serve as the company’s chief executive officer (and provide detailed reasons for the latter).
The approval of each of the compensation committee and the board of directors, with regard to the office holders and directors above, must be in accordance with the company’s stated compensation policy; however, under special circumstances, the compensation committee and the board of directors may approve compensation terms of a chief executive officer that are inconsistent with the company’s compensation policy provided that they have considered those provisions that must be included in the compensation policy according to the Companies Law and that shareholder approval was obtained by a special majority requirement.
Duties of Shareholders
Under the Companies Law, a shareholder has a duty to refrain from abusing its power in the company and to act in good faith and in an acceptable manner in exercising its rights and performing its obligations toward the company and other shareholders, including, among other things, in voting at general meetings of shareholders (and at shareholder class meetings) on the following matters:
|●||amendment of the articles of association;|
|●||increase in the company’s authorized share capital;|
|●||the approval of related party transactions and acts of office holders that require shareholder approval.|
A shareholder also has a general duty to refrain from oppressing other shareholders. The remedies generally available upon a breach of contract will also apply to a breach of the above mentioned duties, and in the event of oppression of other shareholders, additional remedies are available to the injured shareholder.
In addition, any controlling shareholder, any shareholder that knows that its vote can determine the outcome of a shareholder vote and any shareholder that, under a company’s articles of association, has the power to appoint or prevent the appointment of an office holder, or has another power with respect to a company, is under a duty to act with fairness towards the company. The Companies Law does not describe the substance of this duty except to state that the remedies generally available upon a breach of contract will also apply in the event of a breach of the duty to act with fairness, taking the shareholder’s position in the company into account.
We currently do not have any controlling shareholder as defined by the Companies Law. See “Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions.”
See “Item 4.B. Business Overview—Employees.”
E. Share Ownership.
See “Item 7.A. Major Shareholders” below.
Share Incentive Plan
We maintain one equity incentive plan (the “Option Plan”). As of March 23, 2023, the number of ordinary shares reserved for issuance under the Option Plan was 2,332,352. As of March 23, 2023, 1,900,896 options to purchase 1,900,896 ordinary shares were issued and outstanding, of which 827,458 options were vested as of that date, with an exercise price approximately $1.85-6.139 per share. Our board may, at any time during the term of the Option Plan increase the number of shares available for grant under the Option Plan subject to any required approval of the our shareholders of such increase if so required under applicable laws and/or our incorporation documents and/or any shareholders agreement, as shall be in effect from time to time.
Our Option Plan was adopted by our board of directors on January 31, 2017, and awards may be granted under the Option Plan until January 31, 2027. Our Option Plan was last amended on September 13, 2022. Our employees, directors, officers, and services providers, including those who are our controlling shareholders, as well as those of our affiliated companies, are eligible to participate in this Option Plan.
Our Option Plan is administered by our board of directors, regarding the granting of options and the terms of option grants, including exercise price, method of payment, vesting schedule, acceleration of vesting and the other matters necessary in the administration of this Option Plan. Eligible Israeli employees, officers and directors, would qualify for provisions of Section 102(b)(2) of the Tax Ordinance. Pursuant to such Section 102(b)(2), qualifying options and shares issued upon exercise of such options are held in trust and registered in the name of a trustee selected by the board of directors. The trustee may not release these options or shares to the holders thereof for two years from the date of the registration of the options in the name of the trustee. Under Section 102, any tax payable by an employee from the grant or exercise of the options is deferred until the transfer of the options or ordinary shares by the trustee to the employee or upon the sale of the options or ordinary shares, and gains may qualify to be taxed as capital gains at a rate equal to 25%, subject to compliance with specified conditions. Our Israeli non-employee service providers and controlling shareholders may only be granted options under Section 3(9) of the Tax Ordinance, which does not provide for similar tax benefits. The Option Plan also permits granting options to Israeli grantees who do not qualify under Section 102(b)(2).
