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Wed 29 Oct 2008 05:20 PM

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Intel Capital invests in UAE start-up Sphere Networks

Intel Capital and Dubai Silicon Oasis announce joint investment to grow network management start-up Sphere

Intel Capital has announced its first investment in a Gulf company, with the purchase of a minority stake in the UAE’s Sphere Networks.

The investment arm of Intel, along with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, have made a joint investment of an undisclosed amount in Sphere, which produces next generation network management software.

Mohamed Hamedi, CEO and founder of Sphere said that the investment would help Sphere to expand both its technology base and to develop sales and marketing to deliver its products to market.

The start-up employs 26 people in the UAE, developing enterprise level network management solutions, which are already in use with a number of government customers in the region. The company will not only gain investment from Intel and DSO, but will also receive support to market products, and access to Intel technologies.

“Intel is bringing a lot of technology that is vital for us to grow,” said Hamedi. “They have the new vPro technology which has end-point management; some of the AMT (Active Management Technology) they have developed is critical for us, to help admins to be able to manage, deploy and troubleshoot systems, and in future WiMAX is going to be embedded into new laptops and systems. Having access to some of these technologies is absolutely critical for us.”

While Sphere is presently focused on the Gulf and Middle East region, the deal will help the company to extend its reach for marketing, said Hamedi. Sphere has also recently appointed Justin Doo, ex-managing director of Trend Micro MENA has joined the company as VP Sales & Marketing.

Christian Morales, VP sales & marketing group, GM of Intel EMEA commented: “It is a great pleasure to be announcing our first investment dedicated for this region. We see the region becoming more strategic, and more and more critical. We as Intel keep on working with the ecosystem, because no matter how good our technology, we need help from the industry as a whole to keep on improving devices, and improving the technology and improving the experience users have with it.”

Intel said it was looking at several other investments in the region, but declined to give details at this time.

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