China's Baidu, Ping An invest in Israeli VC fund Carmel

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 22, 2014 8:03 AM

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israeli venture capital firm Carmel Ventures said on Wednesday it raised $194 million for its Carmel Ventures IV fund with participation from new strategic investors in Asia that include Chinese Internet search engine Baidu.

The new fund, like its predecessor funds, will invest in early-stage technology companies in enterprise software, data center infrastructure, big data, cyber security, financial technology, digital media and consumer applications.

Carmel has already made investments out of the new fund in the increasingly popular quiz technology provider PlayBuzz, LuckyFish Games and three other companies.

The fund was raised with equity commitments from global institutional investors that include a significant number of return investors as well as new investors.

"Carmel offers us reliable access to Israeli innovation and we look forward to partnering with them," Daniel Tu, chief innovation officer at financial services group Ping An, one of the new Asian investors in Carmel, said.

China's role in Israel has been growing fast as it offers a large market and source of funding at a time of growing calls, especially in Europe, for a boycott of Israel over its failure to make peace with the Palestinians.

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Carmel Ventures, part of Israeli private equity group Viola, manages over $800 million of capital and is invested in 35 active companies.

(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Jeffrey Heller)