As a default, our Option Plan provides that upon termination of employment for any reason, other than in the event of death or disability, all unvested options will expire and all vested options will generally be exercisable for one month following such termination, if we initiate such termination, or two weeks following such termination, if an employee initiates such termination, or such other period as determined by the Option Plan administrator, subject to the terms of the Option Plan and the governing option agreement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event the employment is terminated for cause (including, inter alia, a breach of confidentiality or non-compete obligations to us, and commission of an act involving moral turpitude or an act that causes harm to us) all options granted to such employee, whether vested or unvested, will not be exercisable and will terminate on the date of the termination of his employment.
Upon termination of employment due to death or disability, all the options vested at the time of termination will generally be exercisable for six months, or such other period as determined by the Option Plan administrator, subject to the terms of the Option Plan and the governing option agreement.
F. Disclosure of a registrant’s action to recover erroneously awarded compensation.
ITEM 7. MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
A. Major Shareholders
The following table sets forth information regarding beneficial ownership of our ordinary shares as of March 23, 2023 by:
|●||each person, or group of affiliated persons, known to us to be the beneficial owner of more than 5% of our outstanding ordinary shares;|
|●||each of our directors and executive officers; and|
|●||all of our directors and executive officers as a group.|
Beneficial ownership is determined in accordance with the rules of the SEC, and includes voting or investment power with respect to ordinary shares. Ordinary shares issuable under share options or warrants that are exercisable within 60 days after March 23, 2023 are deemed outstanding for the purpose of computing the percentage ownership of the person holding the options or warrants but are not deemed outstanding for the purpose of computing the percentage ownership of any other person.
Except as indicated in the footnotes to this table, we believe that the shareholders named in this table have sole voting and investment power with respect to all shares shown to be beneficially owned by them, based on information provided to us by such shareholders. Unless otherwise noted below, each beneficial owner’s address is: c/o Rail Vision Ltd., 15 Ha’Tidhar St., Ra’anana, 4366517 Israel.
|No. of Shares|
|Holders of more than 5% of our voting securities:|
|Foresight Autonomous Holdings Ltd. (2)||2,688,432||16.46||%|
|L.I.A. Pure Capital Ltd.(3)||869,470||5.35||%|
|Directors and senior management who are not 5% holders:|
|Shahar Hania (4)||500,694||3.09||%|
|Zachi Bar-Yehoshua (6)|
|Shmuel Donnerstein* (7)||401,380||2.44||%|
|Eli Yoresh *(8)|
|Ofer Grisaro (9)||8,333||0.05||%|
|Amit Klir (10)||8,333||0.05||%|
|Maximilian Eichhorn* (11)||-||-|
|Keren Aslan * (12)|
|Yossi Daskal * (13)||13,311||0.08||%|
|Inbal Kreiss * (14)||13,311||0.08||%|
|Oz Adler* (15)||-||-|
|All directors and senior management as a group (13 persons)||1,107,654||6.61||%|
|*||Indicates director of the Company.|
|(1)||Consists of (i) 5,248,427 ordinary shares and (ii) 605,151 warrants to purchase 605,151 ordinary shares. The shareholder is Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH, which is a 100% subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse AG which is a German company publicly traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. As of January 1, 2023, Marc Llistosella is the chief executive officer of Knorr-Bremse AG.|
|(2)||Consists of (i) 2,446,152 ordinary shares, and (ii) 242,280 warrants to purchase 242,280 ordinary shares. Foresight Autonomous Holdings Ltd. is an Israeli company publicly traded on the Nasdaq. The chief executive officer of Foresight is Haim Siboni, and its address is 7 Golda Meir, Ness Ziona 7403650 Israel.|
|(3)||Based solely on a Schedule 13G filed with the SEC on January 13, 2023. Consists of (i) 717,450 ordinary shares with sole voting power, and (ii) 152,020 ordinary shares with shared voting power. Kfir Silberman is the officer, sole director, chairman of the board of directors and controlling shareholder of L.I.A. Pure Capital, and its address is 20 Raoul Wallenberg Street, Tel Aviv, Israel 6971916.|
|(4)||Consists of (i) 406,560 ordinary shares, and (ii) 94,138 options vested within 60 days, exercisable at a weighted average exercise price of $5.17 and expiring in January 2028, October 2030 and May 2032. Does not include options to purchase 134,855, ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share and expiring in May 2032, that vest in more than 60 days from the date hereof.|
