Tech Roundup / Haredi High-tech Wages Below Israeli Average

High-tech firms see a drop in fundraising in 2012, Nice Systems and Verint Systems are rumored to be mulling a merger and SAP Israel gets a new CEO.

* In high-tech, the average ultra-Orthodox employee’s salary is significantly lower than the overall industry average, according to a survey conducted by Machon Lev, an organization that offers Haredim financial and technological training.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the average salary for high-tech professionals in NIS 16,000 per month, but nearly half of the Haredim who work in high-tech (48 percent) earn less than NIS 8,000 per month. Twenty-four percent of Haredim earn up to NIS 12,000 per month, 28 percent earn up to NIS 15,000 per month, 10 percent earn up to NIS 10,000 per month and 14 percent earn up to NIS 12,000 per month. The survey was carried out for the Haredi Hi-Tech Forum, which was held this week by the JVP venture capital fund.

* Israeli high-tech firms raised less capital in 2012 than in 2011, according to a new summary report of 2012 by the ICV Research Center in collaboration with the KPMG audit, tax and advisory firm. The report shows that in 2012, 575 Israeli start-ups raised $1.92 billion from local and foreign investors, a 10 percent decrease from the $2.14 million raised by 545 companies in 2011. It found an even more significant decrease in investments by venture capital funds, which only participated in fundraising rounds accounting for $1.37 billion dollars in 2012, a 22 percent decrease from 2011, when they were involved in $1.76 billion worth of fundraising rounds. The actual investment by the funds was just $516 million, a 19 percent decrease from the $638 million they ponied up in 2011. There was a bright spot though. Investment in life sciences, the leading area of high-tech investment, actually increased 28 percent on the year to $497 million, accounting for 26 percent of the totals funds raised. Also of note: the Internet drew 21 percent on high-tech funding in 2012.

* Rumors surfaced this week about a possible merger between Nice Systems and Verint Systems. Both companies develop and manufacture customer management and security and business intelligence software.  Nice made four significant corporate acquisitions for a total of $290 million in 2011, but none in 2012. The two companies have denied being in contact.

* Stavit Navon was this week appointed as the chief executive of SAP Israel. Navon will succeed Miki Migdal, who last week announced his resignation and appointment as co-managing director of SAP's Accenture unit in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Eyal Toueg