(Bloomberg) – Jason Greenblatt is launching a blockchain and crypto technology investment fund in Israel, joining other former Trump administration officials who have launched financial firms with ties to the Middle East.
Greenblatt, one of the key figures in former US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, is launching Silver Stone Global Partners alongside Danny Ayalon, Israel’s former ambassador to the US, and ‘Uri Gutman, Israel’s former ambassador to South Korea. The team also includes tech entrepreneur Lior Maimon under the umbrella of Silver Road Capital Group.
Silver Stone has raised around $40 million so far and is targeting an initial funding round of $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the matter is private.
“Marrying the Israeli tech scene with blockchain gives us a tremendous opportunity,” Greenblatt said in an interview. “I think the diplomatic experience we have helps differentiate us from other players.”
Israel is already home to several of the fastest growing companies and funds operating in the crypto space.
In January, Fireblocks Inc. raised $550 million at an $8 billion valuation in a Series E funding round led by D1 Capital Partners and Spark Capital. The Bank of Israel, which has dabbled in Ether, is conducting technical studies on the feasibility of offering its own version of digital currency.
Prior to joining the White House, Greenblatt was in-house legal counsel at the Trump Organization. Other former Trump administration officials have already leveraged their connections in the Middle East to create new business ventures.
Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised around $2.5 billion last year, mostly from Gulf sovereign wealth funds. Trump’s son-in-law and former senior adviser Jared Kushner has also requested support from government-controlled funds in the region.
Roy Ramon, a former investor at Intel Capital, will co-lead the fund, which also intends to focus on deep technology.
He said around 70% of the portfolio will be concentrated in Israel while also targeting investments in Europe, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.
“We try to identify the intrinsic value that can generate income rather than bypassing trendy investments like Dogecoin,” Ramon said. “There is a very unique range of businesses on our radar.”
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