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.
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.
“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
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.
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.”