It joined forces with global service provider Amdocs to open a joint development centre in the city of Ra'anana.
SINGAPORE telco SingTel is making a big play for talent in Israel by opening a research and development centre in the tech-savvy country.
It joined forces with global service provider Amdocs to open a joint development centre in the city of Ra'anana, home to many local start-ups and global companies such as Hewlett Packard.
The centre, called SingTel L!feLabs @ Israel with Amdocs, aims to tap on the wealth of talent in Israel to develop new technologies, products and services for the markets that SingTel operates in. It also said that it aims to invest in Israeli start-ups, work with Israeli academic institutions and with angel investors to identify new business ideas in the country.
SingTel said that its initial focus will be on voice and facial recognition as well as technologies that enable mobile and Wi-Fi networks to work more efficiently.
These moves come as SingTel aims to develop into a content service provider in the mould of Google and diversify away from its traditional telco business.
This development follows a number of purchases of Internet content providers by SingTel.
Last year, the company bought American-based advertising firm Amobee for US$321 million (S$398 million), Singapore food website HungryGoWhere for US$9.4 million and mobile photo app firm Pixable for US$26.5 million.
Mr Allen Lew, chief executive officer of Group Digital L!fe, SingTel, said part of its $200 million venture fund will go towards its investments in Israel. "We have been extremely satisfied with the wealth of talent in Israel," he said.
"We experienced this through our recently acquired global mobile advertising company Amobee which has a technology centre in Israel, as well as through our venture capital investments in two Israeli companies in the mobile Internet business."
SingTel reported a worse-than-expected fall in net profit in its latest quarter. Net profit fell 8 per cent to $827 million for the three months ended Dec 31, lower than the $900 million average estimate.
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