Yesterday, news broke that
Apple is reportedly negotiating a deal to buy Israeli company PrimeSensefor $US345 million.
PrimeSense’s big claim to fame is that it helped Microsoft create Kinect.
The story went viral and shortly after, a PrimeSense investor inadvertently confirmed that talks were taking place by writing a post on Facebook threatening to expose the leaker.
Shay essentially said the leak could have killed the deal but didn’t. Here’s our translation:
Hello to you Dear Leaker,
I was sitting and thinking and I made phone calls and I guess I know pretty certainly who you are. Not only me. There are quite a few other good people who know. What now? Should we file a complaint? Should we make your name known? And what about the motive? We have a not-bad guess for those of us who know who you are.
I am wishing you from the bottom of my heart, that one day, your name will be known among many people as the one who has almost succeeded in ruining the incomes of hundreds of people and their families. Here’s hoping that “almost” will stay “almost.”
Replies to the comment confirmed that he was talking about PrimeSense. Another Israeli VC, Roi Carthy of Initial Capital, also replied that he was trying to track down the person, writing: “I’ve been trying to find out as well … Trying to connect dots across several leaks this year. Huge risk to deals.”
The rumours that Apple was interested in PrimeSense have been circulating since the summer. On Sunday, PrimeSense issued a statement that was somewhere between a weak denial and a no comment, calling the news report a “recycled rumour.”
Business Insider has since heard from several sources in Israel who insist that it’s not a rumour and the deal was close, at least before the story broke by Israeli financial news site Calcalist.
Apple is a notoriously tight-lipped, secretive company. A leak like this during negotiations couldn’t be good for negotiations.
PrimeSense has raised $US85 million from investors, reports Avi Schneider at Israeli tech pub Geektime.com. But, in 2011, Microsoft opted not to renew its contract with PrimeSense for Kinect. Microsoft instead bought a competitor, Canesta.
That badly hurt PrimeSense, sparking layoffs, Geektime’s Schneider reported. However, the company survived enough to build a product called Capri, a small device that brings 3D gesture tech to devices ranging from televisions to smartphones.
Apple reportedly wants PrimeSense to bring a gesture-controlled interface to Apple TV and other living room devices.
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