Business in Brief

High-tech workers wanted, Ctera get $25m in funding, Hexadite emerges from stealth and Spirent buys part of Radvision.

High-tech workers in Israel.
Tomer Appelbaum

Demand for high-tech workers rose 16% in 2014 so far

Demand for high-tech staff grew more than 16% in the first half of the year, compared with the second half of 2013, with the number of job openings at its highest in more than a decade, the high-tech employment agency Ethosia said on Wednesday. Internet companies led the way, with a 36% increase in job offers, followed by mobile and cyber security, with respective increases of 32% and 28%. Strong demand has not led to markedly higher salaries, with the average offer only 2.3% higher in high-tech and 1.8% higher in biomed. Internet and mobile salaries rose a stronger 6% and 4%, respectively, Ethosia said. Ethosia CEO Eyal Solomon said job growth reflects a banner year in 2013 for exits in the startup sector as well as an “atmosphere of optimism” about the economy generally. (TheMarker Staff)

Ctera gets $25m from Bessemer-led group

Ctera Networks, which offers big business cloud data storage services, said on Wednesday it had raised $25 million in capital from a group of investors led by the U.S. venture capital fund Bessemer Venture Partners. Existing investors Benchmark Capital, Cisco and Venrock participated in the round, the third for the company since it was formed in 2008 by CEO Liran Eshel and Chief Technology Officer Zohar Kaufman. Ctera said it would use the proceeds to accelerate adoption of its Cloud Storage Services Platform and its marketing operations. Ctera’s technology enables organizations to sync, serve and protect data with one centrally managed cloud system of their choice. (TheMarker Staff)

Cyber startup Hexadite emerges from stealth

The cyber security startup Hexadite emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday and announced it had raised $2.5 million in seed funding. Hexadite Automated Incident Response Solution automates the process of investigating and defending against cyber attacks, reducing the time it takes enterprises to close out security alerts by up to 95%, said the company, which was founded by Eran Barak, Idan Levin and Barak Klinghofer — all former military intelligence officers and private sector security experts. The funding was led by YL Ventures, with participation by former Microsoft vice president Moshe Lichtman. The system is being installed for the first four global customers, who are using it to investigate cyber alerts and support further development of the technology. (TheMarker Staff)

Spirent buys part of Radvision for $25 million

Britain’s Spirent Communications said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy the assets of Radvision’s Technology Business Unit, which develops voice- and video-over-Internet technology, for $25 million cash from California-based Avaya. Some 38 of the 180 staff from the Tel Aviv-based Radvision will move over to Spirent, while the rest will remain with Avaya’s Israel operations dedicated to video-conferencing business. Avaya bought Radivison two years ago for $230 million from the Zisapel brothers. Spirent said it planned to expand the Radvision TBU products and services. (Amir Teig)

Scailex must pay $11m to Samsung  soon

Scailex, the debt-ridden holding company that once served as the investment vehicle for telecommunications entrepreneur Ilan Ben-Dov, said late on Tuesday that it must raise $11 million by July 18  to meet a debt repayment deadline to the Korean electronics company Samsung. Failure would give Samsung the right to rescind Scailex’s contract to distribute Samsung cellphones in Israel. Adding to Scailex’s woes, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank said it would cut off the company’s credit line for working capital. One option for raising the money would be for Scailex to sell its shares in Partner Communications, which are worth about 47 million shekels ($14 million). Scailex shares rose 7.4% to 55 agorot in Tel Aviv. (Shelly Appelberg)

EZchip rallies on U.S. acquisition

Shares in EZchip rallied on Wednesday, a day after it agreed to acquire Tilera, a closely held U.S. maker  of high-performance multi-core processors, for as much as $130 million in cash. EZchip, which makes high-performance network processors, said it would pay $50 million when the sale terms are concluded in the third quarter and up to $80 million more if Tilera meets future performance milestones. “The addition of a multi-core product portfolio to EZchip expands and diversifies our product offerings and addressable markets,” EZchip CEO Eli Fruchter said. Devesh Garg, the CEO of Tilera, will serve as EZchip’s president of U.S. operations. Shares of EZchip closed up 4.9% at 94.70 shekels ($27.65) in Tel Aviv, bringing its two-day gains to 7.5%. (TheMarker Staff)

Shares mixed amid stormy biomed trading

Tel Aviv shares traded mixed on Wednesday, weighed down by continued worries over the fallout from the murder of the three kidnapped teenagers but encouraged by record high share prices overseas. The benchmark TA-25 index fell to a closing 1,386.60 points while the TA-100 rose 0.15% to 1,252.68 as 946 million shekels ($276 million) in shares changed hands. The biomed sector was all aflutter, although there was no news to account for it. Biomedix closed 45.3% higher at 17 agorot, Procognia dropped 10.3% to 60 agrorot and Medivie finished down 26.7% at 99 agorot. “A lot of investors are going into companies with market caps of 20 million shekels in anticipation that it will jump to 60 million as happened to Medivie very quickly,” said one market source. (Shelly Appelberg)