The sale of Waze Ltd. will not only turn its executives into multimillionaires, but will turn its rank and file staff into employees of Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG). Waze is Google's third acquisition in Israel, following two acquisitions in 2010.
The first acquisition, which gained wide publicity for that reason, was of Labpixies for $25 million. Labpixies developed personalized website widgets for Google's personalized search page iGoogle, as well as for Android devices and iPhones. It was the first time that Google, which entered the Israeli market a few years earlier, had acquired an Israeli company. The deal generated a great deal of publicity, including a stage picture of Labpixies' founders with Google Israel R&D Center managing director Yossi Matias, whom they joined as a result of the sale. The Waze deal has a different format; its employees will, for now, continue to operate independently.
Three years at Google was apparently enough for some Labpixies founders, and they struck off on their own, to become real entrepreneurs again. A year ago, three founders - Ran Ben-Yair, Oded Poncz, and Udi Graff - decided to found a new company. Their co-founder Nir Tzemah stayed at Google Israel. The three men teamed up with Matomy Media Group Inc. executive Gilad Amitai to found ubimo Ltd., which is building a mobile location-based ad platform that has not been unveiled.
ubimo is focusing on understanding the concept of type of target audience, and not just on the user's location. It is the fourth company that Ben-Yair, Poncz, and Graff have worked at together, after Samsung Israel's R&D unit, Labpixies, and Google Israel. ubimo's website states that its unique context matrix technology can analyze multiple location-based signals, such as businesses information, places of interests, events, demographics, weather, sports results, and area types to provide users with better services and content, serving fewer ads with better results.
ubimo has six employees, and it has not yet raised capital, although it is actively seeking investors.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 12, 2013
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