Israel among Big 3 future tech leaders, says Accel Partners partner
DAVOS, Switzerland - International investment fund Accel Partners, which manages $4 billion, views Israel as one of the promising centers for future technology.
Joseph Shoendorf, a partner in the fund, told TheMarker that Israel, Silicon Valley and China are the hubs of future technological innovation. "We have invested a great deal in Israel, and maintain very good relations with most of the leading Israeli venture funds. Of the $400 million we have invested since 2001, more than half was invested in Israel, in about 20 companies."
Shoendorf refrained from naming companies in which the fund has invested, explaining that those he fails to mention will be hurt. In the Israeli venture capital community, Accel Partners is considered an important international entity that has supported local investments, which are often characterized by a great deal of hesitation. Israeli venture capital investments often feature joint investments in order to minimize risk, rather than encourage competition between them.
Accel Partners is one of the world's leading venture capital funds. The fund was established in 1983, and is managed from centers in Palo Alto, California, and London. Its investments focus on communications, software and Internet companies, and are intended to nurture start-ups into mature companies, with a relatively long-term focus.
Do you still see Israel as a center of technological innovation?
"Certainly. When I look at the international market, and I travel a lot in China, the Silicon Valley and Israel, these are three important hubs that should be very high on the list of innovation pioneers. Technological innovation is deeply rooted in Israel. Of course, we also consider other markets, parts of Europe, for instance."
Do you expect any change in the fund's targets, with the development of new fields, such as clean tech?
"I don't think that we will alter our fields of investment, which focus on technology and internet services. We try to identify the next big thing in technology, and gamble on it. It is important to understand that the future lies with global companies like ours, that they see the big picture in technological developments all over the world."
Do you see any changes in Israel of 2007, compared to 2001?
"If there are changes, they are expressed mainly in technology," Shoendorf said. "The world's security situation is expected to get worse, and as a result, inventiveness will increase. The armies of the world are seeking solutions to a problem, and will encourage technological answers.