With EPOS Purchase, Qualcomm Reveals Growing Presence in Israel

12/5/12Follow @bvbigelow

Brian Sagi of San Diego’s Cerian Technology Ventures has pulled together a few disparate threads of mobile technology news that offer some interesting insights about recent initiatives by Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM), the wireless technology giant.

Cerian provides a variety of services in technology-based transactions. Sagi says his firm was hired to serve as a strategic M&A advisor for EPOS Development, an Israeli startup with technology that Qualcomm acquired a few weeks ago. Cerian’s work is usually confidential, but Sagi says EPOS allowed him to talk about his firm’s involvement in the Qualcomm deal. He describes the EPOS digital ultrasound technology as “super interesting, with the potential to make a big impact in mobile applications.”

Cerian Technology Ventures CEO Brian Sagi

Brian Sagi

Sagi, who got two engineering degrees at Israel’s Technion before moving to San Diego, points out that EPOS is Qualcomm’s third M&A deal in Israel over the past two years—and he says the wireless giant is scouting for more acquisitions there.

Qualcomm acquired Ra’anana-based DesignArt Networks for $140 million about four months ago. DesignArt, which was consolidated with Qualcomm’s Atheros business, specializes in small cell modem and system-on-a-chip designs for heterogeneous networks and high-speed wireless backhaul infrastructure. It’s an area that has been emerging recently as a key technology focus at Qualcomm.

In 2010, Qualcomm paid an estimated $60 million to $80 million to buy San Francisco-based iSkoot, which was founded in Beit Shemesh in 2005 to develop voice-over-Internet software and related technologies for mobile phones. From its partnership with Skype, iSkoot has expanded its platform to extend the reach of other Internet-based services into mobile handsets.

A few of the EPOS team members are planning to move from Hod Hasharon, where the company is based, to San Diego. But Sagi said most of the startup’s 30 employees would continue to work in Israel. Qualcomm operates an advanced wireless communications R&D center in Haifa that founder Irwin Jacobs established almost … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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