Israeli startup

Proficiency Solutions

will be commencing a secondary placement within a few days. The company wants to raise up to $30 million, TheMarker.com has learned.

Beyond Israeli and foreign venture capital funds, Proficiency apparently hopes to attract an American strategic investor.

The startup's management says it has received investment offers valuing the company at $100 million. It intends to use the proceeds for R&D and to set up a marketing and distribution apparatus ahead of product launch during the coming year.

Proficiency is developing a software-based platform meant to facilitate teamwork among engineering and development teams. The platform creates an online development environment relying on existing organizational and inter-organizational communication infrastructure.

Its platform, called the Collaboration Gateway, will also link computer systems and the databases used by the teams involved in the R&D process, even if the systems are not immediately compatible.

Beta testing

The company's products belong to the Engineering Supply Chain Collaboration sector. Their primary targets are the automobile, engineering mechanization, aeronautic and electronic industries.

Proficiency says its platforms will reduce the duration of R&D, improve research achievements and cut costs. Its products are undergoing beta tests at potential clients. Further beta installations are expected in the near future, possibly with mechanical-engineering giant

Caterpillar

(NYSE:CAT).

TheStreet Recommends

Initial sales are expected during 2001, but no significant cash flow is expected before 2002, mainly because of the protracted process of concluding deals on such products.

Sales or no sales, Proficiency already employs over 100 workers, most occupied with R&D at its Jerusalem offices, and more in its Boston headquarters and its Ann Arbor, Michigan, bureau.

Not worried about the company's valuation

The company was founded in 1998 by Dr. Ari Rappoport of the computer science school of the Hebrew University, and by Israeli venture capital fund

Concord Ventures

.

Dr. Rappoport served as external advisor to Concord, which provided seed funding and helped him build the company.

The company's latest financing round took place on March 2000. It raised $10 million at a company valuation of over $20 million from Concord,

Charles River Ventures

and the Israeli fund

Eucalyptus Ventures

.

Although conditions are not ideal for a financing round, Proficiency isn't fretting, as interest in the company is intense. But it could find ite valuation falling a tad short of expectations. The market is just not in a generous mood any more, including for its peer companies.