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The Israeli Women VCs Taking on Blockchain

The following article was originally published in LadyGlobes Magazine print and online editions Mor Assia and Shelly Hod Moyal say theirs is the venture capital fund of the future  – and a 300% return is hard to argue with. “This technology is no less revolutionary than was the invention of electricity. Our generation grew up […]

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The following article was originally published in LadyGlobes Magazine print and online editions

Mor Assia and Shelly Hod Moyal say theirs is the venture capital fund of the future  – and a 300% return is hard to argue with.

“This technology is no less revolutionary than was the invention of electricity. Our generation grew up with the Internet revolution, but we can already see that the Internet industry is gradually switching to the next revolution: blockchain,” says entrepreneur Mor Assia. Together with Shelly Hod Moyal, she founded the iAngels venture capital investment platform, and the two women launched a fund for investments in blockchain two months ago, after realizing that this was a technological revolution likely to change the financial world, and other things as well.

Blockchain is a system for processing digital currency deals, based on a distributed and encrypted database. What is new about this technology is that it facilitates payments without a central entity (such as a bank or credit card company) supervising the transfers and controlling the database. The system is based on a communications network in which each of the parties is both a customer and a server, and there are no intermediaries between them.

The technology, which is based on “blocks” of deals, is designed for use in a range of industries. Last year alone, blockchain startups raised over $2 billion worldwide. This mighty stream naturally also drew in Israeli investors who spotted the opportunity, with Assia and Moyal among the leaders. They are in fact local pioneers in this red hot sector, which is still relatively virgin ground for investors. The new fund that they founded has already invested $15 million in seven startups.

“We started investing in companies operating in the sector because we realized that there are many funds that are afraid of it because of its controversial reputation. Many companies could not even manage to open a bank account in order to pay salaries, because the banks put spokes in the wheels of entrepreneurs in this field. Entrepreneurs founded offshore companies in order to remain beyond the regulators’ radar, and tried to build interesting technology with extremely limited resources.”

“So far, the fund has a 300% return,” says Moyal. “Such opportunities come along once in a lifetime. It’s risky, volatile, and can go down. We have already experienced sharp dips. This is a crazy world. My husband (Cyhawk Ventures general partner Kfir Moyal, R.K.) sometimes tells me, ‘I can’t talk to you; stop talking about blockchain.’ My whole day revolves around it; it’s addictive.”

“We invented a new animal”

Moyal, 34, has a strong financial background. Before founding iAngels, she worked as a financial consultant at the UBS investment bank, then as an analyst for the Avenue Capital hedge fund in New York, and later as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs Israel. Assia, 36, served in the IDF’s elite intelligence unit 8200 (Israel’s NSA), and has a BSc in mathematics and computer science from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and an MBA from Columbia University. Before founding iAngels, she worked at SAP, IBM, and Amdocs Ltd.

Moyal and Assia met by complete accident a decade ago in New York at a party held by mutual friends. They hit it off immediately, and have not parted since. They returned to Israel at around the same time, gave birth around the same time, and when they were on maternity leave, each of them did her own soul searching, and reassessed her career.

Thus was their venture capital investment platform born four years ago, based on a crowd financing model in which investors from all over the world can take part in a financial opportunity that would ordinarily be closed to them by investing $10,000. “We have raised $100 million at iAngels to date, and have invested in more than 100 startups. We invented a new animal. We’re actually creating the venture capital fund of the future,” Assia explains. “Entrepreneurs can operate with a single investment concern, instead of being split among various firms, while on the other hand benefiting from a connection to a network of investors from all over the world.” iAngel’s network of investors includes 1,000 people from 50 different countries.

“Globes”: How long did it take you between spotting the potential and founding the blockchain fund?

Moyal: “We started investing in blockchain startups over two years ago, but it took time for things to get going. The feeling was that it was taking more time than people expected. About 10 months ago, I realized that something was going to happen. I felt a very significant change was about to occur with the potential to change the world. It was a moment of inspiration. I knew that this was it, that it was coming now. It was very exciting for me. I haven’t experienced such a sense of conviction as I felt at that moment for a long time.

“It usually takes 12-18 months to found a fund by the time you do all the auditing, especially when you’re dealing with a new asset. We did it in seven months, and we were among the first to establish such a fund, which shows something. This doesn’t mean that we now understand exactly what’s happening in this industry. Everyone is as a point at which they’re preparing themselves for every possibility.”

