Cisco and Facebook Expand Israel Operations

Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #163, June 22, 2012

Cisco and Facebook demonstrate confidence in the long-term viability of Israel’s economy.

1.  Cisco’s CEO, John Chambers in Jerusalem: “We’ll expand here soon…. There are a lot of opportunities here. It's the second country, after the US, in terms of start-ups and entrepreneurship. There are companies here that do not grow enough, and what we do is to bring these companies into the Cisco family and grow their activity. I don’t think that there is a better time to invest here, in partnerships, venture capital, and help our partners expand…. (In March, Cisco acquired NDS, a London-based company with its development center in Israel, for $5 billion). “When we also have the NDS base in Israel, we can enter fields such as security…. Although NDS' headquarters are in Britain, its heart and soul are in Israel….  This is a country whose leaders and entrepreneurs I believe in. I believe that it's possible to find a successful formula for both sides…. Cisco and the Israeli government have set up a joint team to examine ways of expanding their collaboration (Globes Business Daily, June 21, 2012).”

2.  Cisco Systems Israel is Cisco’s 2nd largest design center outside the United States with over 750 employees, including 500 research and development engineers. Cisco’s Israeli acquisitions: May, 1998 – ClassData, $50MN; March, 2000 – InfoGear, $300MN; April, 2000 – PentaCom, $118MN; April, 2000 – Seagull, $19MN; June 2000 – HyNEX, $127MN; March, 2004 – RiverHead, $39MN; June, 2004 – Actona, $100MN; August, 2004 – P-Cube, $200MN; September 2005 – San Jose’-based Israel’s Sheer Networks, $97MN; March 2012 – London-based (Israel-based R&D center) NDS, $5BN (Globes, June 21).

3.  Facebook acquired Israel’s Face.Com for $50MN-$100MN, its second Israeli acquisition, following the March 2011 acquisition of Snaptu for $70MN (Globes, June 20).

4.  Lars Christensen, founder and CEO of Denmark’s Saxo Bank – the second largest foreign exchange broker in the world - which has recently entered the Israeli market: “We’ve identified a long term potential in the Israeli market, especially due to Israel’s competitive edge in the area of technology.”  In July, 2011 Saxo Bank acquired 25% of Israel’s Leverate and 100% of the activities of Israel’s Lembex Trading and Investment (June 21).