$20M for Provigent in Fourth Round of Financing

Provigent, a leading provider of System-on-a-Chip (SoC) solutions for the broadband wireless transmission market, announced today that it has increased its fourth round of financing to $20 million.

The privately-owned company, which was founded in Israel in 2000 but is now headquartered in the U.S., makes products that “enable system vendors to rapidly develop cost-effective high performance broadband wireless transmission systems.” Their SoCs “offer an unparalleled combination of increased bandwidth, extended range and enhanced flexibility while lowering overall system costs.”

Their hottest product is the PVG310, “a complete state-of-the-art single chip modem that integrates all the physical-layer baseband functionality – modulation, demodulation and forward error correction – for point-to-point broadband wireless transmission.”

Ray Stata, who raised his equity fund’s initial investment from $1 to $4 million, said that Provigent’s “consistently growing and strong customer base is constant validation of its leading position as the merchant silicon provider in this growing market.”

CEO Dan Charash added that the “successful round of funding will enable Provigent to further accelerate its roadmap and market penetration.” “With an established economy of scale, significant R&D investments and a focused dedication to the broadband wireless transmission industry, Provigent continues to establish itself as the market’s leading SoC provider.

Other investors in Provigent include some of the biggest names in venture capital from Israel and abroad, including Sequoia Capital, Pitango Venture Capital and Dr. Andrew Viterbi, co-founder of QUALCOMM.

Check out the press release for more.


Positive Results for BioLineRx Heart Attack Treatment

biline.jpgBioLineRx, an Israeli drug development company, has announced that the first heart attack patient has emerged unscathed from a Phase 1/2 clinical trial study of its BL-1040, a breakthrough approach to supporting damaged cardiac tissue. The trial is using up to 30 patients in several sites in Germany, Belgium and Israel and is designed to assess the safety and feasibility of the treatment which BioLineRx is hoping to have approved as a Class III Medical Device.

According to the press release, BL-1040, which was shown in pre-clinical trials performed on animals to improve survival rates, is “a resorbable liquid polymer that is administered via the coronary artery during standard catheterization and flows into the damaged heart muscle. The liquid polymerizes within the infarcted cardiac tissue and forms a protective “scaffold” that enhances the mechanical strength of the heart muscle during recovery and repair, thereby preventing pathological enlargement of the left ventricle after the MI. BL-1040 is excreted naturally from the body within six weeks after injection, leaving behind a stronger, more stable heart muscle.”

Morris C. Laster, MD, CEO of BioLineRx said that this “is an important milestone in the development of BL-1040, BioLineRx’s innovative product candidate, which is the first treatment that attempts to treat damaged cardiac tissue resulting from an acute MI and addresses a tremendous unmet medical need.”

Professor Jonathan Leor, co-inventor of BL-1040, added that it “could revolutionize the treatment of patients recovering from a massive heart attack” and that he believes further trials “will continue to provide more evidence for the success of our new approach to bring effective and safe treatment for patients with injured hearts.”

BioLineRx, whose BL-1020 treatment for Schizophrenia is about to begin Phase 2b clinical trials in U.S., Europe and Israel, was founded in 2003 by members of Israel’s life science community including Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. with help from Giza Venture Capital, Pitango Venture Capital, and Hadasit.

Check out the full press release for more info.

Fixya Raises $6M from Pitango

fixya2.jpgIsraeli-based FixYa.com has raised $6 million in second-round financing from Pitango Venture Capital and Mayfield Fund, both of whom also invested in the first round of financing. Founded in 2005 by Yaniv Ben-Saadon, a seasoned entrepreneur of numerous consumer Internet ventures, FixYa gets more than 6 million viewers per month.

FixYa provides free tech support and technical help for gadgets, electronic equipment and consumer products, and its technical experts advise on fixing problems and provide instructions on proper usage of products either by chat or message posting. It plans on using its new funding to increase ties with Silicon Valley and expand U.S. operations, as well as introduce new features and incorporate third-party applications.

Raj Kapoor, managing director at Mayfield and former Snapfish.com CEO will join FixYa’s Board. He says “consumers are dealing with a tidal wave of increasingly complex products at the same time that fewer resources are being committed by manufacturers to customer service and support”…”We are proud to accelerate FixYa’s mission of helping consumers with this reality and the challenges they face as a result. FixYa’s community-based approach creates an efficient marketplace where people can ask questions and get answers to any high- or low-tech problem they may have with their gadgets or other products.”

Rami Beracha, managing general partner at Pitango Venture Capital: “Yaniv has exceeded every milestone he set for FixYa because of his team’s ability to respond rapidly to the needs of the FixYa community. We have good reason to believe that the pace of the company’s growth in the multi-billion dollar consumer-support market will continue unabated as more and more consumers make FixYa the go-to place to get help with their product questions.”

Check this for more detail.

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.

Microsoft Nabs Kidaro for an Estimated $100M


Microsoft has announced its intentions to buy Israeli start-up Kidaro, a leading provider of desktop virtualization solutions for enterprises. Analysts estimate the price at a whopping $90-100 million. According to inside sources, the unexpected offer was set up by Opus Ventures Partner Dan Avida, former CEO and President of Decru. He was also in charge of putting his former colleague, Kevin Brown, at Kidaro’s helm.

Kidaro, which was chugging along just fine at a high-growth pace, wasn’t planning to sell itself. But apparently this offer was just too good to refuse. The deal is expected to yield Kidaro investors Pitango Partners and Opus Capital a return of five times their initial investments.

Microsoft’s press release explains its reasons for the acquisition: “In combining Kidaro’s virtualization technology with its suite of desktop management tools, known as the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assurance, Microsoft will enable IT professionals to optimize their desktop infrastructure by providing management capabilities for Virtual PCs, streamlining deployments and easing application compatibility issues.”

According to Shanen Boettcher, general manager of Windows product management at Microsoft, “The acquisition of Kidaro is an important component of our virtualization strategy, and it delivers a powerful new tool to help enterprise customers optimize their desktops.”…”Kidaro’s seamless user interface and management capabilities allow enterprises to more easily use and manage Virtual PCs.” Kidaro’s technology “further enables virtualization across the enterprise, and is another example of how we are helping customers keep up with the changing needs of their business.”

For more on this big deal check out Microsoft’s press release.