Alibaba taps Israeli VC investment



CHINESE e-commerce company Alibaba Group is investing in the funds of Jerusalem Venture Partners, one of Israel’s leading venture capital groups.

JVP managing partner Kobi Rozengarten announced the investment yesterday during the firm’s annual meeting, without giving details.

The Calcalist financial newspaper said on its website that the investment totaled tens of millions of dollars.

JVP has nearly US$1 billion under management.

Calcalist said the investment was Alibaba’s first in a venture capital fund.

Around 20 officials from Alibaba are in Israel this week to meet with JVP and attend a cybersecurity technology meeting.

In January, Alibaba invested in Visualead, its first investment in an Israeli company. The startup specializes in barcode technology that can be scanned by mobile phones.

JVP has realized several successful investments in cybersecurity, including the initial public offering on Nasdaq last year of CyberArk Software.

This month, eBay’s online payments firm PayPal bought cybersecurity startup CyActive, in which JVP invested.

JVP also backed CyOptics, later sold to US chipmaker Avago for US$400 million.