This is the place to mention the close connection between blockchain and the digital currency stirring up the market – bitcoin. This currency, which has been soaring in recent months, with the price reaching a record $20,000 for a single bitcoin during December, exposed blockchain technology to the world. Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently referred to bitcoin, saying, “Will the banks disappear in the future? The answer is yes. Will it happen tomorrow? Will it happen because of bitcoin? That is the question.”

“I agree with a lot of what Netanyahu said. The banking world will undergo a transformation, and the role of the bank will change,” Moyal says. “Bitcoin was created in response to the 2008 financial crisis as an expression of rebellion against the authorities printing money and diluting its value for us, the average citizens, in order to save huge irresponsible companies.

“If bitcoin becomes a substitute for gold, as many speculators are hypothesizing, the value of bitcoin currency could reach $300,000 much more quickly than people think.

“There is a libertarian and anti-establishment kernel in the community that uses the currency, similar to the free-of-charge software culture in the 1990s. This community has strong anti-commercial and anti-establishment values. Despite the dominant commercial aspect, there’s something deeply ideological here.”

Is blockchain an expression of a world in which consumers try to break free of the corporations’ chains?

Assia: “The center of power is passing to the consumers, and they want to be the ones who decide. Consumers are demanding transparency, immediacy, added value, and autonomy in relation to their money. A consumer who has already been exposed to cryptographic (digital) currencies usually wants to increase exposure to these financial assets, and is not inclined to convert them back to ordinary currencies. A new market has been created here of consumers who do not consume services from the conventional banking system.”

How will it change the financial world?

Moyal: “Blockchain infrastructure enables people to cooperate, conduct deals, and trade directly, almost free of charge, and without any prior knowledge. This infrastructure is already partially available to us through the banking systems, some of which will become superfluous when blockchain penetrates the market in depth. This doesn’t mean that the banks will disappear, but it certainly means that their role, as we know it today, is going to change. Blockchain will do to the financial and regulatory system what the Internet did to the media and advertising companies.”

Everyone wants bitcoin

Moyal has a simple clear answer to the question of why companies are issuing new digital currencies: “The capital market is broken. Companies don’t want to offer shares on the stock exchange now; they prefer to remain private companies. The offering process is lengthy, expensive, bureaucratic, and involves a lot of exposure. Trading volumes on stock exchanges are falling, while a multi-billion dollar trade is now taking place in digital currencies. For example, if a company wants to raise capital from investors all over the world, each of whom will invest $50,000, it can’t do it through an offering on the stock exchange. Blockchain is giving companies options for a global offering.”

What is the average profile of a blockchain investor?

Assia: “Most of the money in the industry today comes from a few dozen billionaires who made a great deal of money from bitcoin, and are seeking to enrich their portfolio with other types of currencies. At the same time, new investors are entering the market every day.”

Moyal: “It’s terribly difficult to characterize the new investors, because they are people from all walks of life – even my babysitter asked me how to buy bitcoin – which adds another layer of risk. I get calls from a lot of people who want to take part in what’s happening. Almost everyone I know bought bitcoins in the past month.

“This market has passed the $500 billion mark, and we’re seeing a major rise in prices at a time when the technology is not yet being used in our daily lives. Its value has risen far more than the value it delivers right now, so you have to be cautious. Everyone has to sit and think about what is appropriate for him or her, because the market can go down the same way it’s going up now. We have already invested in currencies that have fallen 80%, then went back up even more.

“On the other hand, there’s something exciting about this, like the first Internet technology revolution. There are things here that have always have always attracted the most brilliant minds, talented entrepreneurs, and big investors. We’re investing in infrastructure technologies that we believe can survive a crash.”

Can we already speak of a bubble in the digital currencies market?

Assia: “Like the Internet revolution and the dot.com bubble that burst in the late 1990s, there are also signs of a bubble now in blockchain. There’s hype, there’s fear of missing the boat, and there’s a gold rush. People hear success stories about those who invested in bitcoin six or seven years ago, when it was worth less than a dollar, and the currency has since increased its value thousands of times over, and they think that if they invest in a new digital currency, maybe it will succeed like bitcoin. Even when the bubble deflates, a lot of good successful companies stay successful, and there are important companies that will probably remain stable.”

How is an investment in a blockchain company different from an investment in an internet startup?

Moyal: “Here, you don’t invest in a company; you invest in a network, and you buy a token, not a share. In a company, a shareholder has rights, such as voting rights and profit rights. You don’t have those rights in blockchain; you’re in the same boat as the entrepreneurs, the users, and the other investors. It’s like investing in a cooperative economy, and this technology has enormous potential.”

