IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is set to buy Israeli start up Red Bend Software for $200-250 million, according to high tech market sources.
Several weeks ago IBM's VP corporate strategy Tom Rosamilia visited Israel and although there were no serious talks about acquiring Red Bend, IBM probably did begin its interest at that time in the mobile phone software provider. Red Bend was founded in 1999 by Sharon Peleg and Gadi Gonen and has been managed by CEO Yoram Salinger since 2001. In 2001 the company changed its name from Emony to Red Bend.
Red Bend provides standards-based products and solutions for software management, device management and mobile virtualization that work on any mobile phone and connected device uniformly, efficiently and securely over the air.
Initially Red Bend sold applications for the remote updating of PC software at a time when it was not thought easy to do via the Internet because downloading took so long. Today, the company focuses on the remote updating of software for mobile phones using Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) and M2M. Red Bend helps cellular phone manufacturers to speed up new embedded services, respond swiftly to faults and reduce support costs via remote updates using the web. These are implemented using FOTA wireless connections.
Red Bend has also developed products for the management of environmental installations and running its applications. On the business side, the company is also a service provider to a number of major cellular phone manufacturers such as Sony Eriksson and Motorola as well as phone chip providers including Intel and Qualcomm.
Red Bend was chosen by "Globes" as one of Israel's most promising start ups in 2007-2008. Since its founding, the company has raised $35-40 million and investors include Pitango Venture Capital, Carmel Ventures, Coral Group, Greylock Partners, Poalim Capital Markets - Investment Bank Ltd. unit Poalim Ventures, and Infinity Private Equity. Red Bend also received a strategic investment from Japan's NTT Docomo and a loan from Plenus Venture Lending Fund. Pitango will be the biggest winner from any sale with a 15-20% stake.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 18, 2012
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