An interview with Guy Navon, Head of Discount Tech.
Israel Discount Bank launched Discount Tech, a corporate banking arm dedicated to the high tech industry. Discount Tech’s services are tailored for the high-tech world and supported by a team equipped with a deep understanding of the high tech ecosystem and of founder's needs.
Banks and startups are very different entities in so many ways but need each other. How do you bridge the gap?
Banks today acknowledge that they must level up when working with clients in high tech. The banking industry, in general has faced a radical transformation and restructuring, and Discount Group in particular is prepared for banking in the future and delivers a new standard of service.
At Discount Tech we fully understand the needs of tech founders. They run a fast paced company, and seek to reduce background noise and expect to receive a different kind of service that is tailored to their unique needs.
Can you give us some examples of that?
Let’s break it into 2 parts: Banking services and venture debt*. Regarding banking services and similar to the approach of a VC, we have a professional team equipped with the expertise that is essential for providing excellent service to our clients. In house, we have our own compliance officer who streamlines processes to ensure investments and payments from overseas are deposited in our clients' accounts
quickly with little hassle.
We also connect each startup with a trusted portfolio manager, their own dedicated "person at the bank". The portfolio manager lives and breathes the tech ecosystem, meeting with startups each week and is aware of the startup terminology. They have experience and are familiar with the journey that startups take from inception through growth and on to a potential IPO or exit. This is a game-changer.
We strongly believe our ‘startup within Discount’ approach is exactly the answer. We’re fast, we’re familiar with startups’ needs and wishes, and our mission is to help more and more Israeli tech companies grow
Now let’s talk about debt. Over recent years, the startup scene has grown and matured. More and more startups are getting acquired, companies are growing into corporations, the market has changed its mindset from ‘quick wins’ to long term strategy. Similarly, the financing mechanisms have changed as well and today it's much more accepted in the industry to receive funding that is not equitybased. Though venture capital funding doesn't need to be paid back, it does require major
dilution from the founders who are often left with a smaller chunk of their company. So
today, we see more and more companies in the A+ stage, balancing equity rounds with debt. We at Discount Tech have a variety of debt products that help startups with their growth strategies; MRR revolving credit facilities, AR revolving credit facilities, Venture Lending, and others.
Besides that, the Discount Group supports startups and the ecosystem in other ways. The Bank's investment arm, Discount Capital directly invests in startups, we partner with fintech companies that expand our product offerings for our retail and corporate clients, and our wholly owned subsidiary, IDB Bank, enables clients to expand their banking services in the US.
What do you think is your role in the ecosystem?
Startup founders today demand an inclusive approach that is tailored to their needs. Our role is to be that someone who understands them and their unique industry, and a partner that has the ability to truly support their journey.
We strongly believe our ‘startup within Discount’ approach is exactly the answer. We’re fast, we’re familiar with startups’ needs and wishes, and our mission is to help more and more Israeli tech companies grow.
* Failure to repay the loan may result in interest charges for late payments and enforcement proceedings.
Guy Navon is Head of Discount Tech.
Team. We are team of professionals, each an expert in their own domain, working closely with high tech companies and ventures capitals, bringing years of experience from the finance and business world. Our industry and business expertise helps us on our mission to support promising companies, and provide them with financial solutions that will help them on their journey to growth.
Dana Zilberman, Liat Skok, Ayelet Blumental - Portfolio Management
Dana Ferder Sapani - Business Development
Rinat Shafrut - Compliance
Lidor Cohen - Financial Analysis
Photos by Omer Levy