The level of information security of the blockchain platform also carries risks. For example, due to the anonymity of the platform, it is also useful for criminals, who use it as a convenient refuge for realizing dubious businesses. “There were recent cases of a digital currency offering in which money was stolen during the offering,” Assia says. “It happened because a hacker planted a wrong digital address on the website of the company making the offering, and participants in the offering unknowingly transferred their participation money to that address. This is another good reason for investors who are not well acquainted with this market to avoid taking part in offerings that have not been checked out, and where steps have not been taken to prevent any possibility of such a situation occurring.”

Is there way of making sure that the companies offering a digital currency fulfill their obligations to the buyers?

Assia: “You can ask exactly the same question about an investment in a startup that has only a prototype product, and wants to raise $1 million. How do we know that the entrepreneurs won’t take the money and go to the beach? That’s why we conduct due diligence before any investment, assess the entrepreneurial team, and also test the sentiment in the blockchain community towards that startup. Where companies that already have a beta product are concerned, we meet with the teams and see how the product works and who’s working there. If we believe in the product, we expect its value to rise after the ICO.”

“I got my life back”

“When we founded the fund, we came into it with a lot of naivte,” Moyal says. “We thought that we’d set up a website, do marketing on Facebook, and people would come and invest $1,000, but it doesn’t work like that. Building a business is a challenge. You have to build networks of relationships and trust with people. We began everything from the cellar of my home. Every morning, we thought, ‘What will we do today?’, and set targets for ourselves.”

You left a comfortable job with a safe income for your business.

Moyal: “Before I became self-employed, I worked around the clock. It was normal to go home at midnight. When I gave birth, I got my life back. I gained perspective; it opened me to the world. I realized that this was an opportunity to take my life to the next stage. I took time out to ask myself what I wanted to leave behind me as a legacy. These are acute points in life at which you can do soul searching.”

Entrepreneurship is a gamble that takes courage. Weren’t you afraid?

“At the beginning, we worked without any capital. We slowly began to build a product. It was difficult to raise the first investment capital. We did a pitch and went all around the industry. We met with Gigi Levy-Weiss. He didn’t know us, and it took a long time for him to free up time for us. I remember that at the end of the meeting, after we spoke of the vision and the dream, he said, ‘Good, I’ll invest.’ We were in shock. We asked how much, and he said, ‘$50,000.’ We were so excited that someone believed in us and wanted to invest in us. We raised $300,000 more immediately afterwards, and got going. As we see it, above all we’re entrepreneurs.”

Are you entrepreneurs or investors?

“Both. When we’re taking to entrepreneurs, we can connect with them on a different level, because we know what they’re going through. They appreciate us being on the same level as they are, and see in us the hunger and the ability to take on board and understand situations.”

Over the past four years, the two women have managed to expand their families as well as their business. Assia has four children (the youngest is five weeks old), and Moyal has three. “There’s a division of labor between us in births,” Assia laughs. “When one of us is on maternity leave, the other works like crazy.”

“I met my spouse when we were 20. I saw a lot of women in New York who said, ‘We’re spending 10 years on a career now, and then we’ll invest 10 years in a family.” From my point of view, it can’t work like that. That’s even truer in high tech, where you can’t even take six months off. So there’s no choice; you have to do things simultaneously. There’s private life and there’s work, and we run 200 kilometers on two tracks simultaneously. We’re deeply into this. We live, dream, and even think all day how to make the business grow.

“This juggling act of doing it all – both raising three or four children and putting all of ourselves into entrepreneurship – is non-stop insanity and adrenalin. In one week, I experience several super-amazing and super challenging things all at the same time, and it makes me mentally tough. We’ve learned to cope and acquire talents that help us deal with the life of an entrepreneur.”

What, for example?

“Staying cool. If you were to take me back four years and tell me to deal with the situations I face today, I wouldn’t be ready for it. We’ve learned to keep on top of the things that happen to us. Even if there’s a very difficult day at work, we’re able to put it aside and be with our families, and even to sleep at night.”

The average exit

Assia’s father, Amdocs cofounder Dr. Daniel Keret, and Moyal’s husband, Kfir Moyal, cofounder of the Matomy media company, are on the board of directors. Assia’s husband, Yoni Assia, son of Magic Software founder David Assia and cofounder of the eToro investment platform, is also closely accompanying iAngel’s growth.

How is your activity today different from the way you started?

Assia: “Over the past year, we have become a leading investor in the early rounds of startups, and the volume of our activity has grown. While we formerly invested up to $500,000 in a company, today we are already investing $2-3 million. Since we started by working on a joint investment model, many entrepreneurs in the industry are still unaware that we can invest $2 million in a startup. The investments we led over the past year, however, have had an impact around us, and the industry is starting to realize that we can lead financing rounds.”

