A new agritech fund, the Central Arava Fund, established with the support of Australian Jewish investors, will begin operating in April 2008. The new fund aims to establish agrotech and agrobiotech companies in the Arava in the Negev. A second goal is to create high-tech job opportunities for residents of the Arava after their studies.
The Central Arava Fund expects to raise an initial $5-8 million, and raise an additional $40 million in the second stage. The bulk of the financing will come from Australian Jews. Arava residents and companies will be able to invest in the fund with minimum investments of $25,000.
The Central Arava Fund plans to invest up to $500,000 in each venture over a period of 3-4 years. The fund is seeking entrepreneurs with products for export. Like other funds aims to sell the ventures after the investment and improvement; in other words, it will seek strategic investors or to float the ventures 5-8 years after the initial investment in them.
Central Arava Fund's managers will be Eliezer Manor and Gil Lissai. Manor, a physicist, is a veteran venture capitalist, and founder of the Israel Venture Association. Lissai has experience in agriculture. He has worked with farms in both the Arava and in other countries and advised high-tech ventures and exporters.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 31, 2007
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