Reliance Industries to invest $25 mn in Israeli startup incubator JII

By Binu Paul

  • 21 Jul 2017
Credit: Reuters

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) said on Thursday that it plans to invest $25 million (about Rs 160 crore) in an Israel-based technology incubator named Jerusalem Innovation Incubator (JII).

The investment will be done in partnership with Israeli equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd; Motorola Solutions, the enterprise and networking company created when Motorola was split; and Yissum, the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University, RIL said in a stock-exchange filing.

JII has been created in the form of Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) in which RIL will hold 20%; OurCrowd, 60% and Motorola, 20%. Yissum is a non-investing partner that will provide research and development and other support.

JII will invest in early-stage startups in the field of big data, analytics, artificial intelligence, fintech, storage, Internet of Things, and computer vision over a licensed period of eight years.

RIL will invest the proposed $25 million in frontier technology startups in tranches over the course of the license period.

“The proposed investment in JII would help pool significant amount of capital which is essential to fund the cutting-edge innovation required by early-stage startups in partnership with Israel Innovation Authority (IIA). This will also give [startups] early access to innovation, technologies and products from one of the world's largest startup and technology innovation ecosystems,” RIL said in the filing statement.

JII is set up and led by OurCrowd and houses the incubator at its headquarters at the JVP Media Quarter campus, Jerusalem. The incubator is licensed by the IIA, which falls under the purview of Israel’s Ministry of Economy.

OurCrowd selects opportunities, invests its own capital, and introduces companies to its member investors. The 20,000-strong investor community has invested over $450 million into 120 portfolio companies and funds. The company has struck 13 exits to date—two via initial share sales and 11 via acquisitions.

Last month, OurCrowd and Indian deals platform LetsVenture inked a partnership to invest in startups in the two countries and elsewhere.

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