Intel Capital to aggressively pursue investment prospects

“We realize we have had missed opportunities here [in the past],” says Intel Capital’s managing director for Western Europe, Israel.

By NADAV SHEMER
July 25, 2012 23:16
1 minute read.
Battisti with Intel Capital Israel investment dire

Battisti with Intel Capital Israel investment directors 370. (photo credit: Israel Hadari)

Intel’s global investment arm, Intel Capital, will be more aggressive in pursuing Israeli investment opportunities, managing director for Western Europe and Israel told reporters in Tel Aviv Wednesday.

Battisti, sitting alongside veteran Intel Capital Israel investment director Uri Arazy and newly appointed investment directors Yair Shoham and Merav Weinryb, said the organization would focus most of its coming efforts on Israel and two Western Europe countries he declined to name.

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“We realize we have had missed opportunities here [in the past],” Battisti said.

“There are three places in this part of the world which are incredibly innovative, and Israel is one of them. We are going to double down our bets in each of those three places. The difference between Israel and the other two is that Israel’s population is a small fraction of the others’, but it comes up with just as much innovation.”

Intel, the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips, employs 8,000 Israelis in six locations: Haifa, Yakum, Herzliya, Petah Tikva, Jerusalem and Kiryat Gat. Intel Israel’s exports totaled $2.2 billion last year and $22.4b. in 1999-2011, according to the company.

Sixteen of Intel Capital’s portfolio companies have made exits so far this year – six of them through IPOs and 10 of them through M&A transactions. Two of the sales involved Israeli companies: Anobit, a designer of flashmemory controllers; and AeroScout, a developer of Wi- Fi-based radio-frequency identification tags for monitoring valuable assets.

Battisti said Intel Capital would be open to investing in both early-stage and late-stage companies as part of its new Israel search and to writing checks for as low as $100,000 and as high as $50 million. He said it would do exactly the same thing in Israel as it has been doing in Western Europe: looking at every potential investment and putting money into those that it thinks will produce a return.

“I won’t do something for the sake of doing it,” Battisti said. The earlier it is [in the life of an acquired company], the riskier. This is risk capital to the extreme. We are willing to do it, but it has to pay up.”


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