|(5)||Consists of 96,930 options vested within 60 days, exercisable at a weighted average exercise price of $1.85 and expiring in January 2028, January 2030 and May 2032. Does not include options to purchase 83,243 ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share and expiring in May 2032, that vest in more than 60 days from the date hereof.|
|(6)||Consists of 35,200 options vested within 60 days, exercisable at a weighted average exercise price of $1.85 and expiring in January 2028 and January 2030. Does not include options to purchase 4,000 ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share and expiring in September 2032, that vest in more than 60 days from the date hereof.|
|(7)||Consists of (i) 34,232 ordinary shares, and (ii) 367,148 options vested within 60 days, exercisable at a weighted average exercise price of $5.10 and expiring in October 2030 and May 2032. Does not include options to purchase 177,500 ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share and expiring in May 2032, that vest in more than 60 days from the date hereof.|
|(8)||Consists of 30,163 options vested within 60 days, exercisable at a weighted average exercise price of $4.25 and expiring in January 2028 and September 2032. Does not include options to purchase 26,621 ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share and expiring in May 2032, that vest in more than 60 days from the date hereof.|
|(9)||Consists of 8,333 options vested within 60 days, exercisable at a weighted average exercise price of $1.85 and expiring in September 2032. Does not include options to purchase 41,667 ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share and expiring in September 2032, that vest in more than 60 days from the date hereof.|
|(10)||Consists of 8,333 options vested within 60 days, exercisable at a weighted average exercise price of $1.85 and expiring in September 2032. Does not include options to purchase 41,667 ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share and expiring in September 2032, that vest in more than 60 days from the date hereof.|
|(11)||Does not include options to purchase 39,932 ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share which Mr. Eichhorn is entitled to receive that have not yet been granted.|
|(12)||Does not include options to purchase 39,932 ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share which were approved by the board of directors in March 2023 and are subject to approval by our shareholders.|
|(13)||Consists of 13,311 options vested within 60 days, exercisable at a weighted average exercise price of $1.85 and expiring in May 2032. Does not include options to purchase 26,621 ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share and expiring in June 2032, that vest in more than 60 days from the date hereof.|
|(14)||Consists of 13,311 options vested within 60 days, exercisable at a weighted average exercise price of $1.85 and expiring in May 2032. Does not include options to purchase 26,621 ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share and expiring in June 2032, that vest in more than 60 days from the date hereof.|
|(15)||Does not include options to purchase 39,932 ordinary shares exercisable at $1.85 per share and expiring in June 2032, that vest in more than 60 days from the date hereof.|
Changes in Ownership of Major Shareholders
To our knowledge, other than as disclosed in the table above, our other filings with the SEC and this Annual Report, there has been no significant change in the percentage ownership held by any major shareholder since January 1, 2020. The major shareholders listed above do not have voting rights with respect to their ordinary shares that are different from the voting rights of other holders of our ordinary shares.
As of March 14, 2023, there were 69 holders of record of our ordinary shares, out of which one holder of record had a registered address in the United States. These numbers are not representative of the number of beneficial holders of our shares nor is it representative of where such beneficial holders reside, since many of these shares were held of record by brokers or other nominees.
We are not controlled by another corporation, by any foreign government or by any natural or legal persons, except that that Knorr-Bremse beneficially owns approximately 35%, and Foresight beneficially owns approximately 16% of our outstanding ordinary shares as of the date of this Annual Report. There are no arrangements known to us which would result in a change in control of our company at a subsequent date.
