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Israel's Gizmox picks up $7.5 million to help companies convert existing apps to HTML5; will set up U.S. office in Cambridge

Posted by Scott Kirsner  April 22, 2013 07:00 AM

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An Israeli company founded in 2007, Gizmox, is getting new funding from Cambridge venture capital firm Atlas Venture. Atlas is leading a $7.5 million funding round for Gizmox, and local tech executive Eugene Kuznetsov is joining as chief executive. Kuznetsov had previously been the founder and president of DataPower, a maker of networking equipment that was acquired by IBM for about $100 million; it was also backed by Atlas. More recently, he'd been co-founder of Abine, a startup focused on online privacy, also part of the Atlas portfolio.

Gizmox makes it easier for big companies to get their existing software applications running on the web and mobile devices, using the HTML5 standard, without having to rewrite them from scratch. Gizmox customers can either then run the applications from their own data centers, or in the cloud using Gizmox’s servers.

"Enterprises are far behind where the consumer web is at, with respect to HTML5," Kuznetsov says. "But their employees want to use the same applications they use on their desktops on their mobile devices."

Atlas Venture partner Jeff Fagnan adds, "There are billions of dollars that big enterprises have invested in ERP, CRM, .NET, and Java applications, and it's hard to mobilize those and extend them out into the cloud." Kuznetsov says that Gizmox has developed "transposition" technology that can take those existing enterprise apps and deliver them in HTML5, without rewriting them by hand. "You can adjust and modify the output if you want," he says. About 40,000 applications have already been converted using the platform, according to Kuznetsov.

The company has about 40 employees in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Kuznetsov says it is now starting to hire locally. “We’ll be at least 15 people in the short-term, and more from there,” he says, adding that the focus is on sales and marketing employees, along with a few "technical folks and engineers." The company doesn't yet have office space — it's still working out of Atlas' office across from the CambridgeSide Galleria — but Kuznetsov says he's looking only in Cambridge. Fagnan and Chris Lynch of Atlas are joining Gizmox's board.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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