Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”

1. According to KPMG, one of the four largest CPA firms in the world, investments in Israeli start-ups during the third quarter of 2013 ($660MN) were the highest since 2000, 34% higher than the second quarter and 35% higher than the third quarter of 2012.  According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, another big-four CPA firm, investments were 32% higher than the second quarter and 29% higher than the third quarter of 2012 (Globes business daily, Oct. 16, 2013).

2.  Since January, 2013, the following Israeli companies raised funds in Wall Street Initial Public Offerings (IPOs): Keryx – $70MN, MedGenics – $32MN, Delek USA – $355MN, Cimatron – $15MN and $16MN, InspireMD – $25MN, Even Keisar – $181MN, AlCobra Pharma – $25MN, Kamada – $59MN, StrataSys – $481MN, EnzymoTec – $62MN. (Globes, Oct. 11).

3.  Facebook acquired Israel’s start-up, Onavo — its first R&D center in Israel – for $150MN (Globes, Oct. 15).  TTI, a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, acquired Israel’s Ray-Q for a few.  In 2010 TTI acquired Israel’s Net-Aye (Globes, Oct. 7).  The NJ-based Avaya acquired Israel’s IT Navigator for a few tens of million dollars (Globes, Oct. 2).  Since January, 2013, the following major acquisitions of Israeli companies were made: Google acquired Waze for $966MN, IBM — Trusteer for $650MN, OPKO — Prolor Biotech for $480MN, Cisco — Intucell for $475MN, AOL — Adap.TV for $405MN, Avago — Cyoptics for $400MN, EMC — Scaleio for $250MN, Shanghai Fosun Pharma — Alma Lasers for $240MN, Allscripts — dbMotion for $235MN, Facebook — Onavo for $150MN.

4.  The Israel-based Vintage Investment Partners and Jerusalem Global were joined by the Menlo Park-based Benchmark Capital, Sequoia Capital and Tallwood Venture Capital, the San Jose-based Qualcomm Atheros and the Hamilton-based Marvell in a $35MN round of private placement by Israel’s Wilocity.  The San Francisco-based Comcast Ventures was joined by the London-based Liberty Global Ventures, the Boston-based Globespan Capital, the Palo Alto-based Norwest Venture Partners and the Israel-based Vintage Investment Partners in a $20MN round of private placement by Israel’s SundaySky.  Microsoft Ventures invested a few hundreds of thousand dollars in Israel’s SkyGiraffe (Globes, Oct. 16).   The Dallas-based View Capital and Memphis-based River Street Management led a $26MN round by the Israel-US Active Implants (Globes, September 9).  The London-based Index Ventures led an $8MN first round of private placement by Israel’s Lacoon.  The St. Paul-based 3M led a $6MN round by Israel’s TaKaDu (Globes, Oct. 17).

5.  Israel is ranked as the second most educated country in the world.  Its high school graduation rate was 92% in 2010, well above the OECD’s 84% average. Some 46% of residents had a tertiary education, second only to Canada (51%) and ahead of Japan (45%) and the US (42%), versus 31% for the OECD (

6.  Israel’s debt/GDP ratio is 67.2% (99.7% in 2003!), compared with OECD average — 108.8%, France — 109.7%, US — 106.3%, Britain — 103.9%, Spain — 90.5%, Germany — 89.2%, Finland — 63.3% and Denmark — 58.9% (Globes, Sept. 9).

Shabbat Shalom and have a pleasant weekend,
Yoram Ettinger, Jerusalem, Israel, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”  


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