B. Related Party Transactions
The following is a description of the material terms of those transactions with related parties to which we are party since January 1, 2021.
We have entered into written employment or services agreements with each of our executive officers. All of these agreements contain customary provisions regarding noncompetition, confidentiality of information and assignment of inventions. However, the enforceability of the noncompetition provisions may be limited under applicable law. In addition, we have entered into agreements with each executive officer and director pursuant to which we have agreed to indemnify each of them up to a certain amount and to the extent that these liabilities are not covered by directors and officers insurance.
Since our inception we have granted options to purchase our ordinary shares to certain of our officers and directors. Such option agreements may contain acceleration provisions upon certain merger, acquisition, or change of control transactions. We describe our Option Plan under “Management—Equity Incentive Plan.” If the relationship between us and an executive officer or a director is terminated, except for cause (as defined in the various Option Plan agreements), options that are vested will generally remain exercisable for one month following the date of such termination if we initiate such termination or two weeks following the date of such termination, if an executive officer or a director initiates such termination.
We are a party to an amended and restated investors rights agreement, dated as of October 13, 2020, or Investors Rights Agreement, with our founders, or the Founders, and two of our major shareholders, Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH, a company incorporated under the laws of Germany, or KB, and Foresight Autonomous Holdings Ltd., or Foresight, and, together with KB and the Founders, the Right Holders. Pursuant to the Investors Rights Agreement, the Right Holders are entitled to certain registration rights following the closing of our initial public offering.
On March 18, 2019, we entered into an investment agreement, or the March 2019 Investment Agreement, with Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge GmbH, or Knorr-Bremse, according to which, we issued to Knorr-Bremse an aggregate amount of 1,803,296 ordinary shares, at a price of $5.54 per share for a total investment of $10,000,000.
In addition, as part of the March 2019 Investment Agreement, we also granted Knorr-Bremse warrants to purchase 655,732 ordinary shares with an exercise price of $5.54, which can be exercised in the event of the exercise of certain warrants held by our other shareholders. Warrants to purchase 132,308 ordinary shares have been exercised in consideration of approximately $734,000. All the remaining warrants expired.
On October 13, 2020, we entered into an additional investment agreement with Knorr-Bremse, or the Additional Investment Agreement, which was amended on December 2, 2021, pursuant to which we issued to Knorr-Bremse 51,282 Preferred A shares at a price of $195 per share for a total investment of $10,000,000.
Pursuant to the Additional Investment Agreement, Knorr-Bremse agreed that in the event that we do not complete additional capital raising in the amount of at least $3 million by September 30, 2021, we had an option during the period from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, to demand that Knorr-Bremse invest in us an additional amount of $5 million in consideration for the allotment of 25,641 Preferred A shares, at a price of $195 per share, subject to certain limitations. On February 14, 2022, we and Knorr-Bremse signed a second amendment to the Additional Investment Agreement according to which from February 14, 2022, we are entitled to exercise the option in two installments as follows: (i) to call for up to $2,000,000 out of the option amount no later than March 31, 2022; and (ii) to call for up to $2,286,000 out of the option amount no later than June 30, 2022. The aforesaid option expired on the closing of our initial public offering on April 4, 2022.
On March 6, 2022, we issued to Knorr-Bremse, a total of 10,256 Preferred A shares at a price of $195 per share, after we called an amount of $2,000,000 out of the option amount.
Immediately prior to the completion of the IPO on April 4, 2022, 61,538 Preferred A shares were automatically converted into 2,707,672 ordinary shares (after giving effect to the issuance of 10,256 Preferred A shares described above).
In June 2021, we reached a co-operation and business development agreement with Knorr-Bremse India Pvt. Ltd., in which Knorr-Bremse India Pvt. Ltd. provided a joint proposal to a tender published by the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India for obstacle detection systems for trains in the RV2000 system market segment. As part of the joint bid Knorr-Bremse India Pvt. Ltd. provided a guarantee of $27,000 to secure our proposal. On January 10, 2022, Knorr-Bremse informed us they did not receive the tender. However, the parties intend to collaborate on future projects. See “Business – Commercial Agreements” for additional commercial agreements.
