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Israeli startup Sphera raised $15 million in its last funding round, according to a post-money company valuation of $43 million.

It may have been a down-round for Sphera, although the precise figures are not known.

Sphera CEO Tamar Naor told that the recent round was led by the Italian fund TLcom, which invested $6 million, and by existing shareholders Jerusalem Venture Partners which invested $6 million, and Gemini Capital Fund Management which invested $3 million.

Two regular investors in the company, the CSK Corporation (Nasdaq:CSKKY) and Reuters Greenhouse Fund, did not take part in this round.

Naor said the round isn't over, and that other foreign funds may still join in. The final amount is estimated at $20 million.

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Three months ago Mitsui, Japan's largest trading company, announced a strategic alliance with Sphera. Mitsui is now the sole distributor of Sphera's flagship solution, the HostingDirector, in Japan.

Triangle Technologies, which helps Israeli tech companies find strategic partners in Japan, initiated the connection between Mitsui and Sphera.

Naor said Mitsui might invest in Sphera at another time.

Sphera, founded in 1998, has developed a web-hosting and ASP software platform. It employs 55 people at its R&D center in Israel and 25 workers in its headquarters in New York and in sales offices in London and Washington DC.

When founded the company raised a seed $3.5 million from JVP. In the end of 2000 it raised $13.5 million. Gemini Capital Fund Management led the second financing round, and investors included JVP, an investment arm of Reuters Greenhouse fund, and the Japanese fund CSK.