“If you want to play in Texas, you got to have a fiddle in the band”, and if you want to play in the top high-tech league, you got to have Israel’s high tech in the band!
Irrespective of global slowdown, drying investment resources and accentuated hesitancy by investors, astute investors keep investing in Israel – due to Israel’s unique manpower, which produces cutting edge technologies and products – although in a smaller scope (market valuations have decreased).
1. Israel leads OECD countries in R&D investment – 4.7% of 2007 GNP in commercial R&D, compared to 4.6% in 2006 (Globes, Aug. 19, 2008). 5.3% GDP growth rate during the first half of 2008 (mostly due to exports), compared with 5.9% during the second half of 2007 and 6.2% during the first half of 2007. The second quarter of 2008 indicates a slowdown of growth at 4.2% (Globes Aug. 25).
2. Independent of global economic downturn and political and security uncertainty, overseas investments in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange rose in July to 19.7% ($30BN!) of total equity, compared with 18.5% in June and 15.9% in June, 2007 (Ma’ariv, Aug. 28).
3. Red Hat has acquired Israel’s Qumranet for $107MN in cash. $64BN Monsanto, the largest seed-producer in the world, has invested $65MN (over 5 years, including $35MN in R&D and $18MN first installment) in Israel’s Evogene (Globes, Aug. 29).
4. Johnson & Johnson led a $27MN round by Israel’s BrainGate (Globes, Aug. 14). The $160BN CalSTRS, the second-largest investment manager in California, managing the Teachers Union pension fund, has invested $25MN in Israel’s Giza VC Fund (Globes, Sept. 4). Index VC Fund and Accel Partners invested $15MN 4th round of private placement by Israel’s My Heritage (Globes, Sept. 8, 2008). T-Mobile Ventures, Deutsche Telecom Capital and Granite Ventures participated in a $12MN 2nd round by Israel’s Percello (Globes, Sept. 10). Britain‘s TLcomCapital has invested $10MN in Israel’s Runcom (Globes, Sept. 1). Capital Coral Management led a $10MN 3rd round by Israel’s Infogin (Globes, Sept. 10). The US-Japan FinTech GIMV led an $8MN 2nd round by Israel’s Asocs (Globes, Sept. 4). Sequoia and Bloomberg Capital participated in an $8MN 2nd round by Israel’s Correlix (Globes, Sept. 3). Britain‘s Trafalgar Capital Specialized Investment has provided Israel’s Karmelsonix a $7.2MN equity line (Globes, Aug. 26). SAP’s founder and Chairman, Platner, invested $4MN in Israel’s InnovaShare (Globes, Aug. 29).