A Billion Dollar Year

What do Provigent, Telmap, and Anobit have in common?

Two things that I can think of:

1) All of them were purchased by Fortune 500 companies during the past year for prices reported to be in excess of $300 million each. Provigent was bought by Broadcom, Telmap by Intel, and Anobit by Apple Computer.

2) All were clients of D. Kligler IP Services, and we had worked with all of them almost since their inception.

Several more of our clients have made impressive exits over the past few years, but these are the biggest, totaling more than one billion dollars. That’s roughly 20% of the total volume of acquisitions of Israeli companies over the past year, and all clients of one small, three-year-old patent firm.

What do these numbers say about us? We make no claims – The credit belongs to the founders of the companies, all very smart people with the vision to see a market need, the insight to find a creative solution, and the ability to make an ambitious plan and bring their products to market.

On the other hand, to paraphrase a saying, “Tell me who your clients are, and I’ll tell you who you are.” All of these founders understood the importance of protecting their inventions, and demanded high-quality patents to do so. All of the companies were able, with our help, to build up imposing patent portfolios before they were sold. They were aware that in terms of company valuation, few investments give a better return than strong patents.

Are we happy about these acquisitions? Well, yes and no. Our clients deserve all the success they have achieved, but we miss the close involvement and interaction that we had with them when they were small and locally-owned. So if you believe your company could be the next big thing in Israeli high-tech, come to us, but maybe give some thought to an IPO as a way to make your exit, rather than acquisition.

Our New Home

At the end of November, 2011, we moved into our new offices at 6 Beit Hillel Street in Tel Aviv. We have more than twice the space we had at our old address – and free parking for our clients.

Beit Hillel is a quiet street in the Montefiore Quarter of Tel Aviv. The neighborhood (not to be confused with Montefiore Street in the financial district) is one of the oldest in Tel Aviv. It was built on the site of a large orchard purchased in the 19th Century by the philanthropist Moses Montefiore. Although only five minutes’ walk from the Azrieli Towers and Hashalom train station, and bordered on all sides by major roads, the neighborhood itself is an island of urban calm. The buildings are mostly three or four stories, with a mixture of offices, residences, shops and restaurants.

Our street is named for the school of Hillel the Elder, who was a leading scholar in Israel in the First Century. Hillel’s great opponent, Shamai, had a school of his own (and now a street – Beit Shamai – which aptly crosses Beit Hillel Street). Hillel and Shamai took opposing views on many issues of law. Shamai generally took a strict, traditionalist position, whereas Hillel was known for his open-minded, tolerant and universalistic legal approach. His most famous saying was his response to a convert who asked to learn the entire Torah while standing on one leg: “Do not do unto others that which is repugnant to you – That is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary. Now go learn.”

We will shortly be starting work on a roof garden, with plans to complete it before the summer. Please come visit.