Red Bend develops mobile software remote-management systems. If the deal is signed, it will be IBM's 12th acquisition in Israel and its second acquisition in the Israeli mobile market, after it bought Worklight, which developed an enterprise mobile management system.
Red Bend was able to raise capital from some top-tier investors and is one of Israel's veteran startups. It raised an estimated $20-$30 million from IDB's private equity fund Infiniti, Hemi Peres and Rami Kalish's Pitango, Shlomo Dovrat and Avi Zeevi's Carmel Ventures, Poalim Ventures, Coral Investments, Greylock Partners and even the Barkat brothers' BackWeb – a startup that operated over 10 years ago.
Red Bend had also raised similar sums from Mustang – Yair Seroussi's mezzanine fund – and from Viola Group's Plenus lending fund.
Nice return on investments
The $250 million price tag represents a nice return on the investments, although the investors who joined the company in its later stages will be the ones to profit from the deal, including the Coral fund and Japanese communications corporation DoComo.
According to the IVC Research Center, Pitango, one of the company’s first investors, holds a 19% share of the company, and the Carmel fund holds some 20% of Red Bend's shares.
Red Bend was founded in 1999 by CEO Yoram Salinger and became renowned for its system that enables enterprises to update mobile device software and firmware over the air.
According to the OVUM Knowledge Center, Red Bend holds a 71% stake of the software and remote mobile management market and has recently expanded its operations to the tablet market.
According to OVUM, Red Bend's technology is used for remote updating of about 1.5 billion mobile devices. In 2010 Red Bend acquired French VirtualLogix and entered the cellular virtualization market.
IBM is considered Red Bend's principal partner after it incorporated Red Bend's technology in its new PureSystems partner management system.
Red Bend provides services to global cellular manufacturers such as Samsung, Lenovo, LG and ZTE, as well as to mobile operators such as Japanese DoComo, which holds a share in the company.
In total, Red Bend serves 80 mobile manufacturers and providers, modem manufacturers, semiconductor manufacturers and automobile companies.
Red Bend issued the following statement in response to this report: "We do not comment on rumors."
IBM said, "We do not comment on rumors and speculations."
This report was originally published in Hebrew by Calcalist