Israel strengthens its position as fintech development center as Haim Saban launches $100 million VC fund

Within the FX industry, Israel stands out not as a location for retail or institutional brokerages, but as a development center for a vast proportion of FX industry technology, including platform vendors, end to end solution providers, digital marketing and media experts, algorithm developers and signal providers. According to FinanceFeeds research, approximately 35% of all […]

Within the FX industry, Israel stands out not as a location for retail or institutional brokerages, but as a development center for a vast proportion of FX industry technology, including platform vendors, end to end solution providers, digital marketing and media experts, algorithm developers and signal providers.

According to FinanceFeeds research, approximately 35% of all technology used in today’s FX industry, ranging from operations to that used in marketing, comes from Israel, the ‘Start-Up Nation’ with a population of only 8 million and more NASDAQ listed technology startups than the entire European Union with its 500 million population.

The fintech sector is about to receive even more power, to the tune of $100 million as music and entertainment tycoon Haim Saban has launched a new venture capital fund, which will focus the $100 million investment on fields which include those important to all sectors of the FX and online trading industry, such as cloud hosting, digital media, mobile platform technology, social networks and financial technology.

In media reports written in Hebrew today, Barak Pridor, former CEO of ClearForest, a technology subsidiary which belongs to Thomson Reuters, has publicly stated “We are open to investment in Israeli companies or companies linked to Israel or Israelis.”

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Haim Saban

He explained to mainstream newspaper Haaretz  “ Haim Saban is a winning combination — a partner with deep pockets, patience and the ability to open doors and access markets.” (Translated from Hebrew – ed)

Mr. Saban was born in Alexandria, Egypt to a Sefardi Jewish family in 1944, before emigrating to the newly established State of Israel in 1956 along with most of the Jewish community that formerly resided in Alexandria.

He holds American and Israeli citizenship and has built up a music and entertainment industry that has generated a personal wealth of $3 billion (as of 2014).

In the United States, he became a television producer, founding Saban Entertainment in 1988. During that time, Mr. Saban and partner Shuki Levy became known for soundtrack compositions for children’s television programs of the 1980s.

Although Levy and Saban composed for their own properties which included Kidd Video and Maple Town, they produced very well known work for other production companies as well such as Inspector Gadget, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, M.A.S.K., Dinosaucers, Dragon Quest, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra: Princess of Power, and Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors.

On July 23, 2001, Saban announced that he and News Corporation would sell Fox Family Worldwide Inc for $5.3 billion to The Walt Disney Company, and on October 24, 2001, the sale was completed and the network was renamed ABC Family. Mr. Saban profited about $1.6 billion from this sale.

Mr. Saban, who resides in Beverly Hills, California as well as in the upscale Tel Aviv suburb of Savyon, is one of North America’s most prominent production company owners and has had transcontinental success.

In August 2003, Mr. Saban led a consortium, which acquired a controlling stake in the straggling ProSiebenSat.1 Media group from the Kirch Media Group, the then-bankrupt German media conglomerate. ProSiebenSat.1 is Germany’s largest commercial television broadcasting company, which owns five German TV channels, including ProSieben and SAT.1, two of the top three stations in Germany.

Collectively, ProSiebenSat.1’s channels represented approximately 45% of the German TV advertising market at the time. Saban’s ProSiebenSat.1 acquisition was the first time a foreigner took control of a significant German Media company. Mr. Saban oversaw a successful business turnaround of ProSiebenSat.1, recruiting former business rivals, ex-BSkyB chief executive Tony Ball and former BBC Director General Greg Dyke to the board of the company, before selling his stake in the firm in 2007.

In terms of media and digital experience, Mr. Saban is well placed to back the next generation of fintech startups as the reliance on new media, social trading, social media and multi-channel acquisition via advertising as well as the current demand for intricate platform technology across multiple mobile devices.

Image compliments of IsraelTourism

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