Microsoft Ventures, a unit of China's HNA, Tata, GE Ventures, and Qualcomm Ventures will join forces with Tel Aviv University and Israel's Pitango Venture Capital to set up a new USD 20-million fund to invest in Israeli startups that are developing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The new consortium will be called Israel IoT Innovations – i3 Equity Partners (i3). It was set up by the five corporations together with Pitango and the Tel Aviv University, via its RAMOT technology-transfer company. The aim is to invest in early-stage Israeli ventures and help them develop into entities playing in the global arena.
Tapping into the knowhow of the Israeli tech industry will also help the consortium members grow their business in IoT, which is already penetrating and changing many areas of human life. The i3 collaboration plans to fund three to five high-potential seed and pre-seed startups annually with a financial investment of up to USD 1 million each. Selected companies will also benefit from technology, tools, mentoring, business development, and other services. The companies will also benefit from the support of the multinational corporations for technology validation, design, proof-of-concept, later-stage investments, and ultimately the purchase of mature technologies and their distribution in high-potential markets – including China and India.