Why Israel's tech DNA is an ideal match for serial acquirer BroadcomAug. 13, 2012
For high-tech investors and company executives, it's often good news to hear that the start-up they've sunk their time and energy into is being bought out by a big multinational. It's not always the case for workers, though, who often find themselves squeezed out as the new bosses consolidate operations around the world.
For Israeli start-ups being bought out fabless semiconductor giant Broadcom, the situation is different, however – and the start-ups are likely to need to clear some space out for new employees, according to Broadcom's Dr. Shlomo Markel, VP office of the CTO and director of the company's Israel operations. “Over the past decade, Broadcom has purchased eleven companies in Israel, and today our employee total in Israel is greater than the accumulated number of people who worked at these companies when we bought them. That means we're hiring, not firing,” he says.
After the US and India, Israel, with about 800 employees, has the third largest headcount in Broadcom. Israeli high-tech workers are a good match for the US-based maker of networking and communications products and chips, with Broadcom buying 11 Israeli companies in the last four years, three of which were acquired in the last 18 months, Markel adds.
Broadcom is a 'serial acquirer' of small companies that have developed innovative technologies. Since 1999, Broadcom has acquired 48 companies, mostly start-ups (although there were some larger acquisitions, like the $3.7bn purchase of NetLogic in 2011).
Some of the company's “best buys” were in Israel, Markel says. “For example, our acquisition of SE Squared, acquired in 2011, provided us with the heart of Broadcom's NFC solutions for mobile devices,” he says, adding: “Dune Networks (acquired in 2009) high-speed switch fabrics have become a central component of our datacenter and cloud technologies.
“With our acquisition of Octalica (2007),” continues Markel, “we have been able equip many Broadcom chips with MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) capabilities... With the acquisition of Broadlight (2012), we can now offer our customers PON (passive optical network) solutions, a fast growing market. And with the purchase of Provigent (2011), we got access to top microwave backhaul technology.”
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