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Qualcomm and iSkoot Inside

Motorola's Droid X uses iSkoot's Kalaida™ Platform and Qualcomm's Snapdragon mobile processor

Qualcomm announced earlier today that it has acquired Israel’s iSkoot, a leader in “mobilizing internet services on the handsets most people use today”, for an undisclosed sum (rumored to be between $50-100 million).

iSkoot’s Kalaida™ Platform utilizes cloud computing to enable device manufacturers and mobile operators to bring popular social networks and new internet services to mobile handsets in a way that minimally impacts network and handset performance.

As part of Qualcomm Innovation Center, a Qualcomm subsidiary, iSkoot will focus on three areas: continued support of its current customers; integrating its offerings with Qualcomm’s products; ,and developing open source data management contributions for mobile devices.

With the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, such as the iPad (the fastest-selling gadget of all time), the demand for such a service is huge and will continue to be with the release of new mobile devices and the launch of 4G networks in the U.S. and elsewhere. Qualcomm’s purchase of iSkoot indicates several things about the telecommunications industry and Israel:

  • Considering the fast pace at which development in the mobile industry is moving right now and that the 4G space is still open to newcomers, several key players in mobile hardware and software, such as AT&T and Intel, have looked to Israel over the past few months to help them try to gain an edge.
  • The acquisition is the latest in a string of Israeli startups getting acquired by major companies, including Google, AOL and Dell, this year. What impact these acquisitions will have on the growth of Israeli startups in the future is to be seen, though it currently doesn’t look good. Whatever the impact it has on Israel’s startup culture, it seems that considering this sale and the opening of new innovation centers here, the heart of the future of 4G and mobile communications is slowly becoming centered in Israel.
  • According to Globes, iSkoot is the first Israeli company that Qualcomm, “the world’s largest supplier of mobile telephone processors and owner of the intellectual property for the CDMA protocol” has bought, though it has had a development center in Haifa since the mid-1990s. Given that AT&T, Qualcomm and Intel all have R&D centers in Israel, will Verizon look to Israel next?

Here’s a video of iSkoot’s Social Net app in action:

Image via yonghokim.

Related stories:
AT&T introduces “speed-dating” for app developers in US and Israel
Inside Israeli Tech: AT&T in Israel and 9 More Headlines

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During the week of April 25, 2010, Google acquired its first Israeli company, LabPixies, a widget publisher. Better Place started to make inroads in China and Al Gore-backed GreenRoad continued to receive attention abroad. For these stories and more, see this week’s 10 Israel-related headlines below.

Cleantech
1. Better Place makes inroads in China

2. Israel to share agricultural know-how with struggling African farmers

3. Israel’s Al Gore-Funded GreenRoad Seeks to Cut Emissions, Bills

Investment
4. Google acquires Widgets powerhouse Labpixies

5. Sapiens Acquires Harcase, a P&C Insurance Software Provider

Information Technology
6. MiniFrame Introduces New SoftXpand Product Suite to Address Multiple Vertical Markets

7. Clouds helping start-ups grow, but lack enterprise capability, investors say

8. Magic Software Looks to the Clouds

Miscellaneous
9. Israel, U.S. ink open skies pact

10. Israel Blesses iPad Saying, “Let The Tablets Go!”

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During the week of April 4, 2010, Israeli startup Qlipso announced it bought the assets of video web site Veoh Networks. Israeli biofuel company HCL CleanTech is set to open its U.S. headquarters in North Carolina and Autodesk is looking to expand its R&D operations in Israel. For these stories and more, check out this week’s 10 Israel-related headlines below as well as a video of Qlipso’s presentation at Twiistup 7 this past February.

