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 edition doesn’t mention the big news – Facebook is rumored to be in advanced negotiations on the acquisition of social GPS app Waze, for reportedly $1 Billion.
CITI OPENS ISRAEL DATA INTELLIGENCE LAB
Citi Global Markets has opened a global financial data intelligence lab in Israel as part of Citi’s Technology Innovation Center. The financial data intelligence lab will be one of the main focus areas of the Innovation Center in 2013 and is expected to grow considerably. The decision to open the lab in Israel was based on Israel’s potential talent and activities in data. The lab currently manages several of the most advanced projects in capital markets. Specifically, the lab leads projects of complex processing in large real time data.
YEAR-OLD iOnROAD SOLD TO HARMON GROUP
Just a year after its establishment, iOnRoad has been sold to the Harman group, which makes systems for cars. The price for the seven-person start-up was estimated at $10 million. Israel’s iOnRoad developed a smartphone app to improve actual driving, which will be integrated into Harman’s offerings for cars. Stamford, Connecticut-based Harmon is a leading global provider of audio and infotainment solutions.
AVAGO TECHNOLOGIES BUYS CYOPTICS FOR $400 MILLION
Avago Technologies announced recently that it was buying CyOptics, an Israeli start-up that moved to Pennsylvania years ago, for $400 million. A maker of optical communications chips and components, CyOptics retained its Israeli connection over the years through the venture capital fund Jerusalem Venture Partners, which retained a 50 percent stake in it. After selling its plant in Yokne’am to Pennsylvania’s Vishay Intertechnology a few years ago for $10 million, CyOptics now employs 900 people.
CELENO WINS “RED HERRING” TOP 100 EUROPE AWARD
Israeli Wi-Fi chips and software developer Celeno Communications Inc. is a winner in Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe Award for innovation and technology in its industry. The company’s OptimizAIR technology supports service providers in the multiscreen revolution by ensuring high performance and reliable Wi-Fi throughout the home to multiple devices. Red Herring publisher and CEO Alex Vieux: “Each year, the competition gets tougher but we believe Celeno demonstrates the vision, drive and innovation that define a Red Herring winner.”
OPKO HEALTH ACQUIRES ISRAEL’S PROLOR BIOTECH FOR $480 MILLION
OPKO Health recently announced the acquisition of Prolor Biotech for $480m. Prolor develops proprietary versions of proteins already approved for medical therapy, such as human growth hormone, and helps with commercialization. The company’s purpose is to create superior, longer-acting versions of existing therapies, such as a growth hormone that could be administered by injection once a week or every two weeks rather than having to be administered daily. Florida-based OPKO Health sells medicines and diagnostic products for the early detection of Vitamin D deficiency, prostate cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN ISRAELI START-UPS SEEN RISING
57% of Israeli venture capital executives expect foreign investment in Israeli start-ups to increase over the coming year, and 43% expect that the number of high-tech exits will grow, according to Deloitte Brightman Almagor Zohar’s VC Indicator for the first quarter of 2013. Israeli venture capitalists also believe that the sectors which will see the largest number of exits in the coming year are the Internet, software, IT, and security. Lately, there has been a sharp increase in the number of accelerator programs for Israeli start-ups. The survey found that 68% of venture capitalists believe that these programs will have a positive effect on high tech.
NEW INDUSTRIAL PARK DEDICATED IN NAZARETH
A dedication ceremony was held for the new Nazareth Industrial Park, built by Israeli businessman Stef Wertheimer. After scoring successes with six industrial parks, including the Tefen park, Wertheimer decided to build a seventh in Nazareth, meant to train and employ qualified members of Nazareth’s large Arab-Israeli community. The park offers opportunities to young people who have demonstrated an aptitude for high-tech. It will provide jobs for those who are already qualified, and in some cases, people will be able to learn on the job