Moyal: “95% of the companies that iAngels have invested in to date are still active. Five companies in which we invested have already had an exit, and 30 more have had a round-up – another financing round at a value higher than the one at which we invested. In addition to that, we have enabled our investors to sell their investments in four portfolio companies between the first and second financing rounds at returns of 2.5-5 times in a year. We have other companies in advanced stages of being sold.”

Move, and quickly

iAngel’s profit model is based on a 2% annual management fee for four years from the entire investment portfolio – a total of 8%. “In addition, we receive 20% of the profits from each investment, but that’s only after an exit or IPO,” Assia says. “When we make an investment in the early financing stages of a startup (seed or A round), our expectation is an investment horizon of at least five years. This is a long-term strategic investment.”

How is the experience of working with Israeli entrepreneurs different in comparison with US entrepreneurs?

Assia: “Israeli entrepreneurs have flexibility in thinking and business. If an Israeli entrepreneur runs into a wall, he turns right and bypasses it. Our need for constant renewal and movement is inherent. Many investors prefer an entrepreneur who makes a decision and moves quickly, even if the decision isn’t always right, to an entrepreneur who doesn’t make decisions.”

What have you learned in the past year that has changed how you do things?

Moyal: We learned a lot about management the hard way. We learned that when you provide employees with a pleasant and liberating environment and let them create, they are more effective, loyal, and happy than employees whom you constantly supervise, and whose mistakes you correct all the time.”

Only three of your 20 employees are men. That is quite rare on the capital market scene.

Assia: Since we’re more open to accepting women, more successful women tend to be attracted to us. The women working at iAngels are all ‘sharks’. Everyone who comes to the company feels the energy of the office immediately. We’re looking for superstars.

“We’re the firm that has invested in the most women’s startups to date. Still, women are a minority among entrepreneurs. Only 10% of the startups we have invested in have women among their founders.”

Many in Israel have been bitten by the startup bug, and jump into the deep end.

“Israel has the most engineers and managers per capita. When you look at LinkedIn, everyone has startups. Women are less inclined to take risks, but I tell them to challenge themselves. I work many more hours today than I worked as an employee, but now I’m the one who sets the rules of the game and my priorities, and that puts a lot of power in my hands.”

The full Hebrew version of this article appeared in “Lady Globes” magazine.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News – www.globes-online.com – on January 18, 2018

Source: https://www.iangels.com/2018/01/israeli-women-vcs-taking-blockchain/

Private Equity

iAngels Israeli Deal Digest – September 2020

Welcome to the iAngels Monthly Deal Digest, a summary of corporate developments in the Israeli startup market.  This September we tracked 50 announced deals at approximately $1.8 Billion, and 6 exits of $1.3 billion. Including iAngels portfolio company, BioCatch, which raised $20m in a C round.   Insurtech and Cybersecurity were the two top performing sectors […]

The post iAngels Israeli Deal Digest – September 2020 appeared first on iAngels.

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Welcome to the iAngels Monthly Deal Digest, a summary of corporate developments in the Israeli startup market. 

This September we tracked 50 announced deals at approximately $1.8 Billion, and 6 exits of $1.3 billion. Including iAngels portfolio company, BioCatch, which raised $20m in a C round.

Insurtech and Cybersecurity were the two top performing sectors this month. Next Insurance, a InsurTech company raised $250 million Series D financing round led by CapitalG, Alphabet’s independent growth fund, with participation from FinTLV, and existing investor Munich RE Group. Snyk, a cybersecurity startup closed a $200 million Series E financing round, led by venture capital firm Addition, according to a company valuation of more than $2.6 billion.


On the M&A side, we tracked three acquisitions. The largest being Preempt Security, an American-Israeli cybersecurity startup whose solution offers zero trust and conditional access for continuously detecting and preempting threats based on identity, behavior and risk, was acquired by a California-based cloud-delivered endpoint and cloud workload protection company CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. in a $96 million deal.  

Seed Round

  • Anima App, a startup which allows designers to export code to the programming team, without needing to learn how to code or switching between different unfamiliar programming languages. completed a $2.5 million Seed funding round, led by Zohar Gilon, one of Israel’s leading and most important investors, along with Hetz Ventures. 
  • Bobile, the first company to offer real time advanced endpoint security for iOS from zero-day and targeted advanced persistent threats, closed a $1.5 million seed round led by the New York Angels and participation by Harvard Business School (HBS) alumni angels and other leading investors.
  • KRE8.TV, a celebrity content platform which allows users to order custom made video content from their favorite creators raised approximately $1.17 million of seed investment led by Benson Oak Ventures (BOV). The round also included additional investors, among them Eyal Waldman, CEO of Israeli chipmaker Mellanox.
  • Plantt, a solution which connects to your sales and support tools, analyzing your conversations with customers to create a tailor-made customer experience raised  $1 million from Fusion LA and GoAhead Ventures.
  • Inthegame, a start-up which develops an AI-powered platform can help create unique and interactive experiences by adding ‘layers’ to broadcast television to include things like polls and quizzes in sports events and game shows, raised $650 thousands in a Seed funding round.

