Dan Goldstein and Yaki Dunietz, in a conference in Orlando, FL, 1998

Dan Goldstein (right) and Yaki Dunietz, Orlando, Fl. 1998

Dan Goldstein is a pioneer of the Israeli Software Industry, who operates through publicly traded companies such as Formula Systems, which he sold in 2006, and Formula Vision Technologies, which he controls and manages to this day. Goldstein founded, developed and invested in companies such as Formula Software Services, Matrix Software Solutions, Sapiens International Corporation, Magic Software Enterprises, Babylon, Walla! Communications and many others. Goldstein serves as Chairman of The Public Companies Association in Israel. He is married for the second time to Keren Yehezkeli, and has two children from each marriage.

Early History

Dan Goldstein was born in Bucharest, Romania on June 19th, 1954. He immigrated to Israel with his family in 1960, and has lived there ever since. Goldstein displayed an outstanding talent for Mathematics, and after completing his first degree in Computer Science and Mathematics and a Masters degree in Business Administration, as well as a full military service, he studied for a Phd in Mathematics. However, in the middle of writing his Doctoral thesis on distributed networks, he changed course and founded Formula Software Services in 1980, providing professional software services to Israeli customers. By 1985 he expanded to other areas such as software products and consulting, and in 1985 he founded Formula Systems (1985) Ltd., as a holding corporation for his software products, services and consulting activities. In 1988 he acquired control of a publicly traded company named "Eichut Computers", which he turned into the communications arm of the developing Formula Group. He later acquired "Idan Inc.", a public company traded on Nasdaq[1], and nominated Ami Harel as its CEO. This company pioneered the developing Israeli communications market in the late 80s and early 90s of the 20th Century, preceding the accelerated regulation of overseas voice and data communication. As the group grew, Goldstein formulated an investment strategy of specialization in software products and services for vertical markets. He acquired controlling interests in a number of young companies, such as Applicom, a software house for Mini Computers, Wiztech, which specialized in Billing, and Crystal, which specialized in large conversion projects. By 1990 Goldstein established the position of Formula Systems as a leading software group in Israel. He founded Foraz, the first Israeli Venture Capital Fund, together with Liraz, a publicly traded company headed by Arik Kilman. Goldstein later acquired Liraz's share in the fund, and later acquired control of Liraz itself.[2]

The 1990s

The last decade of the 2nd millennium was abundant with many acquisitions of technology companies, as well as Initial Public Offerings of more mature companies in the Formula Group. Goldstein acquired a Telecom billing company headed by Amos Sivan and changed its name to Formula Telecom Solutions (FTS), Acquired an insurance software company headed by Zeev Alon and renamed it Formula Insurance Solutions (FIS), a retail software company called "Az-Ben", which he renamed Formula Retail Solutions (FRS), and a Travel solutions company headed by Menahem Shaked, which he named Formula Travel Solutions. He also acquired Nikuv Computers, one of the first publicly traded software services companies in Israel specializing in Salary calculation, which owned a prevalent ERP system for small and medium clients. Throughout this decade, some of Goldstein's earlier investments have reached a size which justified public offerings, and raised funds on The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the AIM market in London, and on Nasdaq: Crystal Software Solutions and Wiztech (later wholly acquired by Convergys were the first two greatly successful offerings, followed by ForSoft, the traditional Software Services arm of the group throughout the 90s. Goldstein's holding company, Formula Systems also started trading on Nasdaq. He also founded a new Venture Capital Fund, Formula Ventures headed by Shay Beilis, and acquired a controlling interest in Sapiens.