Cleantech
1. HCL CleanTech, an Israeli biofuel company to open U.S. headquarters in Triangle area

2. Test Driving The Better Place Electric Car

Investments and Economy
3. Our economic success story

4. Start-up Qlipso buys Web video service Veoh

5. US giant Autodesk looks to Israeli R&D

Information Technology
6. Doe Run Shortens Downtime With iSolve Virtual Knowledge Manager

7. 3 promising Israeli Startups to look for on MS ThinkNext 2010

Miscellaneous
8. Israel Aid Pays U.S. Dividends That Exceed Cost: Steve Rothman

9. AOL Finally Finds Someone To Buy ICQ (In Russia Or China)

10. Nouriel Roubini – The Economist Who Foresaw the Global Financial Crisis

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During the week of February 28, 2010, it was confirmed that Kampyle, a user feedback analytics platform maker, closed a round of funding in 2009 in addition to it increasing its customer base by 25,000 to 35,000. Check Point introduced a new USB stick with VPN and SolarEdge signed a partnership agreement with Flextronics. For these stories and more, see this week’s headlines below.

Cleantech
1. Tech lessons from Israel on how it conserves and manages its water

2. SolarEdge Signs Manufacturing Partnership Agreement with Flextronics

Information Technology
3. Microsoft OneAlbum: Fusing Facial Recognition and Social Networks – The Future of Windows Live Photos?

4. Security key to unlocking cloud potential

5. Kampyle Confirms Funding, Kicks Off Beta Test For Application Feedback Product

6. Check Point puts VPN in USB stick

Miscellaneous
7. Hello My Name is…The Case for a Jewish Meetup.com

8. Israel and France to hold conference for young scientists in Jerusalem

9. ‘Start-Up Nation’ Author: Mentor Networks Key to Luring Israeli Startups

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During the week of February 21, 2010, news broke that Al Gore’s investment firm invested in Israeli road-safety tech company, GreenRoad. Currensee raised $8 million and innovate!2010 in Tel Aviv was announced. For these stories and the rest of this week’s headlines, see below.

Cleantech
1. GreenRoad raises $10M from Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management

2. Terra Venture Partners Billed Israel’s Most Active Venture Capital Investor in 2009

Investments and M&A
3. $8 Million Series B For FOREX Social Network Currensee

4. Critical mass at core of Israel’s tech prowess

Information Technology
5. Moving HQ overseas: Rony Ross, Panorama Software (Interview)

6. Actimize, a NICE Company, Positioned in Leaders Quadrant of Magic Quadrant for Web Fraud Detection

Miscellaneous
7. startup contest innovate!2010 coming back to tel aviv

8. Why aren’t there more women in startups? Some new data.

Rony Ross

Last month I posted an interview with Rony Ross about being a successful woman in technology. Aside from this, we also discussed in depth the business intelligence software company that she founded, Panorama Software, including its growth over the years, business intelligence (BI) trends and what we can expect from Panorama this year. Here is that part of our discussion.

Panorama Software was founded in 1993 and moved its headquarters to North America in 2003, what factors went into the decision to move the headquarters?
In 2002, Panorama realized that the marketplace for its products is growing and decided to become a global company. We decided we needed a North American presence, including sales, marketing, support, finance and product management and that moving the headquarters to North America was a logical step.

We evaluated various locations, and were determined to concentrate on locations that had daily direct flights to Israel. One of Panorama’s directors suggested Toronto, Canada. It was deemed a great choice, both for the favorable (at the time) value of the Canadian Dollar vs. the US dollar, as well as having daily direct flights to Israel.

What steps did the move entail?
A few people relocated to Toronto, including myself and Eynav Azarya who has since become Panorama’s CEO. We recruited quite a lot of people in Toronto, as well as in various locations in the US. We moved our finance operations, as well as our Marketing, Product Management and parts of our Worldwide support.

Panorama Pivot Table for Google Docs

Panorama Pivot Table for Google Docs

What are some of the BI trends that we can expect to see in 2010?
I believe that in 2010 we shall see Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) BI picking up and becoming an option of choice for many organizations as a way to extend their BI deployment within and outside the firewall. Many organizations will adopt a hybrid strategy, where they will be running applications on the cloud while maintaining full control and ownership of data on-premise.

What can we expect to see from Panorama Software in 2010?
Panorama will deliver great BI solutions that are based on Microsoft Office, SQL and SharePoint platforms. Our goal for 2010 is to extend the use of these great products, while providing an even better end user experience and enabling enterprise companies to deploy an end-to-end BI solution for the organization. We will also release a new version of our SaaS BI module.