A Round

  • AnyVision, a company which develops an AI-driven face recognition has raised $43 million from existing investors including investment funds and private investors.
  • Triple Jump Medical, a small insulin pump patch startup raised $20 million from Medtronic.
  • Varada, an Israeli Big Data startup has closed a $12 million series A funding round. The round was led by MizMaa Ventures, with participation by Gefen Capital. Existing investors Lightspeed, StageOne Ventures and F2 Venture Capital, which contributed in early 2019 to a $7.5 million seed round, also participated in the round.
  • EasySend, a company which develops a no-code drag and drop platform for managing customer experience by converting manual forms and data collection processes into digital mobile or web applications raised $11 million in a series A round led by Israeli venture capital firm Hanaco Ventures. Intel’s venture arm, Intel Capital, also participated in the round. 
  • Strigo, customer training cloud platform startup announced the close of an $8 million series A financing round. The new investment was led by Velvet Sea Ventures and existing investor Greycroft with participation from Hanaco, the company’s lead seed investor. 
  • DeepCube, a deep learning software accelerator, closed $7 million in Series A funding. The round, led by Canadian VC Awz Ventures with participation from Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT) and Nima Capital, brings the total invested in DeepCube to $12 million. 
  • Metadata, a San Francisco-based autonomous demand generation company focused on B2B marketing, said it raised $6.5 million in its Series A round. Resolute led the series with participation from GreycroftYork IE and Stormbreaker, as well as Mark OrganIlya Volodarsky and more than a dozen Metadata customers and key employees.
  • Sternum, Israeli IoT cybersecurity company Sternum Ltd. has raised $6.5 million in series A funding. The company provides embedded protection and real-time visibility for connected devices. The round, led by Square Peg, was joined by existing investor and global business leader Merle Hinrich, European venture capital firm btov, and private investors including Boston-based veteran entrepreneur Eyal Shavit and Founder & CEO of CyberArk, Udi Mokady.
  • TetaVi, AI-based video capture technology company has announced the close of its $6 million series A round. The funding, which came from new and existing investors, brings its total capital raised to $11.3 million. It was led by American and Canadian venture capital fund REDDS Capital and included a strategic investment from ADWAYS.
  • Phytolon, natural food coloring developer completed a $4.1 million financing round led by Millennium Food-Tech with the participation of Consensus Business Group (CBG) Fund, Trendlines Group, EIT-Food (the EU body responsible for food-tech initiatives), and former Elbit Systems CEO Yossi Ackerman.

 

  • LIGC, an Israel-based producer of Laser-Induced Graphene filters, raised $3 million in round A led by Hubei Forbon Technology. LIGC Application is at the forefront of laser-induced graphene commercialization with patented technology.

