JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Shimon Peres met in Israel with a senior delegation from Facebook following the announcement that the social media company would open its first research and development center in Israel.
“This was a major decision for Facebook — to open the first R&D center outside of the United States — and we’re proud that it will be in Israel,” Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said Wednesday during the visit, according to Peres’ office.
Facebook acquired the Israeli start-up company Onavo for between $100 million and $200 million, according to a blog post this week by the Tel Aviv-based start-up. Onavo, a mobile analytics company founded in 2010, said its 30 Israel-based employees will remain in Israel and that the Onavo office will be Facebook’s first R&D center in Israel.
“I thank Facebook for its significant investment and call upon the company to continue to invest in Israeli companies,” Peres said in his visit with Facebook executives. “The creation of a Facebook research and development center in Israel will contribute significantly to Facebook — the lack of natural resources in Israel led to the development of great minds instead which built Israel’s successful high-tech sector. Your investment in Israel is just the beginning.”