Intel Eyes Israeli Startup Habana Labs Amid Flurry of Tech Activity

Teable buys Indegy in $95 million deal, Gong raises $65 million and VC Crescendo raises initial capital

An Intel logo is seen at the company's offices in Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv, July 25, 2018.
Nir Elias / REUTERS

Amid a flurry of activity on Tuesday in the country’s high-tech sector, TheMarker learned from industry sources that Intel is in discussions to buy Israeli startup Habana Labs. Both companies declined to comment.

Widely regarded as one of the startup leaders in developing artificial intelligence chips, Habana Labs has been seen as a likely acquisition target by the American semiconductor giant. “Intel doesn’t want to miss the AI market the way it missed the mobile market,” said an industry source who asked not to be further identified.

Habana Labs was founded in 2016 by serial entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz, who founded and sold Galileo Technologies in 2001 to Marvell for $2.7 billion and sold Annapurna Labs to Amazon for $370 million in 2015. David Dahan and Ran Halutz were also co-founders of these companies.

Habana Labs employs 150 people and has raised $120 million from sources such as Intel Capital.

Meanwhile, Tenable, a U.S. company that helps customers spot cybersecurity risks, said it had signed an agreement to acquire Indegy, an Israeli industrial cybersecurity startup.

The deal is valued at up to $95 million -- $78 million in cash that Tenable will pay plus another $15 to $17 million in cash Indegy has on its books that its shareholders will remove before the deal is completed.

Sources close to the company said that is an unreported stock component to the transition is worth another $22 million.

Since being formed in 2014, Indegy has raised $36 million from investors, including Shlomo Kramer and the Magma fund, Vertex Venture and O.G. Tech, Eyal Ofer’s investment vehicle.

Other backers include former Israeli military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Amos Yadlin, and former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus.

In a separate development, the U.S.-Israeli startup Gong said it had raised $65 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital, bringing its total raised to $134 million. Existing investors Battery Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Kramer, Wing Venture Capital, NextWorld Capital and Cisco Investments also participated in the latest round.

Gong says it uses artificial intelligence to help businesses understand customer interactions and provides insights to improve sales.

Headquartered in San Francisco, the company said it would use the new capital to invest in its product, engineering, and go-to-market teams.

Finally, Crescendo Venture Partners, a new Israeli venture capital fund, said it had closed the first round of a projected fund of between $80 million-$100 million and plans to have its final closing in the first half of 2020.

Founded by Zvi Schechter, Yuval Avni and Tal Mizrahi -- former partners at Giza Venture Capital -- together with Mark Kavelaars., Crescendo will invest in early-stage Israeli software startups with an emphasis on agriculture, construction and industry.