B Round

  • NovellusDx, biotech company NovellusDX Ltd. which develops a drug that delays the development of a BRAF gene mutation created in cases of thyroid cancer and glioma cancer, raised $57 million in a round made at a valuation of $75 million in exchange for 73% of the company’s shares. The round was led by Israeli life science venture capital firm Pontifax Ltd. and healthcare investment firm Orbimed Israel Partners Ltd., with each investing around $10.5 million for a 14% stake. The third-largest investor in the round was Swiss firm HBM Healthcare Investments AG, which invested $10 million for around 10% of the company’s stock. Additional investors in the round include Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis International AG, Boston-headquartered investment firms Wellington Management and Cormorant Asset Management, and SR One Ltd., the healthcare venture capital arm of pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK). Each of them will receive a 6%-7% stake in the company.
  • EverC, Israeli cybersecurity startup, focusing on the prevention of online money laundering, completed a $35 million series B investment round. The round was led by Israeli venture capital fund Red Dot Capital Partners which invests in growth stage companies. Maor Partners also participated in the round together with the company’s current investors, including Joey Low, Viola Ventures, Arbor Ventures and American Express Ventures.
  • Axis Security, a cybersecurity startup completed a $32 million series B funding round led by Canaan Partners, with participation from existing investors Ten Eleven Ventures and Gili Raanan’s Cyberstarts. The capital was raised to meet the increasing demand for the company’s products in the wake of the widespread transition to work from home. Axis Security’s Application Access Cloud is a purpose-built cloud-based solution that simplifies application access, using a Zero Trust platform.
  • Deel, a company, which developed a payroll platform to pay both full-time staff and independent contractors who are working remotely, has completed a $30 million Series B financing round. The round was led by US venture capital fund Spark Capital with the participation of the company’s previous backers. Another dominant investor in Deel is U.S. venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz, which is one of the world’s largest funds.
  • Medigate, a medical cybersecurity startup raised a $30 million series B round led by new investor Partech Partners. Previous backers YL Ventures, U.S. Venture Partners, and Blumberg Capital, as well as first time investor Maor Investments, also participated in the round. The new round brings Medigate’s total funding to around $50 million.
  • Pcysys, a cybersecurity company which developed an automated penetration-testing platform that assesses and reduces corporate cybersecurity risks, completed a $25 million series B financing round led by Insight Partners. Other participants include Canadian venture capital fund AWZ Ventures and U.S.-based The Blackstone Group. The company has so far raised a total of $40 million.
  • Coralogix, a company which provides a log analytics platform, completed a $25 million Series B financing round co-led by Red Dot Capital Partners and Eyal Ofer’s O.G with participation from existing backers Aleph VC, StageOne Ventures, Janvest Capital Partners, and 2B Angels.
  • Aurora Labs, a company which develops debugging tools for automotive software, completed a $23 million series B financing round. The round was led by Check Point co-founder Marius Nacht and LG Technology Ventures, LG Electronics’ investment arm. Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Toyota Tsusho, UL Ventures, the investment arm of global safety standards Company UL, and previous round backers participated in the oversubscribed round.
  • Aidoc, a medtech startup Aidoc Medical Ltd. raised an additional sum of $20 million for its series B round, which now stands at $47 million. This brings the company’s total funding to date to $60 million. The round was originally announced last year and was led by Melbourne, Australia-based Square Peg Capital, with participation from Magma Ventures, TLV Partners, and Emerge. Joining the round now are Alpha Intelligence Capital and Maor Investments. Aidoc develops artificial intelligence-based medical imaging software designed to quickly analyze medical scans and help doctors prioritize the most urgent cases and expedite treatment.
  • BrandTotal, the brand marketing analytics company providing social media competitive intelligence to brands and organizations, raised $12 million in its Series B investment round. The Series B round was led by INcapital Ventures, in participation with Maor Investments, Glilot Capital Partners, Flint Capital, KDC Media Fund, and FJ Labs.
  • Blue White Robotics (BWR), an autonomous vehicle platform startup Blue White Robotics (BWR) announced a $10 million funding round. The round was led by Jesselson Investment, alongside Peregrine VC, Entrée Capital and an investment group led by Datoroama founder Ran Sarig.
  • Envizion Medical, a startupwhich develops smart feeding tubes (Nasogastric tubes) for intubated patients, announced the completion of an $8 million funding round from private medtech backers, family offices and the Technion Venture Capital fund.
  • Salaryo, a Fintech company, which provides credit and digital banking services to small businesses in the U.S. has raised $5.8 million in credit and equity. The company declined to detail how much debt it had incurred, but it is estimated to be the main element of the deal. The equity component was led by UAE-based private equity and venture capital fund KEN Investments, which has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the deal. This is estimated to be the first time an Emirati fund has openly invested in an Israeli company and follows the announcement last month that the two countries had agreed to normalize diplomatic relations. Other investors included British venture capitalist Michael Ullman, Variant Investments, and Techstars Ventures in whose accelerator Salaryo had participated.

