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HK billionaire Li Ka-shing's tech fund is Israel’s biggest foreign investor for upstarts
Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures Ltd, which invests in technology companies such as Facebook, Slack and Spotify, is the biggest source of foreign investment for a number of tech startups in Israel.
Citing data from market tracker IVC Research Center, the WSJ says Horizons has invested in at least 28 tech startups in Israel including Corephonotics, designer of dual-lens system for mobile-phone cameras, and Kaiima, a seed-technology company. In fact, startups from Israel now accounts for more than a third of the tech venture-capital fund’s more than 60 portfolio of startups, it says.
The latest information comes as no surprise as Li, ranked the second richest man in Asia according to Bloomberg, has been aggressively expanding his empire all over the world. Just this week, Li’s Hutchison Whampoa sealed a deal with Spain’s Telefonica to acquire its British mobile phone unit O2 for 10.25 billion pounds (US$15.3 billion).
Hutchison has been active in Israel way ahead of Horizon. Hutchison has established its presence in the country for more than a decade while Horizon, the first major Asian investor to put up money in Israeli tech companies, only did so in 2011, the WSJ says.
Hutchison owns stakes in Partner Communications, Israel’s No.2 mobile-phone company, and in SDL Desalination, a water company, the report says.
Photo: Ron Shoshani