A venture capital fund aimed at developing start-ups in the Palestinian Authority launched this week with backing from Google Inc.’s foundation, Cisco Systems Inc. and some high-profile tech names.
Sadara Ventures — the name connotes “pioneering” in Arabic — was started by executives hailing from tech and finance, one from Israel and one from the Palestinian Authority. It recently closed a round of $28.7 million of funding.
And pioneering it well might be, launching as it is during the turmoil in the Middle East, with the pro-democracy movement sweeping the Arab world from Tunisia and Libya to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
“If you wait for the perfect time to invest in a fund in the Middle East, you probably never will,” said Yadin Kaufmann, 51, one of the fund’s general partners. “There was a time when people thought” that investing in Israel was too risky, “and the people who thought that way missed out on an opportunity to make a lot of money."...MORE