IBM acquires iPhrase

US-based iPhrase has an R&D center in Jerusalem with 30 employees.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) has acquired US software company iPhrase, which operates an R&D center in Jerusalem with 30 employees. Following the acquisition, iPhrase’s employees in Israel will become IBM employees, and work in the framework of IBM’s laboratories in Israel. IBM Israel specializes in file searches, among other things. The acquisition price was not disclosed.

iPhrase’s employees are now under new ownership for the second time in eighteen months. The US company acquired its activity in Israel when it merged with Banter Systems, a start-up that developed software for automated classification of texts. Activity in Israel included search and online customer relations products.

The Banter-iPhrase deal reflected a value of a few tens of millions of dollars for Banter, which was founded in 1998 by Yoram Nelken and Yoni Rosen. IVC figures show that $61 million was invested in Banter.

iPhrase supplies navigation software databases in large enterprises. Its software enables users to find answers to queries, make purchases, and solve problems on their own.

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on November 3, 2005

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