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December 16, 2019 12:29 pm

Intel Confirms $2 Billion Acquisition of Israel’s Habana Labs

avatar by Meir Orbach / CTech

The Intel logo is shown at E3, the world’s largest video game industry convention in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 12, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo.

CTech – Intel has acquired Tel Aviv-based artificial intelligence chip developer Habana Labs for $2 billion, the company announced Monday. Calcalist first reported on the deal earlier this month, citing sources.

Habana will continue to operate as an independent business unit under its current management team and will remain in Israel.

The deal marks Intel’s second-largest acquisition of an Israeli company. In March 2017, Intel announced the acquisition of Jerusalem-headquartered automotive chip developer Mobileye for $15.3 billion.

Intel employs 12,000 people in Israel directly and another 1,100 through its subsidiary Mobileye.

Founded in 2016, Habana Labs develops processors optimized for artificial intelligence applications. The company was founded by David Dahan and Ran Halutz, both former executives at PrimeSense, acquired by Apple for $360 million in 2013. Habana had raised $120 million to date, $75 million of the sum in a November 2018 round led by Intel Capital in 2018. Habana Labs’ first investor and its chairman is Israeli tech entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz, who was one of the founders of Galileo Technologies, sold in 2001 to Marvell Technology Group for $2.7 billion. Willenz also co-founded Annapurna Labs, sold to Amazon for $370 million in 2015.

The company employs a team of 150 people in Israel, Poland, and San Jose, California.

In January, Habana announced it was opening a new research and development facility in Gdańsk, Poland.

Intel was represented by Barak Platt, Ezra Gross, Ben Sandler, and additional representatives from Yigal Arnon and Co. law firm.

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