Saudi Arabia will invest millions of dollars in Israeli startups, and has selected the first two Israeli companies for investment, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
The investments will occur through a new private equity fund set up by Jared Kushner, son-in-law of former U.S. President Donald Trump who served as a senior advisor and envoy to the Middle East for the Trump administration.
“Affinity Partners, which has raised more than $3 billion, including a $2 billion commitment from the kingdom’s sovereign-wealth fund, has already selected the first two Israeli firms to invest in,” said the report.
The Saudi investment decision reflects a further warming of the unofficial ties between Riyadh and Jerusalem, according to the report.
Israeli business daily Globes stated that the Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund has also invested in the private equity fund of former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, adding that Mnuchin’s fund has invested in Israeli startups operating in the United States, such as Zimperium and Cybereason, which have agreements with the U.S. Department of Defense.
“While Mnuchin’s fund has invested in Israeli companies through their U.S. subsidiaries, Kushner’s fund is expected to go one step further and invest Saudi money directly in Israeli companies—a symbolic measure that demonstrates the readiness of Saudi Arabia to be a part of the Israeli economy,” said Globes.