Arizona’s reputation for cultivating tech companies with strong ties with Israel continues to grow. The state’s booming tech sector can be seen from Tucson to Tempe, with continuous business opportunities springing up with Israeli companies in finance and technology.
Scottsdale-based Grayhawk Capital, Arizona’s largest operating venture capital firm, recently announced a new growth fund project that will focus on high growth technology companies. Grayhawk Venture Fund III is a $75 million venture capital fund launched in January of this year. The partners at Grayhawk Capital have made 91 total investments, overseeing $525 million in total assets under management. Companies they have invested in include Coinstar, MCLogic and Lucid Software.
Now, the venture capital firm is setting its sights abroad, specifically targeting Israel-based tech companies that have expanded their operations here in Arizona. Currently, Grayhawk is working with two Israeli-based companies including Profitect, a business intelligence startup, and Totango, a retention software company. To take over directing the course of this new venture, Grayhawk brought in Leib Bolel, president and CEO of the Arizona Israel Technology Alliance. Bolel will oversee the growth in bilateral trade between technology communities here in Arizona and in Israel.
“The relationship between Arizona and Israel is growing, but we’ve just begun to tap the potential,” said Bolel. “Because venture capitalists prefer to have their portfolio companies close by, we’ll advocate for Israeli companies to open an office in Arizona if it makes sense.”
“We’ve been impressed with the advanced technology we’ve seen coming from Israel into Arizona, and we want to be a part of that supportive ecosystem,” said Sherman Chu, Managing Partner and Co-founder of Grayhawk Capital. “The addition of Leib will help us make the right connections and expedite the building of strong, collaborative relationships with a variety of Israeli-based early growth technology companies.”
Arizona’s low cost of doing business compared to places like Silicon Valley ensures the state stands out as the perfect place to build and grow new ties.
Israel itself is known the world over for its startup mentality, boasting about 600 new startups each year, now totaling more than 6,000 Israeli startups and technology companies.
“It is a great opportunity to join an established fund such as Grayhawk Capital that has already experienced strong returns through its current portfolio of investments including Israeli-founded companies,” Bolel said. “This success provides a springboard for the firm to continue to make a significant difference by helping Israel, Arizona, and the U.S. as a whole, find mutual paths for collaboration.”