The journey of Soluto, one of the most talked-about technology companies in Israel, founded in Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard fourteen years ago by Tomer Dvir and Ishay Green, has come to an end. Privately-held US company Asurion, which bought Soluto nine years ago, has decided to close its development center in Tel Aviv, which will mean laying off 120 employees.
The closure will take place in stages. Today, 80 employees received notices of dismissal hearings and a promise of above-average severance terms. 40 employees will remain at the Tel Aviv center to deal with the transfer of technology developed in Israel to Asurion’s headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee.
The closure in Israel is part of a general restructuring by Asurion. 750 jobs will be cut in Nashville as the company cuts its global workforce by 4%.
Asurion acquired Soluto in 2013 for an amount estimated at the time at $100 million. This was not considered a large acquisition. Some $20 million had been invested in Soluto. It did however hold out the promise of growth in the US company’s activity in Israel, and gave the Tel Aviv center special status in the company, which is active all over the US.
Asurion is in the tech-care market, maintenance of smart devices, and is one of the longest standing companies in this field, offering insurance for products such as mobile telephones and game consoles. It maintains the repair lab chain uBreakiFix, which it acquired in 2019.
Soluto’s founders often served as poster children for the startup scene in Rothschild Boulevard. In 2009, Ishay Green included the company in filming for the second series of television reality show "Mehubarim" ("Connected"), in which participants record their own daily lives. The company also won a most-promising startup award from prestigious technology blog TechCrunch. Tomer Dvir became well known for lectures to foreign delegations and at social events to do with entrepreneurship and management.
In 2009, the company was managed for several months by future prime minister Naftali Bennett, who was one of the early investors in it. After bringing in giant VC fund Bessemer to lead the company’s first institutional fund raising round, Bennett left to head the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. His stake in Soluto brought in some $3 million when the company was sold to Asurion. The company is currently headed by Merav Oren.
John Leonard, Asurion’s senior vice president for global product management, said, "The decision to close the offices in Tel Aviv and part ways with the team that contributed to our company’s success over many years is not easy. The team at Soluto had an important part in our growth and success since the company was acquired in 2013."
"Today, with great regret, we have to inform all the team of workers with us at Soluto of the decision by Asurion to close the Israeli development center," Oren said. "These are people who believe in the company and the product, and together have given their hearts and their skills every day to create the best possible product for our users. Over the years, we have brought together at Solut the best professionals in the field, who represent the spearhead of the technology industry in Israel, and we have preserved a unique culture. For me personally, this is an extremely difficult moment. We are committed to making every effort to support and assist each and every single one to find an excellent place of work that will benefit from his or her capabilities and qualifications."
Co-founder Tomer Dvir said, "I was very saddened by the decision. We set up a professional team with a unique culture that for fourteen creative years affected the local industry, Asurion, and hundreds of millions of customers around the world. Despite the pain, I know that the team members will take with them the talent, the culture, and the special approach to the lucky companies at which they will continue their careers."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 24, 2022.
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