Two Israeli start-ups were acquired this week by international giants in diverse industries. Both of these deals highlight Israel’s strength in various areas of tech.
On Thursday, Germany’s RNTS Media — the parent company of Fyber, a leading mobile advertising technology platform — announced that it was buying Israeli video mobile ad firm Inneractive, which has developed a platform for real-time bidding of mobile video ads. RNTS will make an initial cash payment of $46 million, which could grow to as much as $72 million when several milestones are met over the next three years.
The acquisition of Inneractive will make the RNTS group “one of the largest independent mobile supply-side platforms globally with one of the most advanced product offerings across mediation, exchange and ad serving, covering all ad formats,” the company said.
Inneractive is one of the world’s largest platforms for the sale of mobile video ads, the fastest-growing segment of the mobile ad industry — where Israel itself is a leader, as evidenced by the large number of Israeli mobile tech, ad, and content firms at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where some 10% of the 2,000+ firms presenting their technology to more than 100,000 visitors were from Israel.
Inneractive’s platform currently serves over 630 million monthly active users in 190 countries. The firm’s gross revenue has risen over the past two years by more than 100% to $43.2 million and was profitable in 2015. To boot, added the company, it is aiming to double its revenues again over the next two years.
“This is a great achievement for Inneractive and we are very proud of our amazing team,” said Ziv Elul, cofounder and CEO. “We have been working with Fyber and its strong executive team for a long time and are excited to join the RNTS family.”
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Cisco announced that it was acquiring Israel’s Leaba Semiconductor, a two-year-old fabless chip company that is technically still in stealth mode. Not much is known publicly about Leaba’s work, but the company is recognized as being involved in developing advanced core chip processors.
In a blog post, M&A chief Rob Salvagno said that Cisco was “pleased” to be acquiring the company, which features “a team with a strong and successful track record of designing leading-edge networking semiconductors that provide innovative solutions to address significant infrastructure challenges. […] By combining Leaba’s semiconductor expertise with the Cisco engineering team, we will accelerate our plans for Cisco’s next generation product portfolio and bring new capabilities to the market faster.”
The acquisition is another sign of the strength of the Israeli semiconductor industry — which, thanks to the Internet of Things technology, is only getting stronger, according to Shlomo Gradman, CEO of ASG Ltd., and chairman of the Israeli High Tech CEO Forum. “Just ask Apple” how strong the Israeli semiconductor industry is: “They acquired Anobit and PrimeSense, two companies whose main activity was chip design, and hired hundreds of chip designers who were let go from other companies, like Texas Instruments.”
The Internet of Things, continued Gradman, is a major semiconductor play, as companies race to make smaller and better connected chips to control the almost-endless list of devices that are going to be connected, uploading data to the cloud for analysis. IoT is a major game-changer that could become “a major growth engine,” he added.
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