Bank Leumi, though its non-financial investment arm Leumi Partners, will invest in a venture for promotion of and investment in high-tech companies. The bank will hold 20% of the new venture, to be called "The Garage", with the rest held by partners from Israel and overseas. Bank Leumi's initial investment will be $110-140 million.
Bank Leumi said that the strategic plan was to form and invest in fifteen startup companies over the next five years. Technology entrepreneurs Omer Nagar, Eyal Redler and Shay Dan have joined Leumi in the venture. The fund will set up and advise startup companies in fintech, cyber security, data and AI. Nagar, Redler and Dan formerly served in elite IDF intelligence and technology units, and have held the posts of CEO, VP strategy and VP technology. Representatives of Leumi and of the other partners will sit on the fund's board.
The fund will enable the companies to work in their natural environments, while offering the possibility of receiving from Leumi and other strategic partners advice on regulatory, financial, managerial and technological matters. The fund will also provide access to experts and to data, on the basis of strategic cooperation with Leumi and its partners, and the products and services developed by the companies will be examined for suitability for implementation in Bank Leumi's systems.
Bank Leumi CEO Hanan Friedman said, "Leumi has adopted the watchword of being the technological spearhead of the finance sector in Israel. The current move will create an additional arm of banking support for the local technology industry."
Leumi VP of technology Haim Shkolnik said, "The joint aim of Leumi and our partners in founding The Garage is both to assist the companies in their development financially and technologically, and to significantly upgrade the bank's capabilities through technological means."
The Garage CEO Omer Nagar said, "The Garage is a unique venture weaving deep connections between strategic partnerships and a management team that is expert in developing human capital, risk management, and technology. Our world-view arises from years of experience in technology and special operations. The basis of our activity and its compass are the people. We are working with the leading technological and operational talents in Israel to form the best startups in the world."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 15, 2021.
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