3 Israeli firms get healthy dose of Intel Capital funds
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3 Israeli firms get healthy dose of Intel Capital funds

Start-ups and more mature firms produce technology that fits in with the tech giant’s aspirations, development plans

Mooly Eden, president of Intel Israel, talks 3D gesture technology at an Intel Israel event (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Mooly Eden, president of Intel Israel, talks 3D gesture technology at an Intel Israel event (Photo credit: Courtesy)

In its latest investment round, Intel Capital, the tech giant’s investment arm, is pumping $62 million into 16 companies – three of them in Israel. The Israeli companies — Stratoscale, Gigya, and Screenovate – join dozens of other Israeli start-ups and tech companies that Intel has acquired or invested in.

All three are involved in producing technology that Intel has been developing for future services and products.

Stratoscale develops technology to rethink next-generation data centers. It is building the runtime software infrastructure for scalable computing to help customers use all available computing resources and unify computing and storage across the data center. Stratoscale – whose CEO, Ariel Maislos, started Anobit, which was bought out by Apple several years ago – develops solutions for data centers to distribute data on hardware more efficiently using virtual servers and improved infrastructure resource usage. That kind of technology would come in handy for many of Intel’s large enterprise customers, many of whom already use virtual computing solutions for big data.

Stratoscale’s R&D center is in Israel, and the company has additional facilities in California. Intel did not announce how much it invested in the company, but Stratoscale announced this week that it had raised in $32 million in series B funding in a round “led by Intel Capital, with participation by Cisco® Investments and SanDisk, as well as other investors including the original series A investors, Battery Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners.”

Gigya, another Israeli start-up with offices in the US — Phoenix, to be exact — has won just about every start-up award and accolade under the sun, and it has raised $104 million for its web identity technology. The company is the clear leader in registration and social login space, such as when users log into a site with their Facebook credentials. Eight of the 10 largest media corporations in the US, along companies like Fox, Forbes and Verizon, use its technology. The Intel investment is part of a $35 million funding round, in which Common Fund Capital and Vintage Investment Partners, Adobe, Advance Publications, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Greenspring Associates and Mayfield Fund also invested in the company, along with Intel.

Screenovate is the youngest and smallest of the Israeli companies Intel invested in. Its technology, which allows users to “pass” video between screens, fits in with Intel’s burgeoning smartphone and tablet business. The company’s Baytrail chips power a wide range of devices from companies like Asus, Microsoft, and Samsung. With Screenovate’s technology, users can play a game on their TV using their smart devices as controllers, control a presentation on a big screen from a cellphone, “broadcast” movies stored on a smartphone for the kids to watch on their tablets in the back seat of the car, and more. Screenovate did not announce how much money it received in the current funding round, nor whether other companies were involved.

The other 13 Intel Capital investments include companies that run the gamut of advanced tech. Perhaps most notable is a company owned by a 13 year old, who invented a low-cost Braille printer for the blind, using Intel’s Edison chips along with Lego building blocks.

Intel Capital expects to invest much more by the end of 2014. “Intel Capital invests in the technology continuum that runs from wearables and the Internet of Things to big data analytics – and everything in between, including silicon, smart devices, PCs, the cloud and data centers,” said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president. “We are focused on helping innovative companies develop across this technology ecosystem, and we expect to invest a total of $355 million this year.”

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