A longstanding feature of the Israeli tech scene is the much vaunted exit whereby startups and their investors are rewarded with multi-million dollar payouts. Traditionally the path most travelled to achieve exit status for Israeli startups has been via US-based companies like Google, Facebook, Cisco and others. Now, however, there is a realization that India should play a larger role in helping Israeli firms reach a larger market share.
Earlier this year, it was reported that government officials from India and Israel are in talks to launch a venture fund that seeks to invest $40 million. The money will fund the participation of Israeli companies in large scale India-led projects.
As an emerging market with a massive population and burgeoning middle class, India is an attractive market for Israeli firms seeking greater exposure. Israel’s tiny population of fewer than eight million people has always required local companies to seek partnerships abroad.
Yonatan Regev, Israel’s Ministry of Finance Deputy Budget Director, told ‘Globes’ that increasing exports to the Indian market is an important part of Israel’s strategy to diversify exports.
Last January, Israeli’s chief scientist Avi Hasson visited New Delhi to promote collaboration between the two countries. As part of his visit, he was required to find appropriate partners in India who could support Israeli companies looking to expand to India. Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor had by then already signed a memorandum of understanding with Infosys. This has allowed Israeli companies partnering with Infosys to receive government funding for collaborative R&D projects.
The addition of another government sponsored fund with $40 million can go a long way in supporting startups in their quest to grow. The new technology fund, if established as hoped, is expected to be a win-win solution for the hi-tech industry in both India and Israel.
Aaron Huber is the founder of KYC Israel, a due diligence research firm that provides custom research solutions for clients needing information on Israeli businesses and individuals. You can contact Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.kycisrael.com