Foreign money has long been the engine powering the Israeli start-up nation. What was once based on local funds, the Chief Scientist, and angels, has in recent years been mostly based on investment coming from overseas. Further evidence of this can be seen in the shape of Square Peg Capital, an Australian venture capital fund that announced last weekend that it would invest some $100 million annually in technology start-ups in Australia, Israel and the US.
The fund is not new, and has already invested some $50 million in 20 companies, most of them in Australia. It has two Israeli companies in its portfolio: video messaging company Glide; and repricing platform company Feedvisor, which recently raised $6 million in a round led by the Australian firm. The firm now aims to expand the global range of its portfolio.
Among the investors in the fund is the Liberman family of Australia, which has held or holds stakes in Paz Oil Company Ltd. (TASE:PZOL), Tefron Ltd. (Bulletin Board: TFRFF; TASE:TFR), First International Bank of Israel (TASE: FTIN), and other Israeli companies. The family's representatives in the firm are Justin and David Liberman.
Square Peg partner Paul Bassat told "The Australian", “Looking out five-10 years time, the likelihood is that Aus¬tralia will remain our biggest market, Israel will be next, and the US will be the third-biggest.
"We started spending time in Israel over the past six-12 months and frankly we were staggered by the opportunities, staggered by the entrepreneurs and angel investors. People in the tech ecosystem were very supportive and welcoming.’’
Square Peg is represented in Israel by Dan Krasnostein, who has moved to Tel Aviv from Melbourne, and Arad Naveh, formerly a general partner at Benchmark Capital.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 22, 2014
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