Square Peg Capital Visits Israel

Posted on: Saturday, 20 June 2015 at 8:39:52 AM

The Australian Newspaper has reported that Square Peg Capital will pursue more investments in Israel.  Extracts from the story appear below:

“Retiring Telstra chief executive David Thodey plans to join billionaire James Packer in working with the Paul Bassat-led venture capital firm, Square Peg Capital, to pursue more investments in Israel.

 “The company intends to spend $US150 million ($193m) over the next three to five years in venture and growth-stage online and technology companies.

Square Peg last week took a delegation of 40 leading Australian technology entrepreneurs, ­investors and executives together representing more than $US150 billion in value to Tel Aviv and ­Jerusalem to learn about the Israeli hi-tech industry.”

“The trip has strongly reinforced my view of the investment opportunities and incredible tech ecosystem in Israel,” Mr Packer told The Australian from Tel Aviv. “I am in Israel meeting new people and Paul (Bassat) is certainly someone I want to do more with, but we are just wetting our feet here.”

The delegation met Iscar chairman Eitan Wertheimer, who ­recently sold 20 per cent of his company to US investment legend Warren Buffett for $US2bn.

It also met Check Point founder Gil Shwed, leading hi-tech founders of Waze, Outbrain and ironSource, as well as many other entrepreneurs, government officials, investors, incubators and ­accelerators, including the president of the Weizmann Institute, Daniel Zajfman. 

The trip was the first to Israel by Mr Thodey, who is looking to his life after Telstra when he retires as chief executive in August. He took the trip in a private capacity.

“I’ve always wanted to come here from a technology perspective and to understand what has driven such innovation,” he said.

 Paul Bassat said the firm was keen to build a successful business in Israel and wanted to build its network. “We have met entrepreneurs into their fourth and fifth ventures. There is a real can-do mentality and energy around solving really significant problems.”

Earlier this month Mr Bassat, who is also a Wesfarmers director, spent a week in Silicon Valley.

“There is a similarity in Israel to what is happening in the valley. People have an enormous ability to create a lot without a lot of resources.’’

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