JERUSALEM – Intel announced Monday it will spend more than $15 billion to acquire Mobileye, an Israeli company that develops technology that essentially gives computers a sense of their physical surroundings — the largest high-tech acquisition in the history of the Jewish State.
Faced with limited natural resources, Israel has fostered a vibrant high-tech culture in recent decades. Mobileye joined a long list of high-tech companies that have earned Israel the nickname “Startup Nation.”
The country is a popular destination for global venture capital funds seeking to capitalize on Israel’s entrepreneurial spirit, as well as expertise honed in universities and advanced technology units of the Israeli military. According to the World Economic Forum, of a total $373 billion in venture capital invested globally from 2006 to 2013, $13.1 billion was invested in Israeli companies — one of the highest in the world and more than both India and Canada.
Prominent multinational technology companies including IBM, Microsoft and Cisco Systems have chosen Israel for research and development centers, employing tens of thousands of workers. Israeli research was instrumental in developing computing, mobile phone and other technologies.
Today it is a world leader in the cyber security industry. Check Point Software Technologies, one of the world’s top cyber-security firms, was founded in Israel.
According to recent figures from the Central Bureau for Statistics, Israel’s official source of economic data, the tech sector accounts for just over a quarter of the country’s exports. The bureau uses an internationally recognized definition of high-tech that excludes both biotechnology and Internet companies. When those are included, technology firms account for roughly half of Israel’s exports.
Here is a look at some other major Israel-related high-tech acquisitions:
Waze — sold to Google for $1.03 billion in 2013
Waze’s popular smartphone application combines GPS navigation software with social networking features, allowing users to improve the service’s directions and traffic reports with their own data. This crowd-sourcing aspect enables the service to adapt to changing road conditions, such as accidents and speed traps, in real time.
NDS — sold to Cisco for $5 billion in 2012
NDS software helps cable and satellite TV companies deliver content to subscribers’ digital video recorders, tablets, smart phones and other devices.
Retalix — sold to NCR for $800 million in 2012
Retalix provides front- and back-office software for convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets.
MediaMind — sold to DG for $517 million in 2011
MediaMind customers — ad agencies and advertisers — paid fees to create and measure ad campaigns on its platform.
M-Systems — sold to Sandisk for $1.6 billion in 2006
M-Systems produced memory storage products.
Lipman Electronic — sold to VeriFone for $793 million in 2006
Lipman is a maker of electronic payment systems.