“But you, mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor…I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. I will cause people, my people Israel, to live on you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.” (Ezekiel 36:8-12)
The success and financial growth of the Land of Israel was greatly prophesied by Ezekiel in the Bible. According to the prophecy, upon the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel the riches of the land would reappear and those who dwell in the land would reap its benefits and multiply (Ezekiel 36: 8-12).
In more modern terminology, those who dwell in the land of Israel would see continual return on their investment. It is often ironic how prophecies can play themselves out.
Not only has the physical land of Israel provided ample return on investment through feats of technological and agricultural development, turning a dry desert into a blooming oasis, but investing monetarily in Israel has become one of the most financially lucrative options available today in the world’s fragile economy
Israel is one of the hottest entrepreneurial markets worldwide. Dubbed “the Startup Nation,” Israel’s technological developments in every field have paved the way for world evolution to unfold at a rapid pace.
From patents and innovations in everything from cellphone technology, agricultural techniques, bio-medical research and development, equipment, driver safety devices and computers, Israel has been leading the technological as well as social start-up scene for some time.
Often investment opportunities, and especially the early investment opportunities, as is stated in the prophecy of Ezekiel have been closed off to people living outside of Israel. Most startups in Israel garner support for early round investing, such as idea level, seed level and round a level, within Israel, as investors abroad are unable to find out about the market and do their due diligence from a different country.
To break this catch-22, a new equity crowdfunding platform called iAngels has come up with a way to gives global investors access to and a safety net in investing within the Startup Nation. By partnering with lead angel investors and technology startups in a variety of fields in Israel and promoting them to top tier investors across the globe, iAngels gives accredited investors the opportunity to become angels in their own right by investing in technology startups alongside top tier angel investors in Israel. The investing matchup gives the would be investor abroad the comfort they need while ensuring that iAngels does the due diligence alongside the local investors about the company.
Once matched with local professional angel investors, iAngels invites accredited investors abroad to become angels themselves and actively markets the companies they choose to invest in.
iAngels was started by two Israelis – Shelly Hod Moyal and Mor Assia – who met while working abroad in New York City. Hod Moyal has a background in finance while Assia comes from a technology background. After teaming up, the duo began working together to change the way venture capital investing works in Israel and around the world.
“We provide individual investors from all over the world exclusive access to their proprietary flow, just like the larger investing agencies enjoy. Thus we allow individual investors to become angels at an early round of investing in Israel that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to,” Assia explained to Breaking Israel News. “At the same time, we offer opportunities to the startups who work with us to partner with them and garner them exposure to our robust network of angels.”
Launched in January 2014, the semi-crowdfunding platform has already seen some of the companies it invests in raise subsequent rounds at higher valuations. Most investment to exit timelines usually take between 5-7 years, according to iAngels.
“We’ve had a significant track record of companies whom we have invested in. One was even offered a buyout, and even though they did not accept it, it was a very positive step for that company.”
The iAngels platform, which receives 60-70 requests for funding from startups each month, accepts only two on average. Thus, the firm’s selectivity of startups is quite high, providing more security for the angel investors.
“We work in a co-investing model. We collaborate with the top performing angel investors in Israel whom we use as an anchor in each round. These investors made it their full time profession to be angel investors and invest in their portfolio companies their own private money,” Hod Moyal told Breaking Israel News.
“We make sure the companies are vetted and we act as the trusted liaison of our investors in Israel. We make sure that the angels who invest with us have all of the same information as the lead investors in Israel do. Our investors are given the opportunity to meet the entrepreneurs through webinars and review our due diligence and information they expect to see as investors.”
Many non-Israeli investors are afraid to invest in markets of which they are unfamiliar. To help quell any fears, Hod Moyal explained that iAngels is “there to protect the interest of the investor, while simultaneously promoting the startups that we see as worthwhile investments to our network of investors who can then partner with these companies for the long term.”
With a simple investment, iAngels is expanding the scope of biblical prophecy of a flourishing Israel well beyond the physical borders of the land. By helping others bless Israel, iAngels is allowing those who do not live in the land to enjoy some of the benefits that are bestowed upon the Startup Nation.
“Israel is one of the most exciting and developed startup economies in the world,” Hod Moyal stated. In order for this to continue and “for the companies to do what they need to do, they need a partner. We are that partner. We are connected on both sides of the coin.”