Israel's status as a hotbed of technological wizardry and know-how is well-known and well-deserved. After all, it didn't get the name "Startup Nation" for nothing. With thousands of active startups each vying to carve out their own niche and attract both attention, and more importantly, still funding, the field is a crowded one.
There have been plenty of successes - and significant ones in a few cases. In 2019, there were four exits alone that exceeded $1 billion. With the exit value during the last decade totalling $111 billion from more than 1,200 deals, the potential to see a phenomenal return on investment is clear, although there are also pitfalls to be avoided.
In business there is no such thing as a sure thing, but what if there was a way to significantly mitigate the risks of investment? Wouldn't that seem like a course of action worth pursuing?
Into this exact space steps an extraordinary company that is not only concerned with a balance sheet's bottom line, but just as crucially how investments will truly benefit Israel, the environment and humanity as a whole.
Smart Funding Ltd., was founded in 2018 by CEO Eitan Caspi, who in his own right is an Israeli hi-tech expert with extensive experience in finance, entrepreneurship, technology and marketing and leads a highly experienced team that provides everything needed to fully understand the startup ecosystem.
Smart Funding assists the serious private investor (Angel) in targeting some of the most promising Israeli startups. And as per its mission statement, this is not just from a monetary point of view but from a more holistic acknowledgement that investment in the company can help the world in life-changing fields such as medical science, green energy, hydrotech, medical devices and more.
"Smart Funding's vision is to make leading Israeli startups that can help humanity available to international angel investors so that they can invest in a rigorously tested company and perhaps be part of the next exit," Caspi explained.
Having worked with a large number of highly innovative entrepreneurs - many of whom have come to him with world-changing ideas - Caspi is able to elevate the merely tactical to the level of the strategic. It was one of the primary drivers that led to the creation of Smart Funding, to be able to take a zoomed out view of the company seeking advice and pinpoint how best to craft its roadmap, particularly where fundraising was concerned.
So, what does Smart Funding offer a potential Angel? There are three main ways that it achieves its outcomes. As a licensed "Offer coordinator" regulated by the Israel Security Authority (ISA), the company is bound under cyber and privacy laws, such that the investment is secure and supervised. In addition, as one might expect, tens of companies approach Smart Funding on a weekly basis to help them reach out to investors. However, it carries out a rigorous testing and screening process to winnow out companies that may prove unduly risky to investors.
Finally, Smart Funding's due diligence in taking a 360-degree investigation into potential investments adds another layer of sophistication and protection, as it will only work with companies that actually have tangible results of their work, such as a working prototype or a registered patent. By working so attentively to minimise risk to such an acceptable level, Smart Funding aims to enable investors to maximize their profits.
There are two other important features to investing with Smart Funding. It doesn't just recommend companies to invest in, but it puts its own money and reputation on the line by investing in those same operations. Working with four to 10 companies at a time, the aim is to build an interesting and varied portfolio of companies to potentially attract different types of investors, with staggered exits and differentials in potential profit amounts.
Also, investors become shareholders, receiving equities and shares in the companies they have invested in, helping to create a positive feedback loop.
It is important to give an idea of the kinds of companies that Smart Funding has selected for investment.
Thomas Medical Ltd. has developed a revolutionary device to help the approximately one billion people who suffer from sleep apnea; Killer Whale Ltd. has developed products for the automatic disinfection and cleansing of toilets and elevators, particularly crucial in these Covid-19 times; Ela Pharma's focus is on developing an innovative treatment for necrosis, aimed at slowing cell death, which untreated can lead to tissue and organ death and is common in heart attacks and stroke as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and ALS.
In addition, Solveat is attempting to treat diabetes and lower blood pressure by creating functional foods targeting them to specific medical conditions. This may be particularly attractive to investors from the UAE, as the country has approximately one million people living with the disease, ranking it 15th in the world for age-adjusted comparative prevalence.
Smart Funding provides a unique opportunity to invest in some of the best, potentially most profitable and best-researched companies in Israel. Any investor who may neither possess professional knowledge nor a technical background can invest in world-leading companies for a modest outlay and be secure in the knowledge that they are also benefitting humanity.
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