There are only three countries with technological supremacy: The USA, China and Israel. It will be these three countries, and its companies, that define the technological foundations for the generations to come. The execution power and speed of market development in technology in these countries and, in particular, in Israel are exceptional.
In this context, Saidler & Co. took the strategic decision to enter the Israeli market through investments, acquisitions, partnerships and philanthropic engagements starting in 2015. The entry into the Israeli market, for Saidler & Co. and for its associated companies, was coordinated by Dr. Boaz Barack, a close friend and partner, who is also sitting on the board of directors of the portfolio company Numbrs. Dr. Barack is an Israeli based in Switzerland with a career spanning 20 years in top management positions at Credit Suisse and UBS.
The first step into the market was an investment in Elevator, an Israeli fund, with offices in Tel Aviv and New York, focussed on the Fintech, medtech and media industries. Notable co-investors in Elevator included the family Agnelli and Abramovic. The partnership with Elevator was the result of several visits of Mr. Martin Saidler to Tel Aviv in early 2015.
Saidler & Co. has since aggressively expanded its reach in the country through investments in companies, cooperations with universities such as the Weizmann Institute and through building a network across the local business, political and military communities (8200 unit, among others). In all these undertakings, an emphasis was placed on accessing technologies, in particular in machine learning, artificial intelligence, security and data analytics.
During his visits to the country, Mr. Martin Saidler met various representatives of the local communities such as Prof. Eugene Kandel (Chairman of Israel’s National Economic Council) and Mr. Shimon Peres (the former President of Israel and Nobel Prize Laureate). On the invitation of Mr. Peres, Mr. Saidler met the former president to discuss the impact of technology on the future of Israel as well as initiatives to increase investments between Switzerland and Israel.
Other philanthropic engagements in Israel include the generous gift of the family of Martin Saidler to establish the Saidler Gate in the new building of the National Library of Israel. The family was invited by the Yad Hanadiv Foundation to join its philanthropic efforts to build the National Library of Israel. Yad Hanadiv is a Rothschild family philanthropic foundation dedicated to advance Israel as a healthy, vibrant and democratic state.
Over the years, Saidler & Co. has as well continuously expanded its network of Israeli co-investors, jointly investing in companies such as Numbrs. Among the noted co-investors are Marius Nacht (Co-founder Checkpoint), Leon Recanati (founding family Israel Discount Bank), Avraham Bigger (Chairman Paz Oil Company), Shlomo Nehama (former Chairman of Bank Hapoalim), Sir Ronald Cohen (Co-founder APAX Partners) and Alan Howard (Founder Brevan Howard).
Today, Saidler & Co. is regularly investing by itself and, on occasion, with selected co-investors in Fintech companies in Israel. We are actively seeking to expand our portfolio of companies with new, attractive investment opportunities in the space. Please contact us, should you are interested.