Cross-browser extension developer Crossrider Ltd. has been acquired by a foreign Internet company, whose name has not been disclosed, for $37 million. Crossrider CEO Koby Menachemi and CTO Shmueli Achdut who founded the company in April 2011, and own more than half of it, will make more than $9 million each from the sale.
Crossrider raised just $2 million in two financing rounds from private investors led by Oren Zeev, and joined by Gigi Levy, Michael Einsenberg, serial entrepreneur Tal Barmoach, and others. Menachemi told "Globes", "The investors are making a ten-fold return on their investment in 16 months. That's a phenomenal return. They still feel that there is something much bigger here, but it was the right decision to sell."
As for the decision to sell, Menachemi said, "We had several offers, even though the company was not up for sale. The potential is very great and the company has been profitable since March, but we weren't looking to be sold. We began receiving offers, and we think we have very strong synergy with the buyer, and it's important for us to continue."
Crossrider will continue to operate independently with its 18 employees in Tel Aviv. "We don’t see ourselves leaving the company in the years ahead," said Menachemi.
Crossrider's platform enables developers to develop extensions that work on all popular browsers (Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari). 14,000 developers currently use the platform, and there have been more than 216 million downloads of extensions developed through the platform.
Crossrider's business model allows free use of the development platform and offers monetization models for developers and shares the profits with them. Menachemi says that a developer can offer a browser extension that will open a window when a user looks at a particular product on Amazon.com and offer him the product at a cheaper price at another website. If a sale is made, Crossrider shares in the revenue.
Menachemi says that the decision to sell Crossrider at such an early stage was pure economics, which would benefit the company, its employees, and investors. "With this sale, we will reach new heights. I think that the buyer made a great deal," he said.
Menachemi and Achdut met while working at financial portal Seeking Alpha. They were introduced by Seeking Alpha CEO David Jackson, who suggested that they co-found a venture. Menachem says that the idea for Crossrider was developed to meet a personal need. "I wrote a browser extension for Chrome to solve a small problem I faced on it. Within two days, I saw that 30,000 people had downloaded the extension, so I decided to adapt it to Firefox and Explorer. But we realized that this was complicated and took a long time, so we decided to establish a platform to facilitate the work," he said.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 16, 2012
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