Ashdod Port Company to directly invest in start-ups to boost technological growth

Ashdod Port Company to directly invest in start-ups to boost technological growth
Ashdod Port

Ashdod Port Company’s board of directors have decided to directly invest in a variety of start-ups to allow for investment in technological companies in the blue-tech field.

In the first phase of investment the company’s board of directors has approved an amount of up to ILS10m (US$3m) in 2022.

Orna Hozman Bechor, chairman of the board of Ashdod Port, said: “We feel like we breached the dam into a developing world of technology and innovation, as we continue to gallop forward with the approval of direct investment of 10m shekels in select start-ups.

“Ashdod Port’s board of directors approved an extraordinary step of integrating technologies in the port’s daily operations, while offering dozens of start-up companies an opportunity to be the next success story.”

Ashdod Port Company is establishing a “technological incubator” of which these start-ups will be a part of, serving as a future growth engine for the company which is preparing for increased competition with the opening of two new ports.

The initiative will make Ashdod Port a shareholder in the start-up companies, with the number of shares held dependent on the amount of the investment.

Ashdod Port’s objective is to invest in start-up companies at an early stage, making investments in companies that offer strategic and logistical technological solutions that will be useful to the port in the areas of operations, cyber, energy, security and more.

Among the main conditions of the plan that was approved by the port’s board of directors is the option to hold up to 20% of a start-up’s shares through investment in a company whose primary activity and objectives relate to the port’s core operations.

The start-up must also have an existing product or technology, or one that is at least in pilot phases; whereas the purpose of the investment is to ultimately implement the technology at Ashdod Port.

Each start-up that is reviewed will undergo valuation and the economic feasibility of investment in the company will be examined.

Bechor continued: “We have become trailblazers, leading the way for other ports; and we intend to be leaders in the field of technological innovation.

“Direct investment in start-ups is just one more step in implementing the strategy that will make Ashdod Port competitive as an innovative and efficient port, while offering an international level of service.”

Ashdod Port has been working hard for the last two years to integrate over 40 start-ups in the company’s daily activities.

It has also recently published a tender to select an international accelerator, wherein the company that is selected will create an incubator for ten additional start-ups.