Friday, 28 October 2016

Ambassador ret, Yoram Ettinger: Surging overseas investment in Israel defy global downtrend


1. According to KPMG, one of the four largest global auditing firms, Israel has become a leading hothouse for FinTech companies. 9 out of 100 globally-promising FinTech companies are from Israel, an improvement from 8/100 in 2015. One of the Israeli companies, Payoneer digital payments company, raised $180MN on Oct. 6 in a round led by the Silicon Valley-based Technology Crossover Ventures and the Bala Cynwyd, PA-based Susquehanna Growth Equity (Globes Business Daily, Oct. 27, 2016). 

2. In defiance of the global financial downtrend – but as a derivative of Israel’s cutting-edge technologies - Israeli hightech companies raised $1.19BN during Q3 2016, the second highest quarterly amount in ten years. During the first nine months of 2016, Israeli hightech companies raised $4BN, 27% above the $3.15BN raised during the first nine months of 2015. However, the third quarter of 2016 has recorded a 24% decline compared with the third quarter of 2015, although the total for September was higher than August (Globes, October 26).

3. Boston Scientifics acquired Israel’s EndoChoice for $210MN (Globes, September 28). Israel’s Ormat Technologies concluded a senior-unsecured-bonds tender for $204MN (Globes, September 11). The NY-based $14BN CA Technologies acquired Israel’s BlazeMeter for $100MN, CA’s 13th Israeli acquisition (Globes, September 22). 

4.  The $3BN US cyber giant, ProofPoint, acquired Israel’s FireLayers for $55MN, which has become the research and development center of ProofPiont. FireLayers is the third startup developed and sold by its two co-owners (Globes, Oct. 26).  eBay acquired Israel’s Corrigon for $30MN, eBay’s 6th Israeli acquisition (Globes, Oct. 7). The Lexington, MA and Dublin, Ireland-based, Shire, a biopharmaceuticals giant, extends its strategic partnership with Israel’s plasma-derived protein therapeutics company, Kamada, which is expected to yield a minimum of $237MN in revenues during 2017-2020 (Globes, Oct. 7).

5. According to Forbes, September 22 issue: “Since 2011, there has been a 50% year-on-year growth of Chinese investment in Israel…. The business relations between Israel and China is growing…. For example, Li-Ka-Shing, the Hong-Kong-based tycoon, has invested – privately and via his venture capital fund, Horizon Ventures – in 30 Israeli companies. China’s $3BN Neusoft IT co-established a $250MN investment fund with Israel’s Infinity Capital Equity Fund, targeting Israeli digital pharmaceutical equipment companies (Globes, September 26). Baidu, the Chinese Internet giant partnered with Israel’s Carmel investment fund, invested in three Israeli companies and opened an office in Israel. China’s Innovative Medical invested $30MN in Israel’s Pluristem (Globes, October 26). About $15BN have been invested in Israel, by Chinese giant companies such as ChemCina (acquired Adama, a crop protection company, for $3.7BN), Bright Food (acquired Tnuva, a dairy producer, for $2.5BN), Fosun (acquired Ahava, a cosmetic producer, for $77MN), Shanghai Giant Network Technology, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma and additional Chinese investors (acquired Playtika, an online company, for $4.4BN), etc.