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(Catch Media interview from 2007)

During the week of February 14, 2010, the Eilat-Eilot International Renewable Energy Conference took place and included the announcement of potential plans for joint solar energy projects between Israel, Egypt and Jordan. News broke that Google is in early talks to acquire Israel’s Catch Media to better compete with iTunes and Tawkon announced its solution for avoiding radiation from mobile phones. For these stories and more, check out this week’s Israel-related technology headlines below.

Cleantech
1. Israel’s Solar Industry Aims to Regain its Edge

2. Israel, Egypt Considering Joint Solar Energy Project in Sinai

Investment and M&A
3. Google Wants To Buy Catch Media To Make Android Better

4. JVP’s Erel Margalit Tells Startups: “We Do Early Stage Now!”

Information Technology
5. Augmented Reality Gets a Major Face.com Lift

6. Tawkon enables mobile users to avoid mobile phone radiation without affecting phone usage

7. Comverse enables visual voicemail services on Sony Ericsson handsets for Norway’s NetCom

Miscellaneous
8. Unleavened Media: 10 Israeli mobile companies to watch in 2010

9. IPad Launch Has Halo Effect On Apple Products, Laptops

10. Aniboom and Sesame Street Partner on Animation Contest

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The week of February 7, 2010, was big for investments and M&A. Social music player TuneWiki raised $7 million and among Israeli companies to be acquired were Convergin, which was picked up by Oracle, and Exanet, bought by Dell. IBM continues to grow its XIV channel and 3DV and PrimeSense continue to be big players in providing sensor technologies for consumer electronics. See below for these stories and more from the week of February 7, 2010.

Cleantech
1. Better Place Sees Electric Cars on Israeli Roads by End of 2011

2. Arava Power: Agreements for 15 Initial Solar Fields

Investments and M&A
3. Oracle Acquires Israeli Startup Convergin

4. Dell Acquires Storage Vendor Exanet

5. Social Music Player TuneWiki Raises $7M From Motorola Ventures, Others

Information Technology
6. Interview with Frederic Aknin, Sparkeo: Innovators in E-Learning Series

7. Point, click: a review of gesture control technologies

8. IBM Expands Channel Program Around XIV Storage Line

9. Opera and Perfecto Mobile Partner To Offer Remote Testing on Real Mobile Devices

Miscellaneous
10. Case Study: Students teach the CEOs

11. Emblaze Brings Patent Infringement Suit against Microsoft, Apple

Last week Google threatened to pull out of China after Google internal systems were infiltrated by hackers. In the aftermath of the news, there has been extensive media coverage of the challenges of doing business in China and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has received most of the blame for the security lapse.

Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Amichai Shulman of the data security company Imperva in Israel has been paying close attention to the security breach and after first suggesting last week that the likely attack methods “were sending mail containing malware to Google employees” or “through a vulnerability in Google’s web servers” strongly questions a claim by McAfee that Internet Explorer had a major role in the attack.

Shulman’s skepticism is based on three main points. The first is that it is unlikely that Google employees would be using IE and not Chrome which is Google’s browser. The second is that the sophistication of the attack requires network and not browser vulnerabilities:

“To execute an attack this sophisticated, it likely occurred as a result of spear phishing Google employees to gain access to Google users credentials. A hacker would have to jump through many hoops inside an internal network. This requires network—not browser—vulnerabilities so that the attacker can communicate with malware inside Google’s internal network.”

Shulman’s third point is that despite the likeliness of the problem being network weaknesses, countries, including France and Germany, are now recommending that citizens use other browsers instead of Internet Explorer.

Considering these three points, Shulman asks the interesting question, “Could this be a clever way to boost Google Chrome downloads?”

Last month Deloitte Brightman Almagor Zohar, a professional services firm under the interational Deloitte brand in Israel, released its annual list of Israel’s top 50 fastest growing technology companies for 2009 based on percentage revenue growth over a five-year period. Fifteen software companies ranging from security to finance to storage made the list. Below is the top 10 software companies on the list and a little more about them. Will you be using any of these companies’s technologies in 2010?

