Startup

Versaware

is closing down and firing all 800 of its workers.

The Jerusalem-based company employs 120 people in Israel and the rest in Pune, India. Yesterday 60 of the company's Israeli workers received notice.

In February the company also took steps to reduce its staffing. That month Versaware founder Harry Fox resigned as president, and told the

Jerusalem Post

back then that a key media company in the United States would be buying the company for $170 million.

Fox refused to divulge the name of the potential buyer but stated that it had been traded on Nasdaq for five years at a market cap of over $30 billion.

In the preceding October, Fox stated that Versaware would complete a private equity placement by the end of 2000, securing between $20 million and $30 million. After that, he said, it would begin preparations for a Wall Street issue. He also predicted that Versaware would achieve profitability by the end of the second quarter of 2001.

The company's financing plans were foiled by the tech crash on Wall Street.

Versaware had been engaged in Internet publishing and advertising. The company's technology enabled readers to organize personalized electronic libraries, and to carry out substantially advanced searches and cross-referencing.

In March 2000 the company raised $25 million. Its investors included the European arm of the Nomura banking group, investment company BG Media, the Canadian venture capital fund CDPQ Communications, and the Swiss fund ETF.