This article was first published on The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.
If politics sometimes divides Israel and the United States, there is a strong force that consistently unites them. The tech relationship between the two countries is as firm as ever, according to Itay Frishman of international law firm Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak (GHK), and that’s good for both sides.
Just as the US is Israel’s biggest international supporter, providing assistance – diplomatic, military, and otherwise – America is also the biggest overall year-to-year investor in Israel (though China is set to surpass the US in that area this year), with the world’s biggest economy and the most resources. And, it is still the country with the largest and most prosperous market – the best place for an Israeli start-up to sell products or technologies.
As head of GHK’s high-tech and venture law group, Frishman is one of Israel’s most active deal-making attorneys, in a law firm that is one of the biggest dealmakers in Israel. Among the recent deals GHK has handled: Rakuten’s acquisition of Viber, Yahoo’s acquisition of RayV, AOL’s acquisition of Converto, HiLan’s acquisition of Ness Technologies, along with investments by Goldman Sachs, Bessemer, Norwest Ventures, Samsung Ventures, and others in Israeli firms.
Nowadays, deals between Israeli start-ups and China are all the rage – or seem to be, at least from the headlines. But the US is still ground zero for start-ups looking to make it big. “We have nothing against China, and in fact we do a lot of work there,” Frishman said. “But the US is still the world’s largest economy, and I think for the sake of all of us, things should remain that way.
“Many Israeli start-ups that have technology or an app can only work with a large company in China, which will distribute its tech. But they cannot deal directly with the consumer or end-user – unlike the case in the US, where Israeli companies can sell to anyone,” he added.
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