Telecom Italia invests in Israeli software maker

The Telecom Italia Group has agreed to invest U.S.$2 million in the share capital of Virtual Self, an Israeli company that develops of knowledge management software for Internet and intranet networks, Telecom Italia SpA announced Thursday.

The investment in Virtual Self will be undertaken by Telecom Italia Lab, the Telecom Italia subsidiary responsible for new business opportunities and innovation, through a Virtual Self capital increase reserved for Telecom Italia, the company said in a prepared statement. Telecom Italia will have two representatives on the board of the Israeli company, it said.

Virtual Self has developed a platform for the integrated management of information on intranets, Internet and other dedicated databases, the statement said. During 2000, the company applied for three U.S. patents for its data handling technologies, which allow rapid and flexible access to information via the Web, cell phones and Palm Pilots, it said.

The investment is in line with Telecom Italia Lab’s objective of making investments in unquoted companies with high-growth potential, Telecom Italia said. This is the company’s first direct investment in the Israeli market, an area of particular interest, the statement said.