Israel launches fund to entice institutional investment in tech firms

Israel’s government has launched a new fund to encourage institutional investors to boost investments in high-tech companies, the Israel Innovation Authority said on Sunday.
The tech sector is a key driver of Israel’s economy, accounting for close to 20% of output, 12% of jobs, more than 50% of exports and 25% of tax income.

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“The high-tech sector is a central and significant pillar of the Israeli economy, and we must ensure diversity in its sources of funding,” said Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

“We are in a period where we need to plan a strategy for transitioning from war to growth, and smart investment in Israeli high-tech is one of the first steps we are advancing,” he said, referring to Israel’s six-month-old war with Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

Traditionally most investment has come from venture capital funds rather than institutional investors. The new Yozma 2.0 fund aims to change that, offering insurance companies, pension funds and other institutional investors a mechanism to enhance returns on their investments in tech-focused Israeli venture capital funds over the next 20 months.

The fund is being launched by both the innovation authority and finance ministry and will direct $160 million in public money to venture capital funds supporting Israeli tech companies.

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The Israel Innovation Authority said it would contribute 30 cents for every dollar of institutional investment as part of the program. It will also waive its relative share of returns from these investments, either fully or partially, with the aim of enhancing returns for the institutions involved. Alon Stopel, chairman of the authority, said the move is designed to support early-stage Israeli tech companies, particularly those in deep technology sectors, and ensure a “robust funding environment” for Israeli startups in the coming years.


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