Tel Aviv, Israel – 12 January, 2003: Flash Networks raised $6 million in its fourth round of financing. The T-Mobile Venture Fund, and Giza Venture Capital led the round. Existing investors, The Challenge Fund, as well as Canada’s Bell Mobility Investments (BMI) also contributed to the round. BMI and the T-Mobile Venture Fund participated as new strategic investors in the company.
The T-Mobile Venture Fund is the venture capital fund of T-Mobile International. Some of the world’s largest cellular companies, including T-Mobile USA (former Voicestream), T-Mobile Germany and Britain’s T-Mobile UK are subsidiaries of T-Mobile International. BMI is the investment arm of Bell Canada and of Bell Mobility, Canada’s largest cellular operator.
Flash Networks leads the way in defining and delivering the best user experience for mobile data access. The company’s flagship product line, NettGain™, is aimed at two main target markets: cellular telecommunications providers and enterprises via integrators. Flash Networks’ customers include T-Mobile International, AT&T Wireless and the Vodafone Group.
Flash Networks was founded in 1996. The company’s headquarters are located in Herzliya Pituach, Israel. Flash Networks has a subsidiary in New Jersey; USA that operates marketing, sales and customer support in North America as well as a subsidiary in Amsterdam; The Netherlands, where the company’s European customer support centre is located. Flash Networks has 60 employees. Zvi Peled, Flash Networks’ CEO , previously served as the Vice-President for Development and Manager of the Telecommunications Division at Elbit Systems. Benny Davidson, the company’s CFO, joined Flash Networks in 2002. Prior to that, he served as the CEO of the DCL Group. Ze’ev Holtzman who serves as Chairman of Flash Networks, is the Chairman and Founder of Giza Venture Capital.
Flash Networks CEO, Zvi Peled said: “We are pleased that new international investors have joined the company’s shareholders. It is a clear expression of confidence in our performance to date and in our ability to continue turning Flash Networks into a dominant player in the global market. Although 2002 was not an easy year, we managed to achieve respectable business results. We also succeeded in bringing on board two international investors with significant weight in the global cellular industry. We view this investment as a testimony to the company’s success and a significant leverage for our activities”.
Flash Networks CFO, Benny Davidson said: “The fact that the T-Mobile Venture Fund and BMI joined Flash Networks as shareholders is of great strategic importance for the company. Both investors represent the corporate investment arms of global cellular industry leaders. Their excellent market connections and the fact that their representatives have joined our Board of Directors will enable us lever the company’s business development. Flash Networks is currently expanding its business in Europe and the US, and is penetrating into East Asia with the assistance of Giza’s Singapore branch. The capital raised will be used mainly for marketing, developing corporate relationships with strategic partners and creating future product lines”.
Flash Network’s Chairman, Ze’ev Holtzman added: “Flash Networks has demonstrated impressive growth in the last year. This is expressed in an increase in sales, an expansion of its market share and its penetration into leading cellular companies in the market, mainly in Europe. The fact that the T-Mobile Venture Fund and BMI have joined Flash Networks as investors is a strong expression of confidence in the company. As a lead investor, Giza Venture Capital will continue to help develop the company and create business ties through its branches in London, New York and Singapore”.
About Giza Venture Capital
Giza Venture Capital (www.gizavc.com) is one of the largest and most experienced venture capital funds in Israel with offices in Tel Aviv, Silicon Valley, London and Singapore. Giza manages three funds totaling $316 million, with capital available for investments in new companies.
Giza has led 20 of its portfolio companies to successful exits including Compugen (Nasdaq: CGEN), Oridion (SWX:ORIDN), Precise (NASDAQ:PRSE), Butterfly, Libit , M-Systems (NASDAQ:FLSH), Zoran (NASDAQ:ZRAN), Scorpio and DSPC.
Giza is backed by leading international investors from USA, Europe, Asia Pacific and Israel which include: GE Equity, NIB Capital, Deutsche Banc Alex Brown, Bessemer Trust, GIC, Temasek, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi.
Giza is managed by Zeev Holtzman (Chairman and CEO), Zvi Schechter (Co-Founder & Managing Director), Ezer Soref (Managing Director), Avi Molcho (Managing Director, Life Sciences), Shuki Ehrlich (Managing Director, IT) and Ori Israely (Managing Director).
About the T-Mobile Venture Fund
The T-Mobile Venture Fund was established in 2001 and is managed by T-Venture (www.t-venture.de), the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom. The T-Mobile Venture Fund (Euro 100 Million) supports T-Mobile International and its subsidiaries in executing their corporate objectives. T-Mobile International is one of the leading providers of mobile telecommunications services. By the end of the 3rd quarter 2002, more than 76 million people were using the mobile communications services provided by companies in which T-Mobile or Deutsche Telekom have a majority or minority stake.