Google launches fund to aid Israeli and Palestinian businesses

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Google launches fund to aid Israeli and Palestinian businesses

The tech giant will provide $4m to Israeli tech startups and $4m to early-stage Palestinian companies to help them keep operating amid the war

Google is investing $8 million to support Israeli tech firms and Palestinian businesses.

The Alphabet-owned tech giant announced the funding this week, citing the need for small companies to secure financing during the Israel-Hamas war. A $4 million support fund would be provided to AI startups in Israel and another $4 million would go to early-stage Palestinian startups and businesses to help them continue operating.

In Israel, the fund complements the Israel Innovation Authority’s emergency fund, which was set up after the war broke out to provides emergency grants to fast-track companies with a short runway.

“In the current situation, quite a few startups in Israel are struggling to raise capital from investors and urgently need financial bridging in order to continue operating,” Google said in a statement.

Yuval Passov, Head of Google Startups, Emerging Markets

Yuval Passov, head of Google for Startups, Emerging Markets, said on his LinkedIn: “Excited to share that we’re launching the Google AI Startups Fund in Israel!

“This $4 million fund is aimed at providing a much-needed boost to promising startups that are facing a short runway of up to six months and have already secured funding from the Israel Innovation Authority fast track program and needed matching.

“We believe in empowering startups to dream big, build, and scale, which is why this fund is crucial to helping the Israeli tech sector bounce back. Together, we keep delivering, no matter what.”

It is understood that around 20 AI-related Israeli startups in need of immediate funding will receive grants. As well as financial support, Google will also mentor and support the selected startups, providing them with access to the company’s experts in a variety of areas including, development, strategy and marketing.

Dror Bin, Israel Innovation Authority

Dror Bin, CEO of the Innovation Authority, said in response to the announcement: “Google’s move is the exact definition of the phrase Doing Well By Doing Good! We are very happy and proud to see Google’s willingness to invest in the high-quality startups that have already been approved in the fast channel of the Innovation Authority. This is a group of great startups with significant potential for business success, and Google’s choice to provide them with matching funding is a choice to invest in our future.”

Separately, in partnership with local and global non-profit organisations, Google will provide loans and grants to 1,000 Palestinian small businesses.
It will also provide seed grants to 50 tech startups in Palestinian areas and hopes to help safeguard 4,500 jobs and create new ones for Palestinians.

Since 7 October, Google has donated millions of dollars to Israeli emergency efforts, as well as to humanitarian relief support provided in Gaza.

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