C Rounds

  • Melio, Israeli B2B payments startu, allowing small businesses to manage payments remotely, paying when and how they want, giving them more control and helping businesses manage cash flow raised $80 million in a Series C round from investors including Accel, Aleph, Bessemer Venture Partners, Coatue Management and General Catalyst.
  • Papaya, a global payroll and payment startup closed a $40 million series B funding round led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from Workday Ventures, Access Industries (via its Israeli vehicle Claltech), and existing investors Insight Venture Partners, Bessemer Ventures Partners, New Era Ventures, Group 11, and Dynamic Loop.
  • Orasis, an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company which is developing eye drops to treat presbyopia – the loss of ability to focus near objects, closed a $30 million Series C financing round co-led by new investor Bluestem Capital and returning investor Visionary Ventures, with participation from previous investors Sequoia Capital, SBI (Japan) Innovation Fund, Maverick Ventures Israel, LifeSci Venture Partners and additional investors. 
  • V-Wave, a company is developing proprietary, minimally invasive interatrial shunt devices for treating patients with severe symptomatic heart failure and pulmonary arterial hypertension raised $28 million, bringing the total raised in its Series C financing round to $98 million. The financing was led by Deerfield Management with participation from Aperture Venture Partners, BRM Group, Endeavour Vision, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC Inc., Pontifax, Pura Vida Investments, GHS Fund (Quark Venture LP), as well as Triventures and Israel Secondary Fund.
  • PhyTech, a digital farming automation company and data provider raised $23.5 million from private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (THL) including from the THL Automation Fund L.P., and existing anchor investors.
  • Biocatch, a startup which is active in the behavioral biometrics field: the research of digital behavior by users from a physical and cognitive standpoint in order to protect them and their data from fraud in the digital space announced extended its series C financing round by an additional $20 million invested by four major global banks – Barclays, Citi, HSBC and National Australia Bank (NAB) – to increase the round to a total of $168 million.
  • Medasense, a company which develops technology for pain-response monitoring completed an $18 million series C financing round led by Sabadell Asabys venture capital firm (Asabys Partners, Spain), Israeli family offices, and former backers Baxter Ventures, Olive Tree Ventures, and LGL Capital.
  • KeepMed, a medical technology company secured 13 million Euros ($15.1 million) in series C funding for its positive airway pressure (PAP) device that helps people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, KeePAP. New investors Celeste Management, Financière Arbevel, and 4See Ventures join existing investors Merieux Equity Partners, Pitango Venture Capital, Xenia Venture Capital, C4 Ventures, and Lavorel Medicare.
  • Capitolis, a fintech company raised $11 million from financial giants Citi, J.P. Morgan, and State Street. The company’s platform helps financial institutions free up capital and remove barriers that would otherwise restrict trading. Capitolis enables firms to optimize their balance sheet exposures through collaborative technology by eliminating unnecessary positions and finding the most suitable party to hold the remaining positions.

Growth/Misc. Rounds

  • SolarEdge (NASDAQ GS: SEDG) announced the pricing of $550 million aggregate principal amount of 0.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2025 in a private offering.
  • Next Insurance, a InsurTech company raised $250 million Series D financing round led by CapitalG, Alphabet’s independent growth fund, with participation from FinTLV, and existing investor Munich RE Group.
  • Snyk, a cybersecurity startup closed a $200 million Series E financing round, led by venture capital firm Addition, according to a company valuation of more than $2.6 billion.
  • BioProtect, a private company with a bioabsorbable polymer spacer balloon platform announced the final closing of its $25 million series D equity financing from an unnamed strategic investor and Peregrine Ventures. Peregrine and the additional international investor each invested $4.5 million.
  • Ionir, previously known as Reduxio, a company that is about to launch a platform allowing to transfer, copy and restore data of any size from the different cloud platforms has raised $11 million in a fifth round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP). British VC C5 Capital also participated in the round.
  • Evogene, a leading computational biology company focused on revolutionizing product discovery and development in multiple life-science based industries, including human health and agriculture, entered into a definitive agreement with ARK Investment Management, LLC (ARK Invest) and Alpha Capital Anstalt in connection with a registered direct offering of ordinary shares at a price per share of $1.70, for an aggregate cash consideration of $10 million. 

 

M&A/IPO

  • Amwell (NYSE: AMWL), a telehealth company that connects patients with doctors over secure video went public and managed to raise $742 million by selling 41.2 million class A shares at $18 apiece, after increasing the price and number of shares offered. 
  • JFrog (Nasdaq: FROG), an automated software updating company raised $352 million on Nasdaq and the amount could grow by $72 million if the underwriters exercise their option to buy additional shares. Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and BofA Securities acted as the lead book-running managers for the offering. KeyBanc Capital Markets, Piper Sandler, Stifel, William Blair, Oppenheimer & Co. and Needham & Company acted as co-managers.
  • Nyxoah (Euronext Brussels: NYXH), Israeli-Belgium sleep disorder treatment company raised €85 million ($100 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Euronext stock exchange in Europe. The money was raised at a company valuation of €362 million ($423 million) after money and since the IPO the share price has risen by 14% giving a company valuation of €413 million ($485 million).
  • Preempt Security, an American-Israeli cybersecurity startup whose solution offers zero trust and conditional access for continuously detecting and preempting threats based on identity, behavior and risk, was acquired by a California-based cloud-delivered endpoint and cloud workload protection company CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. in a $96 million deal. 
  • Odo Security, a network security company that developed cloud-based, clientless secure access service edge (SASE) technology that offers secure remote access to company assets by an unlimited number of users, was acquired by Nasdaq-listed network and cloud security company Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. The financial terms weren’t disclosed but its believed to be a $30 million deal.
  • BlueBird Aero Systems, a company which develops and integrates small tactical unmanned aircraft systems (AUS) for the Israeli security sector and foreign governments, was acquired by 50% of the equity by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for $14.4 million. As part of the transaction, IAI is acquiring the holdings of India- based Piramal Technologies SA, and additional shares from Fiberless Access and Ronen Nadir. Nadir will continue to hold 50% of BlueBird shares and continue to serve as the company’s CEO.

