These are the investors and VCs that had the greatest impact on Israel’s tech scene since the start of the year
Authors: Benny Hakak, Rinat Korbet, Yaniv Avital, and Yaniv Feldman
Background and Methodology
In addition to the brilliant entrepreneurs, there is no doubt that investors play a major role in the success and prosperity of the Israeli high-tech industry. It is no secret, however, that among all the private investors, Israeli funds, foreign funds, and corporate funds, some were more active than others, made an impact on their portfolio companies, and were overall more reliable. This index attempts to map the various investors’ involvement in a new way.
In contrast to other reports, which rate the investors solely according to the quantity of their investments, the Geektime Investors Index takes into account other parameters affecting the investor’s activity and success. Among other things, we included in our calculations the amounts of the investments, leading investment rounds and follow-on investments in portfolio companies, and the number and amounts of exits and issues. Each index is based on a weighing of the data relevant to it, as obtained from the Geektime research department, and they present what we believe to be an accurate picture of the most active funds and people, divided into a number of categories.
In order to receive a more complete picture, we retroactively weighed the data for all of 2015 in the index, enabling us to compare the indices in different periods. It is important to emphasize that we have not made an artificial separation between funds and private investors, so that, for example, in rating early stage investments, you can find angels together with funds.
To download the FULL REPORT including all the rankings for all categories – CLICK HERE
Early Stage Investor Index
In the early stage investors index, we took into account data reflecting these stages, such as the number of investments by each investor, the total amount raised in the rounds in which the investor participated, whether or not the investor made follow-up investments, and whether the investor led the financing round.
The leader in this category is Lightspeed Venture Partners, with investments reported in a number of early stage companies, such as alooma, a company started by people who served in the IDF Talpiot training program; the young cyber company enSilo, and cyber company Fireglass, which raised approximately $20 million when still operating in stealth mode.
The Early Stages Investor Index reveals two interesting patterns worthy of note. First of all, the OurCrowd mass investments platform had a weighted rating of 9.0, putting it in second place after Lightspeed. Despite dropping one place in the ratings in this year’s index, OurCrowd, founded and managed by Jonathan Medved, which is more of a mass crowd financing platform than a venture capital fund, is proving year after year that it is a significant and influential force in the venture capital world, with aggregate investments amounting to tens of millions of dollars. Among others, the fund invested in startups such as Credifi, MentAd, and Curiyo in the first half of 2016.
Another interesting phenomenon is the maturing of angels (private investors) on the list, who are moving ahead of large existing funds. For example, on the new list, we find Mickey Boodaei with seed and A round investments in companies such as Insert, Fireglass, Preempt Security, and TopSpin. Another angel who has entered our list is Rakesh Loonkar, Boodaei’s partner in the sale of Trusteer to IBM, who has more than a few investments to his credit this year and in previous years.
Growth Stage Investor Index
The Growth Stage Investor Index weighs relevant data for investments in companies in these stages. Among other things, we took into account the number of investments by each investor, the total amount raised in the rounds in which the investor participated, whether or not the investor made follow-up investments, and whether the investor led the financing round.
83North (formerly Greylock IL) took first place with six investments in growth companies, including cooperative travel Via, Simplee, quiz and cooperative champion PlayBuzz, the BlueVine credit platform, and Zerto, which combats enterprises’ downtime in cloud computing. 83North was followed by Battery Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, and Lightspeed (the early stage investment leader) in second, third, and fourth places, respectively. Last year’s list had Sequoia Capital, angel Zohar Gilon, and Carmel Ventures in the first, second, and third places, respectively.
Angels Investor Index
The Angels Investor Index weighs data for investments by private investors. The parameters weighed included the number of investments by each angel, the total amount raised in the rounds in which the investor participated, whether or not the investor made follow-up investments, whether the investor led the financing round, and the total number and amount of the exits and issues by the companies invested in.
In first place is Moshe Lichtman, who invested in WOO, closely followed by Saar Wilf, who invested in Crosswise, recently sold to Oracle for $50 million. Third place was shared by Mickey Boodaei and Rakesh Loonkar who were also listed in the general rating, followed by Genesis Partners founder Eddy Shalev with investments in companies such as Kaymera, Photomyne, and TriggerHood.
Corporate VC Index
The Corporate VC Index is designed to provide a status report of the investment arms in major companies. In contrast to ordinary funds, which invest in startups for the purpose of obtaining a large return on the investment as quickly as possible, the corporate funds also invest in companies as strategic investments, and in order to obtain preference in the use of the technologies of the companies receiving the investments. The index gives special weight to the following parameters: the number of investments by each fund, the total amount raised in the rounds in which the investor participated, whether or not the fund made follow-up investments, whether the fund led the financing rounds, and the total number and amount of the exits and issues by the companies invested in.
First place was taken by American chip giant Qualcomm Ventures, regarded as one of the world’s most successful corporate venture capital funds. The company added cloud computing services company Stratoscale to its portfolio this year, and its first place showing is also due to its 2011 investment in Ravello, acquired by Oracle in February 2016 for $500 million. One interesting point in this context is that Mony Hassid, who formerly managed Qualcomm Venture’s Israeli branch, recently switched to Microsoft Ventures.
In second place was Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, the investment arm of Deutsche Telekom, which invested this year in Replay. Only one week after its investment was announced, the fund scored an exit from it when Replay was acquired by Intel for $170 million. The third place fund was Hearst Ventures, a fund owned by one of the world’s leading content companies, which was not particularly active in the Israeli market in 2015. The fund, whose portfolio contains companies like Netscape, Roku, BuzzFeed, and Pandora, invested this year in cooperative travel company Via’s $100 million third financing round. Following in fourth place was Comcast Ventures, the fund of the American cable giant, managed in Israel by Daniel Czertok. Comcast Ventures invested in Meta and Sunday Sky. Fifth place Israeli fund ClalTech invested in Zerto, which helps enterprises recover from cloud computing disasters, and in Zooz. Both Comcast and ClalTech maintain high levels of involvement and activity. On the other hand, we note the absence of Intel Capital, a standout in previous years. According to various reports, Intel considered selling its investment portfolio, but eventually gave up on that idea.
