The growth of the Israeli tech ecosystem and that of any robust tech ecosystem for that matter is nearly impossible without venture capital. Capital is the fuel that drives the entrepreneurial engine to build amazing companies who go on to solve major problems. Historically working at a VC was not as glamorous (as the media likes to portray) as building a rocketship startup. Things have changed over the last few years, as this once opaque industry has become more open (along with the explosion of smaller VCs) and diverse.
We’re years away from the early days of the Israeli government-funded Yozma and the nascent days of the Israeli venture scene. Here at Clearview Partners, we’re going to cover the 5 VCs you need to know in Israel for 2018. They’re the young guns of the Israeli venture scene, some of them focus their investment in particular verticals (ex., cyber, agritech) while some are vertical agnostic.
Founded by Israeli ecosystem mainstay Yaron Carni this VC exemplifies both an American and Israeli background. A classic story of an ecosystem influencer who founded the Tel Aviv Angel Group had success and went on to launch a more ambitious endeavor. A people driven VC, their investment style epitomizes a hands approach and an example of how Israeli investors help the growth of the ecosystem by supporting its entrepreneurs. While many investors in Israel are proud of the technological edge (and different VCs have different thesis on what they invest in), Maverick is an excellent example of a VC which understands the importance of a very good team.
With a legacy in developing innovation around agriculture, Israel has become a powerhouse in the agritech space. With the expertise comes investment, in this particular case a fund led by Managing Director Ad Wagman. While impact might be a fluffy word in the Israeli venture ecosystem, investors globally are looking for not just good fiscal returns, but to make a transformational impact with their money. Agritech and food tech are a rapidly growing industry in Israel, and this VC (one of the only funds specifically focused on the space) invests in its entrepreneurs, many of which are hyper-focused on solving real problems which can be scaled globally.
One of the top young guns VCs among the rising up and comers, they’re a VC that understands the importance of partnerships that have a global reach. One of the major endeavors they support is SigmaLabs, one of the stellar accelerators we covered in our last article. Their portfolio companies include the darlings of Israeli growth such as Monday.com and Breezometer a well as the New York-based millennial investment startup Stash. Entree serves as a good example of a VC that plays the role of active ecosystem partner.
A relative newcomer but one which has risen quickly. Part American/part Israeli, this fund is reflective of the crop of Israelis who spent time in the US attending elite schools and working in corporate America. Similar to the mixed DNA of Israeli/American startups based in New York, a firm understanding of both worlds is helping propel the next generation of tech. It is also important and critical to have diversity in venture and tech the lead of this fund is Liron Azrielant Meron capital invests in enterprise software, SaaS, cybersecurity, IT infrastructure, connected devices, fintech and marketing tech. We’re looking forward to seeing where this funds goes.
Glilot Capital is considered (alongside Jerusalem Venture Partners) as one of the top (cyber) funds in Israel and its roots in the elite intelligence units of the IDF. With accolades such top of one of the best performing funds by Preqin and a number of acquisitions, this fund has quickly risen to the top of the Israeli ecosystem. With the rise of cybercrime and daily news of hackings in the headlines this fund’s focus of working with entrepreneurs with a strong focus on technology has gained them of the biggest wins in the Israeli ecosystem.
The Startup Nation, Silicon Wadi is not without its challenges, but it is inspiring to see a new generation of investors who grew up on the Startup Nation narrative, understand the importance of partnerships (both local and international) and are investing in the wave of global tech millennial trends. Stay tuned as we explore further the Israeli ecosystem, and who are the key players and rising stars to know. When looking understand investment landscape in Israel know that Clearview Partners is here to guide you.