Blackstone opens Israel office, hires VC veteran for growth deals

 Blackstone opens Israel office, hires VC veteran for growth deals

Blackstone Group Inc has set up an office in Tel Aviv and appointed Yifat Oron to head its local operations, as the global alternative investment firm scouts for growth-stage deals in Israel.

Oron will be a senior managing director and head the firm’s growth equity business—Blackstone Growth—in Israel, the New York-listed private equity firm said in a statement.

She will report to Dan Gillerman, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations who has served as Blackstone’s senior advisor in the country since 2013. Gillerman will now be designated chairman of Blackstone Israel.

Oron has more than two decades of experience in technology, venture capital, banking and consulting. Most recently, she was the chief executive officer at LeumiTech, the banking arm of Leumi Group.

Before she joined LeumiTech, Oron spent most of her career as a partner at Vertex Venture Capital and served on the boards of three companies—Leadspace, Aternity and SolarEdge. She has also worked JP Morgan Chase and the Israeli defence ministry previously.

The appointment comes a little more than a month after Blackstone finished fundraising for its maiden growth equity investment vehicle after hitting a hard cap of $4.5 billion.

Blackstone Growth is the largest first-time growth equity private fund raised ever, the PE firm said at the time.

The fund’s focus sectors include financial services, enterprise and consumer technologies, healthcare, and consumer.

Since it began investing in 2020, the fund has backed online dating company Bumble, oat milk maker Oatly and Epidemic Sound, which provides restriction-free music to internet content creators.

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Aman Malik

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