Acquisition of The Mashov Group

In 1998 Goldstein acquired control of the Mashov Group. This publicly traded group of technology companies headed by Yaki Dunietz and David Assia, consisted of established businesses such as Magic Software Enterprises, Babylon, Paradigm Geophysical and Walla! Communications. This acquisition, combined with the effects of the technology bubble which resulted in high evaluations of technology companies, brought The Formula Group to evaluations exceeding a Billion Dollars. In February 2000, Goldstein led a secondary public offering of Magic Software Enterprises on Nasdaq, raising over $100 Million, at a valuation of $750 million. During this period, Goldstein partnered and worked with major players in the world of finance, such as Deutsche Bank, Citibank, and all major Israeli investment banks, Mezzanine funds such as FIMI, Shamrock (Disney's investment arm), Discount Investments and many more. By the end of the millennium, Goldstein was by far the most prominent technology-oriented entrepreneur in Israel.[3]

The 2000s

In March 2000, one month after Magic Software's successful secondary offering for a record evaluation, the technology bubble started to burst. Apart from the companies included in the Mashov portfolio, Goldstein didn't own Internet companies, and was not heavily invested in the technology craze which characterized the late 90s. Still, the steep decline in evaluations of many publicly traded group members badly affected its financial situation.[4] Goldstein decided to reorganize, and entirely changed the corporate structure of the group he controlled. He consolidated and simplified the complicated multi-level corporate structure, which was a half arbitrary result of many historical and fiscal reasons. Formula Systems remained the top level holding company, with 3 distinct holdings: Matrix (formerly Forsoft), which merged and acquired all wholly owned group members which were synergetic with its business (including education companies such as John Bryce and Sivan, hardware companies such as 2D, Syntech, software companies such as Applicom)[5], Magic Software Enterprises, and Formula Vision (formerly Mashov Computers). This reorganization also included sale of holdings (e.g., Walla! Communications and Paradigm Geophysical, both mature holdings acquired with the Mashov Group) which were minority holdings, or not synergetic with other group activities.[6]

In parallel, Goldstein attempted to bring in new investors into the group. One such attempt in 2001-2002 has failed[7], because the investor turned out to be a unfunded and unfounded roll up operation. In 2004, Goldstein decided to bring in an equal partner for the first time. Control of the Formula Group was transferred to Fimgold, a partnership between Goldstein and the FIMI opportuniti fund, headed by Ishay Davidi. This move was intended to "contribute to and upgrade the Company’s operations, help in the crystallization of the Company’s new strategy, and at the end of the day will add value to the Company’s shareholders".[8][9] In the years that followed, Goldstein found himself torn between his two roles: Leading a publicly-traded corporate pyramid, namely Formula systems, while leading a group of young, promising yet struggling companies in the portfolio of Formula Vision. The resolution came in 2006, when Fimgold received an offer from Emblaze, another public company, run by Guy Bernstein. Emblaze acquired Formula in December of that year, and Goldstein parted from the company he founded and managed for 25 years, in favor of a de-facto start-up incubator, namely Formula Vision. This bold move to opt for a new beginning rather than rely on a secure past, was consistent with his personal life in the same years. He remarried and had two new boys, born in 2005 and 2007.

Public Office

Since 2000, Goldstein has been Chairman of The Public Companies Association in Israel. As such, he is very involved in legislation and public debate over issues pertaining to subjects such as corporate governance, financial regulation, reporting and accounting standards. He is a demanded speaker in panels, typically representing corporate business interests. Goldstein also serves on the Israeli Advisory Boards of TAU Recanati, the Recanati Business School in Tel Aviv University,[10] and of The Merage Foundation for U.S-Israel Trade.[11] Goldstein also served as The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Tel Aviv Academic College of Engineering.[12]


  1. Goldberg and Alfassy (August 29, 2001). Goldstein.. to buy control of Liraz Group. Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  2. Press Release. (April 2, 1992). Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  3. Efi Landau (December 23, 1999). The Midas Touch. Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  4. The Marker (March 1, 2001). Goldstein's Y2K Bug. Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  5. Press Release. (November 14, 2002). Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  6. Zvi Rubins (February 24, 2000). Interview. Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  7. Shai Shalev and Nir Goldberg (August 29, 2001). Goldstein Selling Formula to Iscal. Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  8. Press Release. (December 29, 2004). Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  9. Press Release. wikinvest. Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  10. Advisory Board, TAU Recanati. Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  11. Advisory Board, Merage Foundation. Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
  12. Board of Trustees, Tel Aviv Academic College for Engineering. Retrieved on June 18, 2012.
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