Software-based modem co SmartLink again mulls IPO

SmartLink will try to raise $15-20 million. SmartLink CEO Moty Mebel: In 2000, everyone thought we were going to get rich fast. We're planning things differently now.

SmartLink is considering raising $15-20 million in an IPO on either the London or Tel Aviv stock exchange. The company value for the IPO has not yet been determined. In addition to London and Tel Aviv, SmartLink has also considered in recent months an IPO on the Hong Kong and Singapore stock exchanges. SmartLink co-founder CEO Moty Mebel says a decision has not yet been taken.

SmartLink was in the midst of a roadshow for an IPO on Nasdaq in August 2000. Reports at the time mentioned raising $40 million at a company value of $200 million. Mebel reminisces, "There was enthusiasm during the roadshow in 2000. Everyone thought we were going to get rich fast. We're planning things differently now."

SmartLink was founded nine years ago by two former Intel (Nasdaq:INTC) employees, Mebel (who served as Zoran (Nasdaq: ZRAN) COO), and Benjamin Maytal, an expert in the development of software-based modems.

Mebel says SmartLink has been profitable since 2002. "In fact, we've been profitable since 1999, but we burned capital during the boom years, especially during the roadshow. The market crashed before our eyes, and we decided to cancel everything and go home."

SmartLink has raised $22 million to date. In its last financing round in March 2000, the company raised $14 million at a company value of $100 million. SmartLink shareholders include Giza Venture Capital, Israel Infinity Venture Capital (which manages holdings for Clal Industries and Investments (TASE:CII)), Mofet Technology Fund Management, Evergreen Partners, Ampal - American Israel Corporation (Nasdaq: AMPL), and Polar Investments (TASE:PLR).

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on February 18, 2004

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