In January 2022, we entered into a SAFE with two of our current shareholders providing for financing in the aggregate amount of $1,000,000 (KB in the amount of $714,286 and Foresight in the amount of $285,714) which was subsequently amended in March 2022. Upon our initial public offering on April 4, 2022, the SAFE converted into an aggregate of 242,131 ordinary shares and warrants to purchase 242,131 ordinary shares. The warrants issued have the same terms as the warrants issued in our initial public offering except that such warrants shall be unregistered and shall not be tradeable.
From time to time, we do business with other companies affiliated with our principal shareholders, as described above. We believe that all such arrangements have been entered into in the ordinary course of business.
C. Interests of Experts and Counsel
ITEM 8. FINANCIAL INFORMATION.
A. Statements and Other Financial Information.
See “Item 18. Financial Statements.”
See “Item 4.B. Business Overview—Legal Proceedings.”
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our ordinary shares and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. However, we may declare a dividend to be paid to the holders of our ordinary shares in proportion to their respective shareholdings. Under the Companies Law, dividend distributions are determined by the board of directors and do not require the approval of the shareholders of a company unless the company’s articles of association provide otherwise. Our amended and restated articles of association do not require shareholder approval of a dividend distribution and will provide that dividend distributions may be determined by our board of directors. Payment of cash dividends, if any, in the future will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on then-existing conditions, including our financial condition, operating results, contractual restrictions, capital requirements, business prospects and other factors our board of directors may deem relevant.
Pursuant to the Companies Law, the distribution of dividends is limited to the greater of retained earnings or earnings generated over the previous two years, according to our then last reviewed or audited financial statements, provided that the end of the period to which the financial statements relate is not more than six months prior to the date of the distribution. If we do not meet such criteria, we may only distribute dividends with court approval. In each case, we are only permitted to distribute a dividend if our board of directors and the court, if applicable, determines that there is no reasonable concern that payment of the dividend will prevent us from satisfying our existing and foreseeable obligations as they become due.
Payment of dividends may be subject to Israeli withholding taxes.
B. Significant Changes
Other than as otherwise described in this Annual Report on Form 20-F and as set forth below, no significant change has occurred in our operations since the date of our financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 20-F.
ITEM 9. THE OFFER AND LISTING
A. Offer and Listing Details
On March 31, 2022, our ordinary shares and warrants commenced trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbols “RVSN,” and “RVSNW,” respectively.
B. Plan of Distribution
Our ordinary shares are listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market.
D. Selling Shareholders
F. Expenses of the Issue
ITEM 10. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
A. Share Capital
B. Articles of Association
A copy of our Amended and Restated Articles of Association is attached as Exhibit 1.1 to this Annual Report. Other than as disclosed below, the information called for by this Item is set forth in Exhibit 2.1 to this Annual Report and is incorporated by reference into this Annual Report.
C. Material Contracts
We have not entered into any material contracts other than in the ordinary course of business and other than those described in Item 4. “Information on Our Company,” Item 7B “Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions - Related Party Transactions” or elsewhere in this Annual Report.
D. Exchange Controls
There are currently no Israeli currency control restrictions on remittances of dividends on our ordinary shares, proceeds from the sale of the shares or interest or other payments to non-residents of Israel, except for shareholders who are subjects of countries that are, or have been, in a state of war with Israel.
The following description is not intended to constitute a complete analysis of all tax consequences relating to the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our ordinary shares. You should consult your own tax advisor concerning the tax consequences of your particular situation, as well as any tax consequences that may arise under the laws of any state, local, foreign, or other taxing jurisdiction.
ISRAELI TAX CONSIDERATIONS AND GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS
The following is a brief summary of the material Israeli tax laws applicable to us and certain Israeli Government