VC firm Norwest to open Israel branch

The firm has appointed Dror Nahumi as partner to oversee its Israeli activity.

Norwest Venture Partners has appointed Dror Nahumi as partner. He will be responsible for the fund's investments in Israel, among other things.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Nahumi's appointment is Norwest's first step toward opening an office in Israel in 2009. Opening of an Israeli office is part of the firm's strategy to expand its global operations. The firm already has two offices in India, one in Mumbai and the other in Bangalore, and it has also invested in Israeli and Chinese companies.

The current financial market crisis does not appear to be deterring Norwest. Setting up offices in a new country is a measure planned long in advance. Norwest plans to invest more heavily in Israeli technology companies in the coming years. It will continue to make joint investments with Israeli venture capital firms, as it has already done in some of its portfolio companies. Norwest, which manages $2.5 billion altogether, has no plans for a special Israeli fund at this time, however.

Norwest's managing partner is Promod Haque. Since 1961, the firm has invested in 450 software, services, communications systems, semiconductor, media, and consumer companies. Major exits include Cerent Corporation, Tivoli Systems, PeopleSoft, and Siara Systems.

Norwest's Israeli exits include Accord, Veraz Networks Inc. (Nasdaq:VRAZ), and, most recently, Qumranet Inc., which was sold to Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) for $107 million. Norwest's portfolio includes Israeli companies ConteXtream Ltd., Double Fusion Inc., Timebridge Ltd., and Unisfair Inc.

Nahumi will manage Norwest's Israeli office once it is established. Until then, he will be based at the firm's Palo Alto headquarters. He has held a number of senior posts at ECI Telecom Ltd., Axonlink, I-Link, and AT&T Bell Labs.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on September 24, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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