Israel's Yozma State-Backed VC Fund to Set Up Shanghai Funds, Invest in China
Liao Shumin
/SOURCE : yicai
Israel's Yozma State-Backed VC Fund to Set Up Shanghai Funds, Invest in China

(Yicai Global) Oct. 21 -- Israel's Yozma Group is optimistic about China's development and will set up an office in Shanghai to invest in targeted industries in both China and Israel, Yigal Erlich, founder of the top-ranked venture capital firm and chairman of the Israel Venture Capital Association, said in an interview with Shanghai Securities News yesterday.

Erlich, who is renowned as the founding father of the Israeli venture capital industry, served as the chief scientist of Israel's Ministry of Industry and Trade. He founded Tel Aviv-based Yozma in 1992. The firm, whose name means 'initiative' in Hebrew, was Israel's first government venture capital guidance fund to attract both domestic and foreign investors to support the development of export-oriented high-tech entrepreneurship.

Yozma leveraged public money to attract private investment when Israel's economy relied excessively on government funds, thus transforming the country into a worldwide research and development center, London-based intergovernmental civil service resources organization the Apolitical Academy reported online. The government offered to contribute 40 percent of funds provided by private investors in combined funds, thereby supporting more than 40 companies. Yozma's value rose from USD100 million in 1993 to USD250 million by 1996. The initiative is considered a rare instance of government venture capital success, per the report.

Yozma's Asia funds have invested in biotech, blockchain, network security and artificial intelligence.

Erlich brought along his new book, 'Building the Ecosystem of Startups in Israel,' on his trip to Shanghai.

Editor: Ben Armour

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Keywords: Israeli Venture Capital , YOZMA Group , YIGAL ERLICH