Source: https://www.iangels.com/2020/10/iangels-israeli-deal-digest-june-2020-2-2-2/

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Target Mobility GmbH – HRB 195781 B – 31122022B

With our unique vehicle logistic solution, we crowdsource drivers by marketing vehicle transfers as one-way rentals for 1€ to our users, saving fleet operators up to 50% in logistic cost. Our win-win proposition delivers significant savings to fleet operators by monetizing unused capacities of their vehicle logistics (= empty seats) and creating unbeatable travel options from city to city for our users in the process.

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” The Leapfunder Note is a sensible and attractive way to place capital in start-ups in the Netherlands “

” Diversification is important in angel investing. Leapfunder is a platform that allows angels to spread their investments. “

” Leapfunder investing allows you to become actively involved in a start-up, just as in classical angel investing, while taking all the hassle out of transaction execution “

” Leapfunder is ideal for investing smaller amounts in a start-up in the very early stages. Such investments can be a powerful addition to a portfolio “

” With Leapfunder you get a great opportunity to build up a diversified portfolio of start-up investments, often investors can play an active role in developing the company “

” When I saw the Leapfunder proposition I thought straight-away: this is what start-ups need. I am an entrepreneur and wish this system had been available when I started my company. “

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Pieter ter Kuile

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Wouter Kneepkens

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Ronald Bazuin

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Eric van der Maten

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Eric van Gilst

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Donald Res

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Source: https://www.leapfunder.com/companies/165

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Liquid Alternatives: Fidelity Canada Launches Three New Liquid Alt Mutual Funds

Fidelity Investments Canada, one of the country’s largest investment managers, announced on Tuesday the launch of its maiden offerings within a liquid alternatives suite for Canadian investors.

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Liquid Alternatives: Fidelity Canada Launches Three New Liquid Alt Mutual Funds

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The new funds bring alternative sources of alpha to Canadian investors.

Fidelity Investments Canada, one of the country’s largest investment managers, announced on Tuesday the launch of its maiden offerings within a liquid alternatives suite for Canadian investors.

According to Fidelity, the new liquid alternative mutual funds can provide diversification benefits to retail investors, resulting in improved risk-return profile for their portfolios. They are designed for investors who want to step out beyond the traditional “long-only” investing strategy. (Markets Insider)

Further, these funds may be considered as differentiated solutions for navigating the considerable volatility across markets in 2020, as well as extremely low interest rates.

The new liquid alternative mutual funds are Fidelity Global Value Long/Short Fund, Fidelity Market Neutral Alternative Fund and Fidelity Long/Short Alternative Fund.

Fidelity Global Value Long/Short Fund

This fund seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation by investing in long and short equity positions of companies across the world. It may use leverage through short selling of up to 50% of its net asset value and by investing in derivatives.

The fund is managed by Dan Dupont.

Fidelity Market Neutral Alternative Fund

This liquid alt fund aims to generate long-term capital appreciation by investing in long and short equity positions of companies in Canada and/or the United States. It may apply leverage through the use of short selling of up to 100% of its net asset value and investing in derivatives. The fund aims for a low correlation to major equity markets.

This fund is managed by David Way.

Fidelity Long/Short Alternative Fund

The goal of this fund is to earn long-term capital appreciation by investing in long and short equity positions of companies in Canada and/or the United States. It may apply leverage through the use of short selling between 30% to 50% of its net asset value, and by investing in derivatives.

“With the launch of our new alternative suite of products, retail investors can access products that until recently were only available to institutional or high-net-worth investors,” said Kelly Creelman, Senior Vice President, Products, Fidelity. “Our new offerings provide a broader opportunity set for investors seeking returns and diversification benefits beyond traditional “long-only” products.”

Related Story:  Liquid Alternatives – Because Bonds No Longer Diversify Or Pay A Yield

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/liquid-alternatives-fidelity-canada-launches-three-new-liquid-alt-mutual-funds/

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