Calcalist has learned that the Sequoia Fund, one of the leading investors in Israeli startup company Kenshoo, is considering several large search engine companies, including Microsoft, and several online advertising companies such as Yahoo, as potential buyers.
Furthermore, Calcalist has learned that the fund held talks with Google recently at a company value of about NIS 300 million ($78 million). At this point, negotiations have been suspended probably due to differences of opinion regarding the company's value.
Kenshoo developed a technology that enhances the effectiveness of online advertising by an online real-time traffic monitoring system which analyzes surfers' search preferences and automatically alerts its customers, which include Google, Facebook, Groupon, Yahoo, Wal-Mart, Tesco and Barns & Noble.
Since it was founded in 2006, Kenshoo had raised $35 million from investors such as Sequoia Fund and Arts Alliance Fund. Recently, the company held a financing round on a $250 million company value.
Kenshoo's founders – CEO Yoav Izhar-Prato, Alon Shefer and Nir Cohen – are expected to pocket dozens of millions of dollars each from an exit.
Michael Moritz, senior partner at Sequoia and the man Forbes Magazine called "the Investment Midas", sits on the company's board of directors. Last year, Moritz said that with the help of Kenshoo, "advertisers will be able to forecast their advertising ROI just like the weather is forecasted."
The company forecasts a $100 million revenue for 2012. Kenshoo declined comment.
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