A Blow for Israeli Startups? Jeff Pulver Quits PulverMedia

Jeff Pulver announced in his blog that he’s resigning as director of PulverMedia. Here’s a rough translation of Guy Grimland’s article in the Marker:

A Blow for Israeli Startups? Jeff Pulver Announces His Resignation from PulverMedia

Jeff Pulver, one of the biggest name investors in Israeli startups and a well-known figure amongst Israeli entrepreneurs, announced at the end of the week in his blog that he’s resigning.

It looks like the rumors of hard financial times at Pulver’s media company were correct. Pulver declined to explain his decision. Pulver most recently visited Israel when he participated in The Marker’s The Marker COM.VENTION. When asked, on that occasion, of the financial state of PulverMedia he also declined to comment.

The blogger Om Malik said at the end of March that TICC Capital Corporation, the investor in PulverMedia, closed the company and its bank accounts. As a result various checks the company had issued bounced. Malik points out that in a TICC statement to the SEC last March it stated that “PulverMedia forecasts a sharp decrease in revenues in the coming year.”

PulverMedia is responsible for the convention organization VON which deals with VoIP technology. A source familiar with Pulver told The Marker that in their estimation Pulver’s financial position has little to do with his investments in Israeli startups. Pulver has, to date, invested in Jerusalem Capital Ventures and in Israeli startups Kayote, Corbomite Games, Semantinet, Innovid, Urbanseeder and ZShow.

Generally, Pulver tends to invest sums ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 in seed-stage companies.


Brazilian Optics Giant Buys Civcom for $40M

civcom.jpgNot only Microsoft is buying up Israeli start-ups. Brazilian optical network solutions giant Padtec has paid $30-40 million for Civcom, an Israeli pioneer in the development and manufacturing of cost saving optical solutions for communications, test and measurement, and military applications. The move comes on a wave of rapid expansion for Padtec as it seeks to become a major player in the international optical communications market.

According to Jorge Salomão Pereira, CEO and Head of Technology Division at Padtec, “The Civcom acquisition is much more than a typical company acquisition. It represents a great opportunity to offer competitive solutions to the high speed optical communication market.”

Meron Raz, CEO of Civcom, adds that the acquisition will “will increase [Civcom’s] worldwide market share and will add leading knowledge and more capability” to their products and technology.

That buyout doesn’t exactly break the bank for Civcom’s investors Pitango, JVP, Concord, Ascend, Formula, and Morris Kahn’s Aurum Ventures. They invested nearly $38 million in the company.

But hey, you win some, and you break even on others.

For more on this check out Padtec’s press release or an interview with the Padtec CEO.