TechNation: Intel Israel Hired 400 R&D Staff in 2015, but Exports Fell

Startup Kaymera secures $10 million for cybersecurity; WeWork opening Israeli R&D center; Qualcomm to fire dozens of R&D workers in Israel.

Eliahu Hershkovitz

Intel Israel hired 400 R&D staff in 2015, but exports fell

Intel Israel, already the biggest tech company in Israel, said Sunday that in 2015 it hired 400 new employees at its research and development centers in Haifa, Jerusalem and greater Tel Aviv. The hiring spree enabled Intel Israel to set up and expand teams in key areas like cognitive and perceptual computing, big data, computerized vision and the Internet of Things. Many of the new employees came from AMD, Marvell and Qualcomm, which laid off R&D staff in 2015, as well as from Intel’s acquisition of the German company Lantiq, which had a big R&D center in Israel. Exports dropped to $4.1 billion from $4.25 billion in 2014, but they still accounted for 11% of Israel’s total high-tech exports. Intel is completing a major upgrade of its Kiryat Gat facilities, which has employed 2,300 construction workers, and will begin hiring engineers and technicians over the next two years, it said. (TheMarker Staff)

Startup Kaymera secures $10 million for cybersecurity

Kaymera, a startup developing mobile cybersecurity technology, said yesterday it has raised $10 million in a round led by Go Capital VOEC Ventures of Hong Kong. The startup said it would use the proceeds to expand its sales and marketing team in Israel and abroad. Kaymera has 30 employees, all but five of whom are in Israel, and plans to double that number over the next year, including adding 10 jobs at its Herzlya Pituah research and development center. The round brings Kaymera’s total fundraising since it was founded in 2013 to $13 million. Previous investors include Eddy Shalev, a founding partner of the veteran venture capital fund Genesis Partners, and the angel investor Yariv Gilat. Kaymera was formed by Avi Rosen, Shalev Hulio and Omri Lavie. Hulio and Lavie were behind the cybersecurity startup NSO, which was bought by Francisco Partners in 2014 for $130 million. (Inbal Orpaz and Eliran Rubin) 

WeWork opening Israeli R&D center

WeWork, the U.S.-based global network of managed office space for startup companies and others, is setting up a research and development center in Israel, its first outside its New York City base. CEO Adam Neumann told TheMarker that WeWork needs an R&D team in order to develop the technology to help the company manage its far-flung network and service a diverse and rapidly changing tenant base. “We’re developing a large amount of technology designed for providing services that will help members of the [tenant] community to succeed from a business and social perspective,” Neumann said. Ron Gura, a founding partner of the Aleph venture capital fund, will run the new center. A U.S. company, WeWork has a strong Israel connection: Neumann, one of its two founders, is an Israeli and the company operates three office centers in Israel, the largest single number anywhere outside of the United States. (Inbal Orpaz)

Qualcomm to fire dozens of R&D workers in Israel

Qualcomm, the U.S. maker of chips used in wireless technology, is carrying out another round of dismissals in its workforce of 400 in Israel, TheMarker has learned. The company told employees yesterday morning that several dozen employees at the company’s research and development center will be fired as part of a 15% reduction in worldwide staffing levels announced in July, or about 4,500 people in all. The layoffs are part of a shift in direction for Qualcomm and will save it $1.4 billion a year. Qualcomm was stung last year by the loss of a contract to supply chips for Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S6 smartphone. Qualcomm fired 120 Israelis in September, most of them former employees of CSR, a British company it had acquired earlier in the year. The year before that, Qualcomm closed down its Beit Shemesh R&D center and fired 30 to 40 employees. Qualcomm did not comment on the latest layoffs by press time. (Inbal Orpaz)