Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #186, November 8, 2013
1.Â The US-basedÂ AsurionÂ (mobile phone) acquired Israel’s Soluto for $100MN (Globes Business Daily, October 31, 2013).
2.Â Israel’s Wix raised $140MN onÂ NASDQ, determining a $600MN market value (Globes, November 7, 2013). Â Israel’s Mazor Robotics raised $41MN on NASDAQ (Globes, Oct. 31).
3.Â The $70BNÂ Carlos Slim, from Mexico, led a $60MN round of private placement in Israel’s Mobli.Â Slim’s investment was made via hisÂ America MovilÂ Mexican cellular company.Â In July 2013, Slim invested $40MN in Israel’s Shazam.Â A September 2012 round of private placement was led by the Kazakhstan billionaire,Â Kenges Rakishev, the chairman of Mobli (Globes, Nov. 7). Â The San Diego-basedÂ Qualcomm VenturesÂ led a $13MN round — joined by the Silicon Valley-basedÂ San Disc VenturesÂ and the Hong Kong-based Horizon Ventures — by Israel’s Magisto (Globes, Oct. 30).
4.Â Â The London-based Economist Intelligence Unit, Nov. 6, 2013: “Start-Up Nation” — the name given to Israel’s cluster of high-tech companies, investors and incubators — is enjoyingÂ a boom the likes of which has not been witnessed since the global tech bubble burst more than a decade ago.Â Israel’s high tech companies raised $660MN in the 3rdÂ quarter of 2013 — the largest amount in any three month period since 2000. Those companies have also chalked up some significant recent successes, following a series of acquisitions by US-based technology companies.Â The most notable was the $1BN sale of Waze toÂ GoogleÂ in June.Â Since then,Â IBMhas acquired Trusteer (combatting online banking fraud) for $650MN,Â FacebookÂ has bought Onavo (mobile utility application) for an estimated $120MN and Asurion has agreed to purchase Soluto for $130MN.Â Wix is launching an IPO that values the firm at around $720MN.Â A host of other [Israeli] firms are planning overseas IPOs as well. Foreign venture capital fund account for the great majority of the capital invested in local start-ups…. The industry consists of thousands of start-ups…. More often than not, the start-up becomes a research and development center for the acquiring [overseas] company…joining more than 250 other such centers in Israel….Â There are 70 Israeli, or Israeli-related, companies listedÂ on NASDAQ, the most of any one country apart from the US and China…. “