Israel-based Start-up Altair Semiconductor Raises $25 Million

Following blockbuster Waze exit, Insightera, My6sense and Nyotron also raised millions.

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Altair Semiconductor, a maker of small, low-power semiconductors used in wireless applications, said on Monday it had raised $25 million from its existing investors, which it will use to enhance its market position and sell products in higher volumes.

Altair's was the latest and largest of a spate of recent fundraisings by Israeli startup companies. Insightera, which has developed a B2B personalization platform, raised $5 million in first-time investments, and My6sense, which has developed a "content discovery bar" for web publishers, and Nyotron, an information security start-up, raised $2 million each.

The venture capital industry is counting on last month's $1-billion sale of navigation startup Waze to Google to spur a new wave of interest and investment in Israeli startups. In the first quarter, Israeli high-tech companies raised $474 million from local and foreign investors, down 4% from the fourth quarter of last year and 2% from a year ago, according to IVC Research Center and accounting firm KPMG.

Altair said it raised its $25 million from U.S. venture capital funds Bessemer Venture Partners and Pacific Technology Partners and Israeli funds BRM, Giza and JVP.

Our month-over-month increase in chip shipments is a testament to the widespread move toward LTE-only across the industry, and we intend to use the funds to support our customers as they ramp-up high-volume production and deploy their products in the field, said Oded Melamed, CEO of Altair, which he helped form in 2005 with a group of former Texas Instruments executives.

Altair said its products have been integrated into more than 100 different products, including tablets, Intel Ultrabooks, portable hotspots, USB dongles and routers, designed by more than 30 global customers.

Insighterasaid last Thursday that it raised $5 million from two U.S. venture capital firms, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Opus Capital. That added to $1.5 million the company raised last September from the Israeli microfund Glilot Capital.

The company's technology is used to match marketers with the needs and interest of people visiting their websites.

"The problem is that tens of thousands of surfers are coming to your site, and as the site owner, you hope they know how to reach the content that interests them," said Mike Telem, vice prescient for business development. "In the end, however, there's just one screen for everyone, even if the company marketing person would like each surfer to see something different."

Founded in 2009 by Telem CEO Mickey Alon, Insightera employs 20 people, 15 of them in Israel.

Nytron, whose chairman if former Military Intelligence chief Amos Malka, raised $2 million from Shmuel Harlap, chairman of the Mercedes importer Colmobile. The latest round brings the company's total fundraising since it was formed in 2008 to $5.5 million. Founded by the brothers Nir and Ofer Gaist, Nytron's Paranoid software protects networks against so-called "zero day attacks," vulnerabilities that have not yet been corrected.

My6Sense said its $2 million was its third fundraising, but it declined to say who the investor was other than that was an angel investor who had invested in the company before.

Money.Credit: Reuters

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