Israel is one of the most interesting and dense geographic regions for investments in the world, said Jeff Horing, co-founder and managing director at New York-based Insight Venture Partners. Mr. Horing spoke with Harel Beit-On, founder and general partner at Viola Growth, in an event at Calcalist's Mind the Tech conference in New York on Tuesday.
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“Israel is the highest density geography in our portfolio,” Mr. Horing said. Today, the playing field is even and more and more investors, including Insight, are more interested in investing outside Silicon Valley, he added.
Today, when companies go public the valuations are much lower than what they were in the late nineties, and IPOs are not necessarily the best way to realize value anymore, Mr. Horing said. “The strategic market is almost nonexistent, so building a company with an eye towards selling it to a bigger company is a highly improbable outcome,” he said, adding that entrepreneurs end up holding on to their companies for much longer now.
New York is a good base for companies looking to expand to the U.S. market, Mr. Horing said adding that he was not a very big fan of Silicon Valley. Israeli companies tend to work on long-term value, which is less compatible with the Valley’s culture, he added.
Founded in 1995, Insight is a venture capital and private equity firm focused on software and internet companies, with over $18 billion in committed capital. The firm has invested in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr and news aggregator Flipboard. In 2017, Insight led investment rounds for two Israeli-linked companies—social engagement startup Spot.IM and usability startup WalkMe.