TEL AVIV, July 25 Intel Capital said on
Wednesday it was expanding its operations in Israel as it seeks
to boost its portfolio of Israeli technology companies and
improve returns on its investments.
Intel's global investment arm has invested in more
than 60 companies in Israel since 1996. It has had a number of
successful exits including: Anobit, which was acquired by Apple
; Passave, acquired by PMC-Sierra ; and Gteko,
bought by Microsoft, while Mellanox went
public on Nasdaq.
Marcos Battisti, managing director of Intel Capital for
Western Europe and Israel, said investment returns have been in
the double digits the last five years.
"But it's not as good as it could have been," he told a news
conference, saying returns in Israel lag those of the "high
double digits" for Western Europe.
Battisti cited the lack of staff in Israel that could
adequately seek out investments. The local office had just one
person but Intel Capital has added two venture capital veterans.
"We realised we have missed opportunities here," Battisti
said. So, "we will be more aggressive."
He said a key goal of Intel Capital is to lead investments
in Israeli companies. Investments will be made at all stages and
could be $100,000 at an early stage or $50 million in a more
Intel Capital typically invests $300-$500 million a year,
although it reached $526 million in 2011. In 2012 Intel Capital
has invested $198 million in 33 new deals - 56 percent of which
were outside of North America.
Battisti declined to say whether any deals in Israel were
imminent but Intel Capital has met several companies of late.
It was looking to invest in perceptional computing - the
next generation user interface - communications, gaming, cloud,
mobile ecosystem and consumer internet companies.
Intel, the world's No. 1 chipmaker, has four development
centres in Israel and two plants, employing over 8,000 workers.