Google announces US$8M support for AI firms and startups in Israel

The Israel-Hamas war, which commenced on October 7, has created a challenging landscape for businesses, leading Google to step in and provide crucial financial support.

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Courtesy: ANI

In a groundbreaking move, Google, the Alphabet-owned tech giant, has announced a substantial investment of US$8 million aimed at supporting both Israeli AI firms and Palestinian businesses. This strategic move was unveiled on Wednesday.

The Need for Financial Support

Google's decision to inject US$8 million into the ecosystem stems from a recognition of the pressing need for small companies, especially startups, to secure financing during times of conflict. The Israel-Hamas war, which commenced on October 7, has created a challenging landscape for businesses, leading Google to step in and provide crucial financial support.

Israeli AI Startups: A Boost from Google

Google's US$4 million support fund is specifically earmarked for AI startups in Israel. This injection of funds is in addition to the Israel Innovation Authority's emergency fund, established to assist companies with a ‘short runway’ of financing, limited to six months. In a statement, Google expressed concern over the struggles faced by Israeli startups in raising capital from investors and emphasized the urgency of financial bridging to ensure their continued operation.

Empowering Palestinian Businesses

Recognizing the economic challenges faced by Palestinian startups and businesses, Google has allocated the remaining US$4 million of its investment to support early-stage Palestinian ventures. This initiative aims to provide a lifeline to businesses grappling with the aftermath of the conflict, ensuring their continuity in a challenging economic environment.

Google's Hands-On Approach

Google's commitment goes beyond financial aid. The tech giant has offered to maximize the potential success of around 20 startups, focusing on AI solutions and services. The exact number and size of the grants will be determined based on the requests received, highlighting Google's personalized and hands-on approach to nurturing innovation.

Collaboration for Palestinian Economic Stability

In collaboration with local and global non-profit organizations, Google will extend its support to 1,000 Palestinian small businesses. Loans and grants will be provided to facilitate their recovery, with an additional focus on seeding grants for 50 tech startups in Palestinian areas. The overarching goal is to safeguard existing jobs and create new employment opportunities, benefitting around 4,500 Palestinians.

Beyond Financial Aid: Google's Philanthropy

Google's philanthropic efforts extend beyond financial aid for businesses. The company has donated millions of dollars to Israeli emergency efforts and humanitarian relief support in Gaza. This multi-faceted approach underscores Google's commitment to making a positive impact on communities affected by conflict.