IBM Buying Israeli Startup Worklight for $95m

Worklight's technology enables application programmers to create, in one single process, an application that will work with a range of devices without having to rewrite the application for each platform.

Guy Grimland
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Guy Grimland

IBM announced its 11th acquisition in Israel yesterday: the privately-held startup Worklight, which has developed software for smartphone and tablet computer applications.

Industry sources believe IBM has agreed to pay about $95 million for Worklight, though the American company did not disclose the terms of the deal. Worklight has raised $21 million from backers so far.

The Worklight team.

The acquisition is expected to close within two months.

Worklight was founded in 2006 by Shahar Kaminitz, who hailed from billing software giant Amdocs. The startup maintains a development center at Shfayim, a moshav north of Tel Aviv.

The company's technology enables application programmers to create, in one single process, an application that will work with a range of devices - such as smartphone, tablet computer or laptop - without having to rewrite the application for each platform.

For instance, using the Worklight technology, a bank could write a single application that would work on both an Apple iPad and any smartphone using Google's Android operating system.

Once the acquisition has been completed, Worklight's operations will be merged with IBM's software laboratory in Israel, which is headed by Dr. Daniel Yellin.

Worklight has dozens of corporate clients around the world, including vast enterprises with millions of customers and thousands of employees. Among its clients are big banks, insurance companies, energy companies and manufacturers.

The company's revenues have more than doubled in each of the last two years, though the full extent is not public knowledge. Its investors, which are making a pretty penny from this exit, include the venture capital funds Genesis Partners, Pitango, Index Ventures and serial entrepreneur Shlomo Kramer, one of the founders of Imperva and Check Point Software Technologies.

The IBM unit actually buying Worklight is the Websphere software division.

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