Israel will soon see more money being pumped into the country’s thriving early-stage tech startup ecosystem. Crescendo Venture Partners, a new VC fund that has been launched in partnership with Switzerland based Crescendo Group, has announced first close of its early-stage fund. The fund is expected to achieve its targeted $80-$100M corpus by first half of 2020.
The fund will invest in early stage Israeli software startups in fields such as big data, AI and machine learning with an emphasis on software that transforms traditional sectors such as agriculture, education, construction, healthcare and industry. The Fund began operations during 2019 and has already made its first investment when it led the A round of Lightico, an Israeli automation startup that has developed a solution for the last mile of the customer journey in contact centers.
Crescendo Venture Partners is led by former Giza Venture Capital partners Zvi Schechter, Dr. Yuval Avni and Tal Mizrahi, together with Mark Kavelaars. Zvi Schechter is a known face in the Israeli venture capital community, achieving much of his fame by being the co-founder of Giza Venture Capital in the 90s. Schechter led investments in groundbreaking companies, including companies which completed successful exits, such as Telegate, Cyota and Soluto. He also led investments in growing companies, like WalkMe, one of Israel’s foremost ‘unicorn’ startups, where Zvi was involved since the company’s inception.
Dr. Yuval Avni served as a partner at Giza Venture Capital in Israel and in Giza’s overseas funds. During 2015-2019 he managed Beta-O2, a startup company he successfully led to a turnaround and to sustained growth.
Third co founder Tal Mizrahi also served as a partner in Giza and has over 20 years of experience in investments, finance and the legal aspects of venture funds in Israel and abroad and high-tech companies. Prior to joining Giza, Tal served as VP Finance at PortAuthority, which was acquired by Websense for approximately $100 million.
Dr. Yuval Avni, managing general partner at Crescendo Venture Partners, says, “Despite the huge potential of startups in early stages, there is a gap between the financing needs of these companies and the amounts investors actually invest in this stage. Crescendo will bridge this gap, with its team that will propose to entrepreneurs a combination of experience in investment and management of startups, along with a broad network of connections with companies and investors in Europe, Latin America and Asia who are interested in investing in Israeli software companies.”