Summer 2019 is here. While many businesses across the globe are winding down for vacation such as in the United States after the 4th of July weekend and much of Western Europe, things are still going strong in Israel. We all need to take a break and in Israel that time comes during the Jewish holidays in the fall. With so many people visiting the Startup Nation it’s always a good opportunity to make sure they’re kept up to date about what’s going on in the Israeli tech ecosystem. Many of our friends in Western Europe are going to be visiting at the end of the summer in order to attend the innovation festival/conference DLD. Now is a good opportunity to cover some of the European venture funds who are active in the Israeli technology ecosystem.
This Luxembourg -based venture capital fund has been getting a lot of press recently as they raised 100 million dollars focused on Israeli tech investments. One of their goals is to connect European family offices with tech investment opportunities in Israel. The corporate angle is the network this venture fund has in Europe which they plan on parlaying in order to help the Israeli startups they invest in. The name Moar translates to the Hebrew term for “explorer” and we’re excited to see where this leads as this fund is helping investors get access to and invest in Israeli tech deals they may have not been previously able to.
Robert Bosch Venture Capital is the corporate venture arm of Bosch, the well-known German technology and engineering company. Like many Western European legacy corporates Bosch looks at the Startup Nation as a center of excellence for new technologies and innovation. The leadership in the organization has stated such goals: “we’re looking for the kind of disruptive innovations that could turn a market completely upside down. We want to make the Bosch divisions aware of them, with the aim of securing and expanding our innovation leadership.” says Ingo Ramesohl, managing director of RBVC. A recent example of an investment they made was in Veego; AI tech to help eliminate malfunctions in the IoT interconnected home.
England, and London specifically offer one of the strongest startup ecosystems in Europe. The focus has been on fintech however, and while the scene is growing it does not offer the number of startups Israel does. With an active scouting presence in Israel British Petroleum (or as it’s known BP) is interested in investing in energy technology. They have already deployed capital in their first deal, an investment in Store Dot with the aim of helping spread the adoption of electric cars globally. As green and clean energy sources continue to gain popularity Europe corporates and venture capital funds will continue to lean on the Startup Nation.
Mobility is hot right now and many American and Israeli venture capital funds invest in this space. The German automakers see the writing on the wall and are investing in the Israel tech ecosystem in order to be ahead of the curve. The real news is the opening of a major R&D center in Tel Aviv by Daimler. As their website states: “the center focuses on future transportation including instruments for digital cars, mobility services, connected cars and cyber security.” We’ll see a lot more in terms of investment in Israeli mobility tech in the coming months.
France is busy building its startup ecosystem and has developed a good relationship with Israel as a model example of how an early-stage technology ecosystems thrives. So, it’s not surprising that a major allocation of capital would come from France. As this Globes article states “Iris Capital is the only French venture capital firm that operates directly in Israel. Its representative in Israel is Yaron Rosenbaum, a partner in the firm. The firm began as the investment arm of Orange-France Telecom and advertising agency Publicis.”
An interesting trend which we hope to see more of as Western Europe is in a sprint to catch up with American and Chinese technology companies. This list runs the gamut of different investment funds, ranging from traditional venture capital funds to corporate investment. While the United States and the Far East have eclipsed the amount of venture money invested in Israel over the past few years, Europe is still looking at the Startup Nation as a place that will help solve it’s needs when it comes to innovation in the coming decades.