Big-Tech 50 adds four more companies to portfolio

Tzahi Sultan

The R&D Partnership has invested in Trax, Outbrain, Kenshoo and Sisense as it builds a portfolio of Israel's 50 largest privately-held tech companies.

Big-Tech 50 R&D Partnership (TASE: BIGT) has announced that it has invested in four more tech companies as it continues to put together its portfolio of the 50 largest Israeli tech companies. The new investments are in image processing company Trax, conetent recommendation company OutBrain, digital ad company platform Kenshoo and business intelligence and data analysis company Sisense

Big-Tech 50 has invested $2 million in Trax, which has raised $387 million to date, $2 million in Kenshoo, which has raised $60 million, $1.5 million in OutBrain, which has raised $194 million, and $500,000 in Sisense, which has raised over $250 million. Three of the four companies have valuations above $1 billion.

Big-Tech 50 held its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in February 2021 and raised NIS 85.3 million from the public, its general partner and Union Investments and Development. To date, the Partnership has invested more than $11 million (NIS 37 million) in buying the shares of eight companies, in other words slightly more than 40% of the total capital raised. Since its IPO last month, the Partnership's share price has risen by 33%.

Big-Tech 50 plans to create an index of the 50 largest privately-held technology companies in Israel and allow investments in them before they hold an IPO or are sold to an international tech giant. The target companies are chosen according to the following criteria: the value of the company at the time of investment will be at least $250 million (NIS 800 million); the company would have been founded more than three years previously; at least one venture capital fund would have invested in the company; the company produces annual recurring revenue (ARR) of at least $10 million and has reported growth for the past three years.

Big-Tech 50 is led by entrepreneurs and managers with major experience in Israel's high-tech and venture capital markets: serving as chairman and controlling shareholder in the Partnership is Arik Czerniak, who founded Supersonic, which was sold to Israeli company ironSource for about $200 million, five years ago and he currently serves as Managing Partner in Israeli venture capital fund Axon Ventures; serving as CEO in the Partnership is Yochai Zeid, formerly CEO of the ISP Finance Group and Deputy CEO of Gett Israel (formerly Get Taxi) and a consultant at international consultancy firm McKinsey; serving as a Director and joint controlling partner is Tzahi Sultan, Chairman of Discount Capital Underwriting and with more than 30 years of experience in Israel's capital market.

The investments by Big-Tech 50 in target companies is being conducted, mainly by purchasing existing shares from entrepreneurs, angels, founding employees, and founding investors in the target companies, as is usually done through private secondary funds. These funds create liquidity for shareholders in private high-tech companies, who want or need to convert some of their holdings into liquid assets before the company goes public, or is sold.

Big-Tech 50's portfolio currently includes eight companies. The four other companies are: Via, ironSource, Payoneer and Fundbox. The Partnership continues to conduct intensive talks for purchasing the shares of other Israeli tech giants so that it will be able to put together a portfolio of 50 companies. In this portfolio, two companies have already reported that they are about to go public: ironSource is set to merge with a SPAC at a valuation of $11.1 billion and Payoneer has officially reported that it is about to merge with a SPAC at a valuation of $3 billion. There have also been reports that Fundbox is considering a SPAC merger at a valuation of $1.5 billion.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 29, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

Tzahi Sultan
Tzahi Sultan
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