Yanki Margalit

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Yanki Margalit

Yanki Margalit (Hebrew: ינקי מרגלית‎, born 18 September 1962 in Tel Aviv, Israel) is an Israeli entrepreneur and speaker best known for starting Aladdin Knowledge Systems. He is currently Chairman of SCREEMO and SpaceIL, a non-profit space technology organization competing for the Google Lunar X Prize. He is also a partner in Innodo, a seed investment fund. [1]

Margalit is on the boards of Idealist.org, Latet, College4all.org, Meet.mit.edu, Adama.org.il and SpaceIL.com[2]

Early life[edit]

Margalit was raised in Bat Yam, a suburb of Tel Aviv. At the age of 11, he and his younger brother Oded were identified as exceptionally intelligent children and they were invited to join special classes for gifted children. [3][4] As a teenager, he was interested in the emerging discipline of computer science. In 1977, at the age of 15, he built his first computer together with his brother, Oded Margalit.[5] [6]


Aladdin Knowledge Systems[edit]

In 1985, Margalit founded Aladdin Knowledge Systems Ltd. In its early years the company developed two product lines, an artificial intelligence package (which was dropped early on) and a hardware product to prevent unauthorized software copying, similar to digital rights management. Margalit raised just $10,000 as an initial capital for the company.

His brothers Danny Margalit and Gady Margalit have joined Aladdin as CTO and IT directors. The digital rights management product by 1993 generated sales of $4,000,000. The same year that company had an initial public offering on NASDAQ raising $7,900,000.[7]

In 1996 Aladdin has acquired FAST software Security in Germany and in 1998 Aladdin acquired ESafe Technologies. In 2004 the company's shares were also listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.[8]

In 2006 Aladdin acquired California based Preview Systems and in 2008 Aladdin acquired SafeWord. By 2008 the company's annual revenues reached over $125 million. [9] In mid-2008, Vector Capital attempted to purchase Aladdin. Vector initially offered $14.50 per share, but Aladdin's founder Margalit refused the offer. Aladdin's shareholders agreed on the merger in February 2009 at $11.50 per share, in cash. In March 2009, with close to $150M in sales, Vector Capital acquired Aladdin and officially merged it with SafeNet.[10]


Margalit has appeared as a professional speaker about technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and human evolution, while studying and working in more recent interests of biotechnology, clean energy and space exploration.[11]

Some of his lectures include:

  • Homo-Sapiens 2.0 – talk at DOKU:TECH [12]
  • The future of the future – on Singularity, evolution and technology.[13]
  • On entrepreneurship and innovation.[14]
  • Space-IL – Towards landing a spaceship on the moon.[15]
  • Dream it – Make it! – A TEDxJerusalem talk on DIY and the Makers Movement.[16]

CheckPoint Software Technologies[edit]

When they were still a startup, CheckPoint Software Technologies offered Margalit half of the company for $200,000. He refused the offer and often regards it as his biggest regret in life, considering the market cap of CheckPoint is $12,000,000,000 as of 2014.


  1. ^ Shelach, Shmulik (December 3, 2012),Yanki Margalit established a Venture capital with former Israel's IBM CEO, Globes (in Hebrew)
  2. ^ (May 19th 2011) An interview with Yanki Margalit in Midot and corporate, midot.org.il (in Hebrew)
  3. ^ Behor Nir, Diana (October 14th 2010), An interview with Margalit, Calcalist (in Hebrew)
  4. ^ Margalit Biography, Bezeq Expo (in Hebrew)
  5. ^ Maya Issacharov and Sameer Narula. Yanki Margalit: The DNA of an entrepreneur, submit to Professor Amar Bhide’s Introduction to Venturing class at Columbia Business School in 2004
  6. ^ MIT Enterprise Forum, mit-forum.org.il
  7. ^ Shohet, Dan (September 15th 2008), "Aladdin's Yanki Margalit: It's not personal" , Globes
  8. ^ "Aladdin Knowledge Systems to Dual-List on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange." , PR Newswire Article date: July 22, 2004
  9. ^ FORM 6-K: SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, Washington, D.C. 20549, Report of Foreign Private Issuer.
  10. ^ Shuster, Shmuel (March 2009), Vector completes Aladdin takeover, Haaretz
  11. ^ Dream it - Make it!: Yanki Margalit at TEDxJerusalem on YouTube, TEDxJerusalem channel
  12. ^ The Future of Future | Yanki Margalit | DOKU:TECH 2015 on YouTube, in DOKUTECH
  13. ^ Yanki Margalit – Evolution,Technology and Singularity on YouTube, in MITEnterpriseForumIL
  14. ^ Yanki Margalit: Other perspective about entrepreneurship, innovation and success on YouTube, in Israel's Open University channel
  15. ^ An opening lecture from SpaceIL Yanki Margalit on YouTube, in Top Geek channel
  16. ^ Dream it - Make it!: Yanki Margalit at TEDxJerusalem on YouTube, TEDxJerusalem channel