(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The founders of Israeli navigation start-up Waze are not the only winners in
their firm’s recent exit acquisition by Internet giant Google for a reported
$1.1 billion. Israeli charitable foundation Tmura benefited to the tune of $1.5
million as well.
Tmura – The Israeli Public Service Venture Fund was
founded in 2002 to increase the involvement of the hi-tech community in nonprofit
The organization, which was modeled after the Entrepreneurs
Foundation that operates in California’s Silicon Valley, receives donations of
equity from Israeli start-ups and Israel-related hi-tech companies during their
In the event of a successful exit, when early investors/employees sell their shares to a new owner, Tmura allocates the
proceeds from the sale of its shares to education and youth-related NGOs in
“Tmura is a model that allows early-stage companies to give back
to the community,” the organization’s executive director Baruch Lipner told The
on Wednesday. “It costs the companies nothing right now [to
donate equity] and it could take years before an exit happens, but if and when
it does, we get that part of the money.”
With Tuesday’s Waze/Google deal,
Tmura has received its biggest infusion of funds yet.
“Everybody is very
excited,” Lipner said. “This is a huge amount of money that will go into the
third sector [the nongovernmental sector] and I think it proves the model, it
proves what Tmura can be.
“It says on our site ‘Share a little upside
with society,’ and that’s exactly what it is,” he added.
Waze deal, Tmura has raised a total of $9m. in its 11 years of
“These are amounts of money that are difficult to get people
to write a check for, but when we do it this way, in the end nobody feels it,
and beyond that, they are happy to know part of the money goes to a good cause,”
Lipner told the Post
Tmura funds NGOs including after-school programs,
youth crisis centers, sports-related charities and organizations dedicated to
children with disabilities.
To date, 289 companies are signed up to
Tmura, which has benefited from 46 successful exits of its donor start-ups so
Tmura has gained exposure over the years and is now mainly
approached by companies via word of mouth within the hitech industry in the
country, Lipner said.
Sixteen companies have signed up with the
initiative in the past two months.