July 23, 2014

Obama’s Regulation May Provide Big Boost For Israeli VC Industry

Could the Obama plan to regulate the VC industry in the US, provide a big boost to the Israeli VC industry? Sure could be the case. With Obama trying to regulate everything that has a smell of money, the VC industry could be in for trouble. That means opportunity for Israel. this means that the new Netanyahu government must cut taxes across the board and especially corporate taxes, that will help spur job growth and entrepreneurism.

Batya Feldman of Globes has an interesting interview with some local VC players. An an interview with Benchmark’s Michael Eisenberg: “Opposition to the rules being drafted is to be found in Israel as well. Michael Eisenberg, partner at VC firm Benchmark Capital, takes issue with the intention to impose the regulations on the world of venture capital.

“Geithner spoke of the need for regulation of anything that could become a substantial threat to the economy,” he says, “and I don’t see how a venture capital fund could represent a threat to the entire financial system. But we can relax. Regulation will apply to venture capital finds that will be put together in the future, so no problems are expected for funds that have already raised capital.”

How far will the new rules affect Israel’s high-tech industry?

“It’s hard to know what the regulation will consist of. If there’s a requirement to report on every investment, that will be impossible. However, for Israel this is in fact a once in a lifetime opportunity, one that could make it a world financial center. If they impose restrictions on the funds in the US, in Israel we should give incentives, loans and insurance that will encourage funds to register in Israel. That way we won’t be the carriage but the locomotive.

We here about the demise of the Israeli VC industry. Maybe Israel can capitalize on Obama’s mistake and not only save the VC industry, but have it both flourish here and attract foreign funds as well.

About Aaron Katsman

Aaron Katsman is the President of Lighthouse Capital, financial columnist for the Jerusalem Post and a renowned speaker on investing in Israel.

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