Red Bend software

redbend_logoRed Bend Software is considered to be a market leader in Mobile Software Management and Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) update solutions. Founded in 1999, Red Bend Software offers solutions that give phone users more control over what software components they want on their phones while also increasing the data service revenues of phone carriers. The main solutions include firmware updates, software component updates and data management.

Imperva

imperva_logo1Imperva is an application data security company that was founded in 2002 by Amichai Shulman and Check Point Software co-founder Shlomo Kramer. The company was named to Red Herring’s Top 100 in 2007 and grew by more than 80% in 2008.  Its success during the recession has been attributed to its software helping customers cut costs. Imperva’s products include the SecureSphere Data Security Suite, SecureSphere Web Application Firewall and Database Activity Monitoring.

InfoGin

infogin_logoInfoGin was founded in 2000 by Eran Wyler after he foresaw the “need for surfing the real Internet on any mobile device.” Over the years, InfoGin has become a leader in “Web-to-mobile content adaptation, enabling mobile users to access any Web site they desire, optimized to their mobile device.” The company’s Internet Mobile Platform (IMP) technology is currently being implemented by several major companies, including Virgin Mobile (UK) and MapQuest.

Safend

Israeli data protection company, Safend offers products for data encryption and port and device control. Founded in 2003, Safend in 2009 was also named to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Mobile Data Protection. The company also rounded out its suite adding Safend Inspector and Discoverer to Safend Reporter, Safend Encryptor and Safend Protector.

PineApp

pineapp_logoPineApp is an e-mail and content systems security provider. Founded in 2002 by Gabriel Mizrahi and headquartered in Israel, PineApp’s products enhances email security by protecting against email-based spam and virus attacks. Its products include Mail-SeCure, Surf-SeCure and Secure SoHo. Earlier this month the company introduced two new products to its line, Mail-Encryption and Archive-SeCure.

Commtouch Software

commtouch_logoFounded in 1991, Commtouch develops software to protect e-mail by offering spam and Zero-Hour™ virus outbreak protection. Its anti-spam solutions feature its Recurrent Pattern Detection (RPD) technology and have been licensed by over 80 security and messaging vendors and providers including Aladdin, Check Point, Fujitsu and LG N-Sys.

Zend

Zend offers products and services for developing, deploying, and managing business-critical PHP applications. The company was founded by Andi Gutmans and Zeev Surask and its customers include McAfee, UPI and IBM. In September 2009, Zend along with its partners, IBM and Microsoft, announced a new initiative for PHP developers who are working on cloud-focused apps. Its products include Zend Server, Zend Platform and Zend Core.

IDIT I.D.I. Technologies

IDIT Technologies was founded in 1998 and offers SOA-based software solutions for the insurance industry. In July 2009 Forrester Research named the company among the hot insurance tech companies to watch in 2009, mainly for its multi-language and currency support innovations. The IDIT software suite addresses the specific end-to-end needs of general insurance for the insurance and financial markets including Business Intelligence, Workflow Management and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). IDIT’s R&D center is headed by Lilia Waserman and its customers include Alfa Insurance and RAC Insurance.

PNMSoft

PNMSoft is a Business Process Management (BPM) and workflow software provider. Founded in 1996, PNMSoft provides customers, such as Amdocs, Microsoft and Philips, with solutions to better manage content and businesses from start to finish. PNMSoft’s poducts include SEQUENCE BPM workflow software based on Microsoft’s Windows Workflow Foundation platform. The company currently has an R&D center currently in Israel and was a Microsoft 2009 SOA and Business Process Partner of the Year Finalist.

VIZrt

VIZrt offers content production tools for the digital media industry. It was founded in 2000 and some of its clients include Fox, CBS and The Globe and Mail. Along with its products Viz Content Pilot and Viz Artist, VIZrt also offers mobile solutions. In 2008, Vizrt acquired Escenic.