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Lightspeed targets Personeta as first investment in Israel

Startup upgrades standard phone systems with advanced cellular-type services

Lightspeed Venture Partners has kicked off its career in Israeli investment with startup Personeta, has learned.

Personeta refused to disclose the precise amount of Lightspeed's investment, but did say it was in the millions of dollars.

The startup develops systems to enhance standard phone systems with advanced capabilities typical of cellular networks.

Sequoia Capital Seed Fund, which provided some of Personeta's seed capital, also paticipated. SCSF is a $30 million joint venture Sequoia Capital and Cisco Systems (Nasdaq:CSCO) set up to invest in Israel.

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Earlier this year Lightspeed obtained $1 billion in commitments for a fourth fund. Formerly named Weiss Peck & Greer Ventures, it changed its name after restructuring. Weiss Peck & Greer had invested in the Israeli firms Galileo Technology, later purchased by Marvell (Nasdaq:MRVL), and Imedia, which was acquired by Terayon Communication Systems (Nasdaq:TERN).

Lightspeed had planned to open opening an Israeli office but reconsidered as the market weakened and turmoil spread. Personeta, founded in mid-2000, secured $3 million in August last year at an $8 million post-money company value.