OurCrowd, a leading Israeli venture capital firm, announced Wednesday it has hired the Trump administration's former Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt as a business developer for the region.
The venture firm said the former attorney for the U.S. president will be acting as a partner responsible for "building ties with the Middle East region."
Greenblatt was the architect of Trump's recently unveiled Mideast plan. He worked as the White House's special representative for international negotiations until resigning in October 2019.
He told The Associated Press his focus would be on cultivating investment from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain - all countries that have developed behind-the-scenes relations with Israel in recent years, and who were to be key investors in the economic development side of the Trump's Mideast plan.
"I'm hoping to be able to utilize the platform that I have and connect Israel and the Gulf in a way to continue the momentum that we've seen over the last three years," Greenblatt said.
"They work together on security to a degree. And, you know, there's enough commerce going on in a small way that leads me to believe we're going to see a bigger impact."
OurCrowd is an Israeli platform that allows affluent individuals to invest smaller sums in start-ups that are pooled together with other smaller investors, akin to crowdfunding for venture capital.
Since its launch in 2013, the company says it has raised $1.4 billion in assets for 200 companies and 20 funds, most of them Israeli.
OurCrowd's founder Jon Medved said in a statement that he expects Greenblatt's addition "to open up a new world of opportunities for our growing portfolio of 200+ companies and 20 funds."
Greenblatt spoke at OurCrowd's annual conference in Jerusalem earlier this month. OurCrowd said its February 2020 summit included participants from around the Arab world.
Greenblatt said he would be based out of New York, but his job "will undoubtedly involve a great deal of travel to the region."
Asked on Trump's peace plan, he said that peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the broader Arab world "have always gone hand-in-hand, but they're not necessarily always going to go hand in hand."
"If the Palestinians don't engage on President Trump's peace vision, I still think we're going to see movement between Israel and the region," he said.