Tel Aviv, second only to Silicon Valley.....
I spent the day yesterday in Tel Aviv talking about Wix and the Israeli tech ecosystem at the Ernst & Young Journey Conference. It was an opportunity to reafirm a simple reality: Tel Aviv is second only to Silicon Valley in tech innovation.
This year marks the 10th year that I have been going to Israel looking for the next great tech company. I was initially invited to come by a friend and prolific angle investor Jeremie Berrebi with the promise that I would find my next "Skype". He did not disappoint and in 2007, I met and invested in a company called Wix....This single event has shaped my views and helped me better understand the tech jewel that is Tel Aviv.
The concentration of talent is simply astounding. Combine this with a risk taking DNA and you have a pretty powerful cocktail, one where great engineering meets ideas and audacity. In all objectivity, it is hard to find this combination in many other places.
The only issue to note has been the propensity of Israeli entrepreneurs to sell their companies too soon, but the good news is that this is changing. Companies like Wix provide an example of what you can achieve....there is no need to go to Silicon Valley.
Over the years, Mangrove has increased its investments in Israel to reflect this wonderful cocktail. Our current objective is to invest 30% of all our capital in this dynamic ecosystem. Our current portfolio of companies includes Wix, Walkme which was recently named Israel's Most Promising start-up for 2016 by Globes, Apester, Proov, Gong and Happify.
We are eagerly looking for more.....