Toronto Stock Exchange officials visit Israel to drum up business from local technology companies looking to raise public funds abroad. 

The Toronto Stock Exchange (Mikeinlondon, iStock by Getty Images)

The Nasdaq and the New York Stock exchange may the most aspired-to destinations for many Israeli entrepreneurs, but Canada is now joining Australia in competing for a piece of the pie.

“Israel is second only to California in terms of success in the tech space,” Robert Peterman, VP of global business development of the Toronto Stock Exchange and Venture Exchange, said in an interview with The Times of Israel last week. “If we want to be a relevant tech player,” Israel is the place to be, he said.

Peterman was visiting Israel as part of a 12-member Canadian delegation made up of investment bankers, lawyers and accountants in a bid to drum up business from local technology firms that are looking to raise public funds abroad.

The delegation focused on one-on-one meetings with Israeli firms to raise awareness of Canada’s two-tiered stock market system – the main TSX exchange and its Venture exchange for smaller and riskier technology companies.

A delegation of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) will also be attending meetings in Tel Aviv this week, with a similar agenda, making it the fourth visit by ASX exchange executives to Israel in the past 12 months. Sixteen Israeli companies have listed their shares on the ASX, including eight new listings in 2016 and four this year so far, according to data provided by the ASX, making Israel the country with the fifth-highest number of foreign shares traded on the exchange.

As of end 2016, there were some 94 Israeli companies listed on the Nasdaq, with an aggregate market cap of $70 billion.

“If you are not big enough to go public in the US but you are a growth company that can benefit from doing acquisitions, tapping into investors, the ability to do financing quickly and at a less dilutive rate as you are growing, this is a unique opportunity for you to grow your company,” Peterman said.

Over the last five years Canada, a country blessed with natural resources, has been pivoting its ecosystem around technology, with private equity and VC fund investments rising. Total Canadian VC investment in 2016 totaled $3.2 billion over 530 deals, representing a 41 percent year over year rise in dollars invested, according to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

In addition, the exchange’s tech index, which includes the technology stocks listed on the exchange, “has been the best performing part of our index,” Peterman said. The exchange is now looking to expand its technology offering to investors.

An appetite for technology firms

“Investors are more interested in technologies so our timing is about the growth we are seeing in Canada and the opportunity to take our unique financing capabilities to the world,” said Peterman.

To read the complete Times of Israel article please click here.