For the Patents: Google Buys Israeli Startup That Closed Shop

After 13 years and a 40-million-dollar investment, LucidLogix Technologies reaches the end of its road

A woman holding an Android smartphone.
Bloomberg

LucidLogix Technologies, which had developed and marketed power-saving software that let Android users extend their smartphone's battery life, has quietly closed up shop after selling its assets to Google, TheMarker has learned.

The company reached an agreement to sell its intellectual property to the American company about six months ago for an undisclosed sum but for less than the nearly $44 million it raised over its 14-year lifespan.

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Google agreed to acquire the assets, but not Lucid's employees, after the startup had wound up all its customer commitments, which apparently happened in March.

Neither Google nor Lucid would respond to the report.

Founded in 2004 by Ofir Remez and Reuven Bakalash as Lucid Information Technologies, the company was seen as a likely success story for Israel's semiconductor industry. Baklash is a professor of parallel computing at Ben-Gurion University and a serial entrepreneur, who had previously founded the startups Terra Computers and HyperRoll.

Lucid founders Ofir Remez and Reuven Bakalash.
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Amid growing demand for 3D graphics, Lucid's chip promised to dramatically increase the graphic performance of PCs and gaming consoles.

But the company was forced to reposition itself as a software company six year later. Reports of bugs and other problems with its semiconductor caused sales to plummet from more than $1.5 million a quarter to almost nil.

To speed up development of new products, Lucid let go of its hardware engineers, who accounted for 30 its 50 employees, and developed a software product that would improve the graphics capabilities of tablets and smartphones.

The strategic change was a success, and Lucid signed contracts with companies like Intel, Fujitsu and Asus.

Nevertheless, Ludic underwent reorganization that left it with only two shareholders – the Israel venture capital fund Giza and the U.S. private equity fund Rho Capital Partners.

It also merged with CellGuide, another Israeli startup that had been formed in 1999, and raised an additional $3.9 million. The merged company turned its focus to Android-based solutions for the mobile environment with a product called PowerXtend, which enables a smartphone battery to last up to 20% longer when using battery-draining applications like gaming, multimedia browsing and navigating.