Google has announced an agreement to acquire the Israeli start-up Labpixies for an estimated $25 million, in a move which it hopes will strengthen its search pages through the development of Web site gadgets to attract even more users.
“We are excited to welcome Labpixies, they are a natural fit with our Israel team and represent all that is attractive and innovative about the Israeli tech start-up scene,”
Said Yossi Matias, the Director of Google Israel R&D center.
The acquisition is actually the first-ever deal that Google has made in the Jewish Country since its center in Israel was launched in 2005. Google claims that the deal is a strategic step for its Israel research & development center. The Labpixies team, under the terms of the deal, will be integrated into the Google Israel office based in Tel Aviv working across a wide variety of platforms and anchoring the iGoogle search page across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
“The shared focus on the user and passion for applications made this the right time to come together and an exciting opportunity to do more together for users and developers…The acquisition is an opportunity to learn from each other to bring more applications to users, help developers and improve the overall developer ecosystem.”
Founded in 2006, Labpixies creates interactive gadgets for web environments. These mini-applications are personalized web gadgets, known as “widgets” including iGoogle, Android and iPhone, and are developed in-house, from inception to creation.
LabPixies’ widgets range from handy tools such as calendars, news feeds and to-do lists to entertainment and games.
The start-up, which is run by a tiny team of 10 employees, has until now developed 70 widgets and has over 40 million users. The start-up is financed by private investors and received $1 million in a series round of funding in June 2008. Among the investors is Yaron Carni, who represents a boutique Angel group of high added value individuals from New York and London, who invest privately in a variety of strictly Israeli based companies.
CEO of Labpixies, Ran Ben-Yair said:
“We started Labpixies to create a truly personalized online experience and develop fun widgets that people find useful every day…Working at Google will help us scale to more people as well as giving our team greater opportunities.”
In recent years, the Labpixies and Google team have worked on many projects together, including the launch of global OpenSocial. In addition, Labpixies was one of the first developers to create gadgets for iGoogle, in order to give users greater access to useful everyday information such as news, weather, games and videos as well as email.