Caesarea-based mobile device chip maker Wilocity is in advanced talks over its acquisition by Qualcomm, the California-based multinational mobile phone chip manufacturer. The proposed price is apparently some $300 million, but the two sides have yet to agree terms on all the provisions of the sale.
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A response from Wilocity, which is developing the fastest Internet chip in the world with data rates of up to 7 gigabits per second, was not available at press time, while Qualcomm chose not to comment on the news of the proposed acquisition.
Wilocity’s high-speed chip will provide users with the ability to download video and other heavy content more quickly. The startup’s development activity is based on the latest technical Wi-Fi specifications, which were issued in March 2013. Its existing chips are already featured in Dell computers, its first customer, but the new generation is being designed to be smaller and more energy-efficient, and to be used in mobile devices.
Wilocity was founded in 2007 by Tal Tamir, its CEO, as well as Dany Rettig, Gal Basson and Jorge Myszne. The four came to the venture from Intel.
Wilocity has a staff of about 60, most of whom are based in Israel. Despite the fact that no written agreement has been signed, about two weeks ago Wilocity’s employees were told of the company’s acquisition by Qualcomm, which they were informed would become their new employer.
Since then, representatives of Qualcomm have conducted rounds of interviews and it’s likely that if the sale comes to fruition, Wilocity’s staff could be transferred to Qualcomm’s development center in Haifa.
Qualcomm has already invested in Wilocity, and the two firms have also cooperated on product development of chips for Qualcomm, including Wilocity’s high-speed wireless chip. All told, Wilocity has attracted $105 million from investors, including not only Qualcomm but also semiconductor giant Marvell Technology.
Other investors include Cisco and a number of leading venture capital firms – Sequoia Capital, Benchmark Capital and Tallwood Venture Capital, as well as Israel’s Vintage Investment Partners and the Jerusalem Global Ventures fund.