Venture Capital Investment Rising in Israel

Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #134, February 27, 2009

1.  Israel's competitive edge in the area of intellectual property has moderated the impact of the global meltdown on Israel's economy.  For example, "Globes" reported on Feb. 24, 2009 that the medical giant, Medtronics, acquired Israel's Ventor for $325MN its 3rd Israeli acquisition following InStent ($$220MN) and Odin ($9MN).  This is the third major acquisition of an Israeli company since Dec. 2008 (Johnson & Johnson - Omrix for $438MN and St. Jude MediGuide for $300MN).

2.  SunRay is constructing a $400MN solar power station in Israel's Negev.  The Boston-based Denham Capital has the controlling interest in SunRay.  Bill Gates and Harvard University have invested in Denham (The Marker, Feb. 26). 

3.  "While venture capital investment fell in the US last year, it still managed to rise in China, India and Israel," according to Dow Jones VentureSource. In Israel, venture investment increased 19 percent to $1.9BN last year, fueled by 132 information technology deals...In the fourth quarter, investment was up 22 percent to $316MN.... Europe looked more like the US.... Overall investment in Europe fell 15 percent in 2008.... (NY Times, Feb. 18, 2009). 

4.  "Israel has overtaken Russia as the main defense supplier to India, after breaking the $1BN mark in new contracts signed annually over the past two years.... Russia had averaged sales of $875MN annually to India for the past 40 years. In August, India's defense ministry approved a $2.5BN joint IAI-Rafael deal to develop a new and advanced version of the Spyder surface-to-air missile system.... In the past decade, the countries have signed deals reaching a whopping $9BN" (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 15, 2009).

5.  The NY-based UDT Med Holdings led a $7MN round of private placement by Israel's Kamada (Globes, Feb. 25).  $7MN invested in Israel's Amimon by one of its overseas clients, which include Mitsubishi, Sony, Stryker and Hisense (Globes, Feb. 19).  The Irvine,California-based Ascendiant Capital Group has extended a $6MN line of credit to Israel's Medis (Globes, Feb. 19).