IDE and De Beers – Investing In a Technological FutureJune 22, 17
Quite a coincidence this week with both the Israel Diamond Exchange and De Beers announcing high-tech initiatives. Clearly both organizations are looking for a better place to park their money to bring both financial and technological benefits for their 'shareholders'.
The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) announced the opening of a Diamond Tech Innovation Center, a technological incubator for Israeli and overseas diamond-related start-ups. Diamond Tech will provide a home and financial support for start-ups that are in the initial stages of development, the IDE explained.
The IDE plans to promote new technologies for diamonds beyond gems and jewelry with the initiative. This would include the use of diamonds in industrial platforms, robotics, semi-conductors, medical technologies, space technology, as well as software, finance, and B2B and B2C marketing platforms.
IDE is partnering with Sarine, the Israel-based world leader in developing technologies for the diamond industry and the Hennig Diamond group, which has an international investment arm specializing in diamond technologies. As IDE President Yoram Dvash said, "We made a strategic decision to establish the Diamond Tech Innovation Center because we are convinced that the diamond industry must advance technologically. Since Israel is a world leader in technology – with over 1,500 new start-ups established every year – we are in a perfect position to take the lead in this. We will harness the energy and creativity of the Start-Up Nation for the good of our industry. The Israel Diamond Exchange will invest all of its resources to ensure the success of these start-ups and their contribution to the diamond industry."
And then, on Thursday, the De Beers Group announced the creation of De Beers Ventures to actively consider the acquisition of minority equity stakes in start-ups and growth companies. The new initiative will consider small investments in areas that may include downstream distribution, consumer brands, marketing platforms, security, cutting and polishing, and imaging technologies. The objectives of the investments will be to generate returns that are both strategic and financial.
Tom Montgomery, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, De Beers Group, said: “Not all good ideas can be generated or executed by a large corporation. We believe that harnessing the energy of entrepreneurs to pursue strategic opportunities that benefit De Beers and the diamond industry can be a cost-effective, risk-reduced way to pursue innovation.”
With diamonds set to play an increasingly important role in a range of technological applications, investment in such technologies makes perfect sense. And it is likely to also do the reputation of the diamond trade a great deal of good with the wider public once such technologies take off and it is reported that the seed money came from diamond-related organizations.