As every month, VC Cafe is re-posting the “Invest in Israel” Newsletter, published by the investment promotion center of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, which offers many helpful tools for prospecting investors. For the Invest in Israel archive, click here. This month’s trend continues to be acquisitions of Israeli firms by large US corporates. Lots of returns are being made these days, but the latest CalPers report shows dissapointing returns by Israeli VC firms, with an IRR of 3.5%-3.8% to JVP and Carmel, the highest performing funds.
FACEBOOK BUYS FACE.COM FOR $100M
Facebook Inc. has acquired Israeli face recognition technology developer Face.com for $100 million. The two companies have collaborated for a long time, with Facebook using Face.com’s technology to help users tag the faces of friends in pictures they upload on the social network with Face.com’s Photo Tagger service. Facebook’s acquisition of Face.com will enable the social network to embed face recognition software into its photo app. This is Facebook’s second acquisition in Israel, following the acquisition of Snaptu for $70m in March 2011.
SHUTTERFLY ACQUIRES ISRAELI PHOTO SOFTWARE COMPANY PHOTOCCINO
Redwood City, California’s Shutterfly, a leading internet-based social expression and personal publishing service, has acquired Israel’s Photoccino, a developer of groundbreaking technologies for photo ranking, analysis and organization. Photoccino’s advanced image analysis and selection technologies will be integrated into products across the Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, Wedding Paper Divas, and Treat brands. Photoccino’s technology applies proprietary algorithms to analyze and evaluate the quality and content of photos, ranks them, and automatically creates photo products using the customer’s best images.
FOUR ISRAELIS CHOSEN FOR “GIRLS IN TECH 100 IN EUROPE”
Four Israelis made the list of the 100 most influential women in high tech in Europe drawn up by the UK branch of Silicon Valley-based Girls in Tech, which seeks to promote women in high tech. Girls in Tech London picked the top women in 19 countries – the UK, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Greece and Israel – on the basis of their leadership and excellence in innovation and technology. The four Israelis in the rankings are: Orit Hashay (Brayola), Gali Ross (Razoss), Amit Knaani (ooVoo) and Moran Bar (VentureGeeks).
STANLEY BLACK & DECKER BUYS AEROSCOUT FOR $200M
Stanley Black & Decker division of Stanley Healthcare Solutions has acquired Israel’s AeroScout Inc., a developer of real-time location systems for the healthcare and industrial market. Stanley intends to use the 200 employees of AeroScout to establish an R&D center in Israel built around the existing AeroScout framework. Stanley is headquartered in New Britain, Connecticut, USA.
PARADIGM IS SOLD TO APAX AND JMI FOR $1 BILLION
Britain’s Apax Partners in cooperation with Baltimore, Maryland’s JMI Equity has purchased the US-Israeli software company Paradigm for $1 billion. Paradigm, which employs 700 people, with its R&D centered in Israel, is estimated to have annual revenues of about $200 million, and claims 700 customers in 25 countries around the world, including France’s Total and Russia’s Gazprom. Paradigm’s technology is used to take seismographic data gathered in drillings and turn them into three-dimensional models that enable oil companies to determine the energy potential of areas under exploration. Paradigm also offers technology that processes data gathered from underground sensors.
TPG ACQUIRES IMDSOFT FOR $80M
San Francisco’s TPG Capital unit TPG Growth has acquired clinical information systems developer iMDsoft Ltd. for $80m. iMDsoft’s flagship product, the MetaVision Suite, automates hospitals’ clinical workflow and is used by more than 230 hospitals in 25 countries, including four of the top 10 hospitals in the US and 13 of the top 50 in Europe.
PRIMUS CAPITAL ACQUIRES AOD
Cleveland, Ohio-based Primus Capital has recently acquired Israel’s AOD for $90m. AOD makes software used by healthcare managers who provide long-term care for senior citizens and others. Their AnswersElite software is used in more than 700 complexes in the US.
ISRAELI IRRIGATION EXPERT WINS WORLD FOOD PRIZE
Daniel Hillel, an 81-year-old Israeli scientist, who has reached across political and ethnic boundaries to help dozens of countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America improve agriculture with new irrigation methods has been named to receive the World Food Prize. He is credited with developing drip irrigation methods that conserve water while allowing food to be grown in some of the world’s driest climates and will be awarded this year’s $250,000 prize.
PERRIGO TO INVEST $40 MILLION IN ISRAEL
U.S. generic drugmaker Perrigo stated on June 21st that it will invest $40 million in Israel over the next three years to expand its R&D and production here. As part of the investment, Perrigo plans to add another 100 employees to its two plants in Israel, it said. Perrigo has expanded its workforce in Israel by 40% over the past three years to about 900 people. Global sales in 2011 were $2.76 billion. Most of the products developed and manufactured in Israel are shipped to the United States and Europe.