Israel Venture Activist Jon Medved: China Could Invest Up to $1 Billion in Israeli Tech This Year
China could be investing up to $1 billion in Israeli tech this year, OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved told Bloomberg on Wednesday.
Medved said China “needs innovation and new technology … and real technology,” which he explained focused almost exclusively on the vast device-to-cloud network known as the Internet of Things, technology he called a “game-changer.”
“We’re going from four or five billion devices to a hundred billion devices, who knows?” pondered Medved, whose OurCrowd is an equity crowdfunding website devoted to Israeli technology.
Medved cited Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, which successfully protected Israeli cities and severely limited casualties during last summer’s hostility with Hamas in Gaza, as the type of technology whetting Chinese investors’ appetites.
But he said that beyond defense technology, China was truly interested in using this technology in industrial fields: the electrical grid, water networks, smart cities.
“That’s the kind of stuff the Chinese want. They want drones, they want robotics, they want big data analytics,” he said, describing the Chinese relationship with Israeli tech as a “love affair.”
“Right now, to have an Israeli product in China is good,” he said, despite political efforts such as the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that seeks to isolate Israel economically over its handling of the Palestinian issue.
Medved also downplayed the widely reported rift in U.S.-Israeli relations, relegating it to a dispute between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which he insisted has not boiled down to the business community.
“The American-Israeli relationship has never been stronger,” he said, noting that General Electric, General Motors, Intel, Google, Facebook, Cisco and other U.S. companies have established R&D centers in Israel; there are 300 such R&D facilities, he said.
Business Insider meanwhile reported that 2015 has been a record-setting year for Israeli tech companies in terms of venture capital funding. In the first half of 2015, 342 companies have attracted $2.1 billion, compared to $1.6 billion during the same period in 2014.