Israel

Israeli Tech Billionaire Creates $100 Million Fund to Invest in Healthcare Startups

An Israeli tech billionaire who founded one of the country’s most successful startups is creating a fund to invest in Israeli healthcare startups.

Marius Nacht, the co-founder of computer security firm Check Point Software, is raising $100 million for the fund. Nacht has previously invested millions of his own funds into dozens of healthcare and life sciences companies.

Israeli startups have a reputation of being successful and then being bought out by foreign companies. Nacht hopes to change that dynamic by making late-stage investments in startups.

“I’m wishing for the creation of another Teva or another Check Point in healthcare,” Nacht told Reuters, referring to the generic medicine giant Teva Pharmaceuticals. “We are not here to sell out, we are really here to try … and create a big company, create a financial ecosystem for healthcare companies in Israel.”

Nacht explained that he is prioritizing investing in healthcare startups because they are a higher-risk, higher-reward investment on account of the time required to bring a product to market.

Life science startups in Israel raised $975 million in 2015, making up 22 percent of total technology investments, according to the Israel Venture Capital Research Center. Overall, $3.26 billion has been invested in Israeli firms during the first three quarters of 2016, an amount that surpasses the total invested last year.

[Photo: Nati Shochet / Flash90 ]