After weeks of rumors, US chip giant Qualcomm Technologies today announced that it has acquired Israeli 5G mobile network automation company Cellwize Wireless Technologies. Qualcomm said that the acquisition will further accelerate its leadership in 5G Radio Access Networks (RAN) innovation and adoption. Qualcomm added that Cellwize’s 5G network deployment, automation, and management software platform capabilities would strengthen its 5G infrastructure solutions and fuel the digital transformation of industries, power the connected intelligent edge, and support the growth of the cloud economy.
No financial details about the acquisition were disclosed but market sources believe that Qualcomm is paying $300-350 million for Cellwize, a reasonable return for a company that has raised $75 million from a range of investors including Viola and Vintage as well as chip giants Intel, Samsung and Qualcomm itself. Other investors include Deutsche Telekom, Green Apple, HPE and VMware. Early investors Viola, Deutsche Telekom and Green Apple will see the biggest returns.
In addition, Cellwize's 200 employees, including 110 in its Ramat Gan development center, will receive incentive bonuses worth tens of millions of dollars if they commit to continue at the company.
Cellwize was founded in 2013 and until 2018 developed just one product - a system for optimizing and self-organizing automated networks (SON). The company's customers were mainly small companies from Asia and Latin America.
In 2018, Viola founding partner Shlomo Dovrat replaced the venture capital funds representative on the board with Doron Inbar, a former CEO of ECI Telecom. A new strategy was introduced which catapulted the company into the world telecom mainstream with its 5G mobile network automation.
Cellwize CEO Ofir Zemer will become Qualcomm VP product management. He said, "We are excited to join Qualcomm Technologies as we are both committed to accelerae the mission to modernize Radio Access Networks and enable mobile network operators and enterprises to fully realize and monetize their digital transformation."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 13, 2022.
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