Israel looking for fund managers to harvest the benefits of its tech funds

It’s been some time now that Israel has been a mecca (pun intended) for cybersecurity and fintech startups. But with foreign companies most reaping this benefit, the country is now gearing up to harvest its tech talents.

The Israeli government has let it be known that it is looking for companies to manage four of its high-tech investment funds that are to be traded on the stock exchange.

Incidentally, protection from the state will be provided, in case of any losses.

The Israeli government has come under pressure from the country’s thriving tech sector to do more for local investments, as foreigners are seen to be mainly reaping the rewards of the country’s tech boom.

Significantly, in the majority of cases, the capital invested in Israeli companies can be grouped under research and development, with most companies being snapped up by large foreign ones while they are still relatively young.

Case in point: last week Symantec Corp disclosed it was acquiring Fireglass, an Israeli cybersecurity startup for an undisclosed amount; earlier this year Intel stated it was acquiring Mobileye for $15 billion. In 2013, Google bought Waze, an Israeli mapping service for nearly $1 billion.

As a result, the Israeli government has now put out a tender for the management of two of its new investment funds, said the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) and the Finance Ministry, in a joint statement.

They went on to add, up to 4 managers will be selected for the funds who will each have a minimum of $113 million (400 million shekels).

As per their joint statement, the funds will combine investments in tech stocks that are already traded, with another 30% reserved for tech startups, thus enabling investors, including institutions, to benefit from returns in the tech sector in a relatively secure manner.

“Our proposal is intended to create an investment instrument for the general public that will enable it to participate for the first time in the success of Israeli technology companies, while providing state protection,” said Shmuel Hauser, chairman of the ISA, Israel’s markets regulator.

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