VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) is expanding its operations in Israel with the acquisition of intelligent desktop solutions developer Wanova Ltd. The companies did not disclose the size of the deal, but sources estimate the deal at $70-80 million.
Wanova has raised $23 million since it was founded in 2008 by CTO Dr. Issy Ben-Shaul and Ilan Kessler. This is the second exit for both men, following the sale of Actona to Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) for $100 million in 2004.
Wanova's R&D center is in Netanya. The company, run by chairman and CEO Sebastiano Tevarotto, has 40 employees. Investors Carmel Ventures, Greylock Partners, and - Opus Ventures own 60-70% of the company, which will give them a 3-4 fold return on investment. Wanova's founders and employees will also receive a handsome payout, including $1 million each for Ben-Shaul and Kessler. Actona's three founders made $18 million between them.
VMware, a developer of virtualization infrastructures for cloud computing solutions will integrate Wanova's employees with its own R&D center in Herzliya Pituah, which currently has 200 employees, including sales reps.
The companies became acquainted 18 months ago, says VMware VP Enterprise Desktop Jeff Jennings, who is in Israel this week, although the decision to acquire Wanova was made only recently.
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