Startup

TeleKnowledge

has secured $5.5 million financing from shareholders according to a premoney company value of $6 million.

Since its establishment it has raised $53.5 million in five funding rounds. Its last round, in October 2000, brought it $35 million according to a company value of $135 million, premoney.

The company plans to expand this lates financing round to $10 million.

Existing investors taking part were Tamir Fishman Ventures, Jerusalem Venture Partners and i3, the biggest VC fund in Europe.

The Zeevi Computers group did not take part and was diluted from a 39.7% holding in TeleKnowledge to 12%.

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The funding will be used for product improvement and to increase sales, directly and through partners.

TeleKnowledge chief executive Ofer Segev estimated that the funding would help the startup achieve profitability in 2003.

The company's valuation for the financing round is less than half the sum mentioned during funding talks in early 2002.

After failing to raise $6.5 million to $10 million from shareholders at a company value of $12-15 million premoney, in January TeleKnowledge laid off more than half its workers its third wave of dismissals leaving it with only 40 people, working at facilities in Haifa, Ra'anana and Boston, Massachusetts.

Earlier, TeleKnowledge's co-founder, president and previous CEO, Oren Glanz, resigned, reportedly due to differences of opinion with the company's board.

TeleKnowledge is developing a charging and billing system for broadband and advanced communications applications.

In the first quarter of 2002, the company lost NIS 16.4 million, 1% more than in the parallel quarter of the previous year. Revenues from sales and services dropped 69% to NIS 3.3 million.