AutoLeadStar helps U.S. dealerships survive the pandemic

The global pandemic definitely brought change to the retail world; forcing companies and industries to enhance their digital footprint while being sniper-like with their marketing campaigns. Although many of us are familiar with the gargantuan rise of eCommerce giants in today’s landscape, not all industries were lucky enough to have that strong virtual presence or knowhow to survive the lockdowns.

Unsurprisingly, one sector that felt the impact of the stay-at-home pandemic was the once proud American auto dealership industry. With less people commuting to work, or anywhere really, America’s auto dealerships crashed. This, as with many other industries, led to rapid acceleration in the dealer tech sector, more specifically on the digital marketing side.

AutoLeadStar, an Israeli startup that helped change the way U.S. auto dealerships target the right audience, proved to not only keep dealerships above the water, but even increase their online leads. For example, the company helped Nelson Mazda dealership in Murfreesboro, Tennessee increase its annual online leads by 160%, in only 3 months, and it happened during the pandemic outbreak.

The Israeli startup’s AI-powered platform seamlessly integrates into existing systems, enabling dealers to target and convert leads without needing to go through a complete digital overhaul. AutoLeadStar’s digital Sales-as-a-Service automates the online marketing side of the dealership, which according to the company, has proven to help these small businesses conquer a hopefully once in a lifetime global pandemic. The company was founded in 2016 by CEO Aharon Horwitz, CTO Yishai Goldstein, and CPO Eliav Moshe. The company has headquarters in both Miami and Jerusalem.

Israeli startup aims to extract oxygen from the moon

An Israeli startup HELIOS has received backing from both the Israeli Space Agency and the Ministry of Energy to embark on a path to develop technologies that produce oxygen from lunar soil. Yes, you heard me right, oxygen from the moon. According to the announcement, the system will be launched to the moon in two space missions, which will take place over the next 3 years.

Every 6th grader knows that oxygen is one of the key elements to, well, keeping you alive. We’ve all seen the cool astronaut helmets and suits that supply the ever-important oxygen, but did you know in space missions, most of it is used for spacecraft launch and travel. For example, the launch of four astronauts back from the moon will require approximately 10 tons of oxygen, and the fueling of Starship, SpaceX's reusable launch vehicle, is expected to require 850 tons of oxygen for every refueling.

In the next three years, the first modules of the Lunar Gateway, the space station orbiting the moon, will be launched and they will serve as the cornerstone of the future space station. The forthcoming base is expected to weigh thousands of tons and the material in highest demand is oxygen – the key for rocket and spacecraft fuel. Almost 70% of the weight of the vehicles we see launched today is oxygen, which means projects need to develop and adopt technologies that will enable the mining and utilization of raw materials in their natural environment

So, when imagining the Mars and lunar missions of the future, the oxygen question often comes up. The HELIOS technology will extract oxygen and metals from the lunar soil to help equip and fuel future space missions; essentially, enabling moon “settlers” to “live off the land”. As NASA and SpaceX collaborate to put humans back on the moon in a more permanent capacity, more than 50 lunar missions are planned over the next five years, meaning that they’ll need to transport large quantities of oxygen outside of the planet.

Similar to soil on Mars, lunar soil also contains almost 45% oxygen, which can be extracted and utilized thanks to the Israeli initiative. HELIOS' soil-fed reactor produces oxygen from the lunar soil and doesn’t require consumable materials from earth. The project will help supply the future space missions and colonies with a big chunk of the required gas.

simulated lunar soil

According to Jonathan Geifman, Helios's founder and CEO, "The technology we are developing is part of the value chain that enables the establishment of permanent bases away from earth. In order not to have to endlessly transport equipment to the space station in the moon's atmosphere, and causing life outside of earth to operate under restrictive constraints, we need to look at things through the prism of infrastructure that can produce raw materials from natural resources."

The HELIOS project is based in Israel and Florida, and the team is made up of professionals with a collective experience in aerospace and mechanical engineering, electrochemistry and material science.