Tighter connections between the Bay Area and Israel will encourage investment flows

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By Latham & Watkins LLP

Israel, USA September 29 2016

Silicon Valley trends are often soon felt in its Israel equivalent Silicon Wadi. The two start-up ecosystems are intrinsically linked. In April this year, the connection between the two regions was further tightened when United Airlines launched a new direct flight between Tel Aviv and San Francisco.

New flight routes are demand driven and Silicon Valley and Bay Area businesses and investors have a history of buying up and buying into flourishing Israeli start-ups in Israel. Equally, Israelis have become part of the start-up and tech fabric in the Bay Area.

The Bay Area is definitely experiencing a boom right now and there is little surprise that Israel is following suit. West Coast-based venture capital houses are certainly looking to deploy capital on a more global basis and Israel is viewed as one of the prime tech and start-up locations to invest in. Innovation Endeavors, founded in 2009 by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Dror Berman, is just one example of a US-based VC house being part of the Silicon Wadi scene. Earlier this year, Schmidt said that he expected to see a number of Israeli start-ups mature into fully-fledged unicorns, worth more than $1bn.

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