Britain's ARM Buys Israeli Startup Sansa for Reported $85-90 Million

Inbal Orpaz
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Smartphone (illustration)Credit: Bloomberg
Inbal Orpaz

ARM, the British maker of semiconductors for smartphones, said on Thursday it had acquired the Israeli startup Sansa Security,which makes hardware and software security technology for the Internet of things and mobile devices.

ARM didn’t say how much it paid for Sana, which is based in Kfar Netter, near Netanya, but sources said it was in the area of $85 million to $90 million. Sansa will become the U.K. company’s first-ever Israeli research and development center and take on the company’s 60 Israeli employees.

Sansa’s technology will be integrated into ARM products used to protect mobile devices, enhancing its security element.

“Any connected device could be a target for a malicious attack so we must embed security at every potential attack point,” said Mike Muller, ARM’s chief technology officer. “Protection against hackers works best when it is multi-layered, so we are extending our security technology capability into hardware subsystems and trusted software.

The acquisitions come amid a banner year of exits for Israeli startups, with companies being sold or conducting initial public offerings valued at a combined $6 billion the first half the year. One month into the second half of the year and the pace hasn’t let up, with Microsoft buying the cyber firm Adallom for $320 million the biggest deal of the month.

Samsa technology provides security in more than 150 million products a year and, according to the company’s website, counts LG, Freescale, Google, Qualcomm, Lenovo and Microsoft among its customers. Its technology makes it easier for manufacturers to build secure products with a hardware subsystem that helps isolate security from the main application processor.

Formed originally under the name Discretrix in 2000 by Limor Elbaz, Gal Salomon and David Deitcher, none of whom are with the company full-time any longer. Salomon was CEO for its first decade before leaving for the venture capital fund Pitango. He remains as Sana’s chairman, with Coby Sella as CEO. Elbaz left in 2003 after serving as chief technology officer and was replaced by Deitcher ,who left in 2011 for Intel.

It changed its name last October. Sansa employs 100 people in five offices around the world.

The company raised $22.5 million from investors over its 15 years, including the venture capital funds Sequoia, Genesis Partners, Poalim Ventures, SFK, Accel Partners, Jerusalem Global, Eurocom and Pitango.

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