The investment arm of the Japanese electronic manufacturer


is completing a deal to invest $5 million in an Israeli start up that has developed digital television technology.

If the deal is finalized, this will be Sony's first-ever investment in Israel.

The investment will probably take place in the framework of the startups' $20 million financing round.

The Israeli technology will be used to help Sony to intensify its penetration into the Japanese digital television market, which is the most developed in the world.

Three years ago, Sony set-up an investment arm to back the development of technology relevant to the company. Sony did not allocate a final sum for this purpose, and its investment decisions are made on an ad hoc basis.

To date, Sony has invested $100 million in 20 different companies, including Transmeta (Nasdaq:TMTA).

One year ago, Sony established an investment arm in Europe that also oversees the firm's Israeli investments. Sony is now considering strengthening its presence in the Israeli market, via several avenues including alliances with Israeli venture capital funds.