A thrilling ride for the theme park tech giant heading to Nasdaq

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

A thrilling ride for the theme park tech giant heading to Nasdaq

Two entrepreneurs whose companies’ merger will complete this year, have a message for the world: Israel is staying strong

Alton Towers, owned by Merlin Entertainment, one of Pomvom's partners
Alton Towers, owned by Merlin Entertainment, one of Pomvom's partners

When Israeli amusement park technology company Pomvom and Israel Acquisitions Corp. announced their agreed merger last month, it was not only a milestone moment for the business community, but a powerful message to the rest of the world: “Israel is very much open for business.”

Pomvom, which develops photo and video solutions for some of the world’s most popular theme park and attraction operators including Warner Bros, Six Flags and Merlin Entertainment, was co-founded by Yehuda Minkovicz in 2015.

It is merging with Izhar Shay’s Israel Acquisitions Corp (ISRL) at a total equity value of $125 million. The combined company will de-list from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) to trade exclusively on the Nasdaq once the deal is completed later this year.

In Minkovicz and Shay’s first joint interview since news of the merger broke, Shay, whose son Yaron was killed by Hamas on 7 October while serving in the IDF, told the Jewish News: “This is one of the most significant positive pieces of news in the Israel high tech ecosystem in Israel last month and it was accepted in such manner, with much excitement, but there is a subtext of this news – that Israel is very much open for business.

“This is a clear message to the world that Israeli business continues to run despite the geopolitical conflict and significant challenges that we are going through. It’s a reflection of the Israeli resilience, optimism and entrepreneurship.”

Izhar Shay, Israel Acquisitions Corp (ISRL)

Israel Acquisitions Corp is special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) – a publicly traded ‘shell’ company established with the sole purpose of acquiring or merging with an existing company. It was set up last year by a group of entrepreneurs led by Shay, the former Israeli Minister for Science and Technology and went public on the Nasdaq in New York, raising $143 million amid high demand. The cash raised was earmarked for investment in a promising Israeli technology company.

Cue Pomvom – an acronym of ‘Picture of Me, Video of Me’. The company uses AI image recognition technology that connects guests to photos and videos of themselves that have been captured in real-time by the park or venue’s cameras. Visitors can view and purchase them via the theme park’s app on their phone.

The Tel Aviv-based startup has partnered with some of the world’s most popular attractions; 17 of them in the UK, including Peppa Pig World, Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Legoland, Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studios, Madame Tussauds and the London Eye. It is expected to increase its number of partner sites to 47 by the end of 2024 — a 23 per cent increase from its current 38 locations.

Yehuda Minkovicz, co-founder and CEO of Pomvom       Photo:  Daniel Elor

Is there a need for Pomvom when most people now have cameras on their phones? CEO Minkovicz said: “It’s about capturing that priceless moment while being in the moment. “We are often in this trade-off between the two – having to stop what we are doing to take the picture.

“We are living in a world of ”pic’ it or it didn’t happen’’ and what we see with these attractions, is that there is that priceless moment, so that’s why there is still a huge industry around that.”

The pandemic massively accelerated the digitisation of the theme park and amusement experience. “If you consider Legoland, or Warner Bros Studio Tours today, almost 100 per cent of visitors book online before they go and will download the attraction’s app,” noted Minkovicz.  “What we are providing is a full fit into today’s customer’s digitisation experience and helping the theme parks to engage with their customers in a more seamless way.”

Pomvom counts Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter among its partners

It was during the pandemic, in 2020, that Pomvom bought Picsolve, a leading digital content capture partner for top attraction sites – a bold move given the tourism, hospitality and leisure industry was closed for such a substantial chunk.

“I guess it was a combination of Israeli chutzpah and the courage of young entrepreneurs. But we saw an opportunity and I believe it was the right decision, and enabled us to work with the best them parks and attractions.”

Quite. Last year, Pomvom signed a partnership with the American theme park giant Six Flags – reportedly the biggest deal in its history, worth an estimated $21 m in annual revenues, and firmly catapulting the company into the US market, the focus of Pomvom’s expansion plans.

“Delisting from TASE and onto the Nasdaq is part of that,” says Minkovicz, who spent eight years at Deloitte before setting up Pomvom.

Pomvom shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange jumped more than 30 per cent when news of the merger was announced. The deal is a huge nod of confidence in the Israeli market amid a challenging backdrop.

“We are proud to be both an Israeli company and a global company,” said Minkovicz. “We have many people, and their families, that have been called to reserves and people that have lost loved ones, but our role to keep going.

“War and terror are not just trying to hurt people but also to hurt the economy, and the message that the business keeps growing is a message to the world that we will not break. This is something that all Pomvom individuals, whether they live in Tel Aviv, London or New York, are a part of.”

He added: “While what we are seeing right now is focused on Israel, it is not an Israeli problem, or a Jewish problem.

“There are times in life where you can’t sit aside, and this is one of those times. I think every person in the ‘normal world’ knows that what happened on 7 October is not acceptable and part of proving that is to keep up the courage.

“I don’t know how long it will take, but I know that after the war, everything will be better.

“The fact that we are still staying strong, not just for Pomvom as a business, but as part of the wider economy, is a crucial part of that win.”



Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: