1. According to KPMG, one of the four largest CPA firms in the world, investments in Israeli start-ups during the third quarter of 2013 ($660MN) were the highest since 2000, 34% higher than the second quarter and 35% higher than the third quarter of 2012. According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, another big-four CPA firm, investments were 32% higher than the second quarter and 29% higher than the third quarter of 2012 (Globes business daily, Oct. 16, 2013).
2. Since January, 2013, the following Israeli companies raised funds in Wall Street Initial Public Offerings (IPOs): Keryx - $70MN, MedGenics - $32MN, Delek USA - $355MN, Cimatron - $15MN and $16MN, InspireMD - $25MN, Even Keisar - $181MN, AlCobra Pharma - $25MN, Kamada - $59MN, StrataSys - $481MN, EnzymoTec - $62MN. (Globes, Oct. 11).
3. Facebook acquired Israel's start-up, Onavo -- its first R&D center in Israel - for $150MN (Globes, Oct. 15). TTI, a subsidiary of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, acquired Israel's Ray-Q for a few. In 2010 TTI acquired Israel's Net-Aye (Globes, Oct. 7). The NJ-based Avaya acquired Israel's IT Navigator for a few tens of million dollars (Globes, Oct. 2). Since January, 2013, the following major acquisitions of Israeli companies were made: Google acquired Waze for $966MN, IBM -- Trusteer for $650MN, OPKO -- Prolor Biotech for $480MN, Cisco -- Intucell for $475MN, AOL -- Adap.TV for $405MN, Avago -- Cyoptics for $400MN, EMC -- Scaleio for $250MN, Shanghai Fosun Pharma -- Alma Lasers for $240MN, Allscripts -- dbMotion for $235MN, Facebook -- Onavo for $150MN.
4. The Israel-based Vintage Investment Partners and Jerusalem Global were joined by the Menlo Park-based Benchmark Capital, Sequoia Capital and Tallwood Venture Capital, the San Jose-based Qualcomm Atheros and the Hamilton-based Marvell in a $35MN round of private placement by Israel's Wilocity. The San Francisco-based Comcast Ventures was joined by the London-based Liberty Global Ventures, the Boston-based Globespan Capital, the Palo Alto-based Norwest Venture Partners and the Israel-based Vintage Investment Partners in a $20MN round of private placement by Israel's SundaySky. Microsoft Ventures invested a few hundreds of thousand dollars in Israel's SkyGiraffe (Globes, Oct. 16). The Dallas-based View Capital and Memphis-based River Street Management led a $26MN round by the Israel-US Active Implants (Globes, September 9). The London-based Index Ventures led an $8MN first round of private placement by Israel's Lacoon. The St. Paul-based 3M led a $6MN round by Israel's TaKaDu (Globes, Oct. 17).
5. Israel is ranked as the second most educated country in the world. Its high school graduation rate was 92% in 2010, well above the OECD's 84% average. Some 46% of residents had a tertiary education, second only to Canada (51%) and ahead of Japan (45%) and the US (42%), versus 31% for the OECD (http://bit.ly/1bKT7I6).
6. Israel's debt/GDP ratio is 67.2% (99.7% in 2003!), compared with OECD average -- 108.8%, France -- 109.7%, US -- 106.3%, Britain -- 103.9%, Spain -- 90.5%, Germany -- 89.2%, Finland -- 63.3% and Denmark -- 58.9% (Globes, Sept. 9).
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
The Ettinger Report
"Second Thought: A US-Israel Initiative"
Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #184, October 18, 2013