00:10 GMT +320 July 2019
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    Israel's national intelligence agency Mossad hopes its new venture fund to invest in tech start-ups will help it stay abreast of the latest developments.

    Israel's notorious spy agency Mossad has set up an investment fund for tech start-ups, which it hopes will help Israeli intelligence stay in the know about the most important tech advances.

    The fund consists exclusively of Mossad's own money and will give the agency the right to use the tech products of companies it has invested in, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported.

    Israeli state agencies have a history of participation in corporate ventures. For example, the Rafael defense technology company cooperated with Elron to invest in cyber and intelligence start-ups.

    Israel has been dubbed "Start-up Nation" thanks to the amount of high-tech companies which have been founded there. Close links to the US, as well as capital investment from the government and Jews living overseas, have enabled Israeli companies to flourish in high-tech industries.

    Back in the 1990s, the Israeli government launched an entrepreneurial fund to foster startups, and today Israel's Office of the Chief Scientist uses its annual budget of $450 million to offer up to 85 percent of seed funding for close to 200 incubated companies a year.

    The Israeli high-tech industry has also received a boost from the spread of funding platforms. Last year, Israeli private high-tech companies raised an all-time high of $4.8 billion, up 11 percent from the $4.3 billion raised in 2015.


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    startup, tech companies, spy, Mossad, Israel
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