Private Equity Index
The Private Equity Funds Investment Index weighs a number of figures, including the number of investments by each fund, the total amount raised by the companies in which the fund invested, whether or not the fund made follow-up investments, whether the fund led the financing round, and the total number and amount of the exits and issues by the companies invested in.
BRM Capital came first, with investments in GigaSpaces, V-Wave, StarletDerma, Roomer Mominis, and Capester. Next on the list is Poalim Capital Markets, with a single, but fairly large, investment in Via’s third round. Rounding out the leading trio of funds was Kreos Capital with an investment in the third round of payments platform Zooz. In contrast to 2015, we note the absence of 2015’s leading funds in this category: Viola Private Equity, Accelmed, Arkin Holdings, Kaedan Capital, and FTV Capital.
Liquidity (IPOs and Exits) Index
This index describes the extent to which a fund was involved in IPOs, mergers, and exits, in comparison with other active funds and investors. The index weighs the total number and amount of exits and IPOs by the companies in which the fund invested.
The most active fund is Bessemer Venture Partners of the US, with deals like the sale of Cloudlock to Cisco Systems for $293 million, the sale of Leaba, also to Cisco, for $380 million, the sale of Ravello to Oracle for about $500 million, and two slightly less profitable deals: the sale of DensBits to Avago for about $15 million and the sale of Billguard to Prosper for about $50 million.
The next fund on the index, Sequoia Capital, was involved in eight sold or merged companies, including StreamRail, sold to ironSource; SintecMedia, sold to Franciso Partners for $400 million; the DensBits and Ravello deals; the sale of Adallom to Microsoft for $320 million; the sale of Sansa to ARM; the sale of Wilocity to Qualcomm for approximately $300 million; and the sale of Kontera to Amobee for approximately $150 million. Next on the list was crowd funding fund OurCrowd with seven merger deals, exits, and IPOs.
In these indices, we mapped the investments by the various investors by dividing them into the sectors in which the company was active. The indices are based on the number of investments by each investor in the specific sector, the total amount raised in by the companies in which the investor was involved, the number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) by the companies invested in, and the total value of the M&A deals made by the investor.
To download the FULL REPORT including all the rankings for all categories – CLICK HERE
Cyber Security Investor Index
If high tech is the growth engine of the Israeli economy, there is no question that cyber is the growth engine on Israeli high tech. Cyber was again the leading sector in the first half of 2016, with $403 million raised in 30 financing rounds, an impressive 100% increase from the $201 million raised in the corresponding period in 2015.
The cyber field leader is Hong Kong-based CE Ventures, whose investments include imVision, followed by American fund Bessemer Partners and angel pair Mickey Boodaei and Rakesh Loonkar. In general, there was a significant change in comparison with the corresponding period last year, when the list was headed by the Sequoia fund, angel Shlomo Kramer, and the Rembrandt Venture Partners fund.
Enterprise Investor Index
The enterprise software sector is continuing its growth trend again this year with investments totaling $83 million, compared with $52 million in the corresponding period last year.
The enterprise software field was led by corporate fund Qualcomm Ventures with investments such as Weka.IO and Stratoscale. The fund, which did not appear at all on our corresponding index for 2015, has made a major step forward in this area. Qualcomm was followed by the Sequoia Fund, which advanced one place from its ranking last year, among other things due to its investment in Orbi, founded by entrepreneur Iris Shoor, and Signals Group, which deals with business intelligence insights for enterprises. Rounding out the leading trio is Norwest Venture Partners, which was not among the leaders in the 2015 index.
Fintech Investor Index
There were 21 financing rounds in this sector, in which a total of $255 million was raised since the beginning of the year, 77% more than the $144 million raised in the first half of 2015.
In first place on the Fintech Investors Index is the iAngels platform, with investments such as Zooz, Simplex, and TravelersBox. Second place was occupied by 83North, with investments such as BlueVine, followed by Lightspeed Venture Partners. For the sake of comparison, last year’s leader by a short head was the Spark Capital fund, followed by Khosla Ventures and Carmel Ventures, neither of which was among the leaders on this year’s list.
Adtech Investor Index
Total investments in this sector plunged to $149 million, compared with $355 million in the corresponding period last year. The steep fall in the sector can be attributed to a number of reasons, the most important of which was the increasing control by Google, Apple, and Facebook over their ecosystems, and the blow suffered by flagship companies in the sector, such as Outbrain and Taboola, whose valuations dropped dramatically over the past year. In addition, many users are more aware of advertising and ways of blocking it through the growing use of adblockers. Above all, the companies in this sector have a negative image that makes it difficult for them to raise money and recruit employees.
In the Adtech sector, the leader is Kreos Capital, with participation in a recent $24 million financing round, followed by Carmel Ventures, which invested in companies like Pagaya and OurCrowd. None of these funds appeared on the list for the corresponding period in 2015, while the investors who led the Adtech Investor Index for that period, such as Zohar Gilon, 83North, and Moshe Lichtman, are not represented on our index for this year.
Life Sciences Investor Index
This sector is continually growing. It includes diverse sub-sectors, such as genetics, pharmaceutics, nano-technology, diagnostics, and biotechnology. Some $302 million was raised in 37 financing rounds in the sector in the first half of 2016, compared with $269 million in 26 financing rounds in the corresponding period in 2015.
Peregrine Ventures led the Life Sciences Index, followed by Pontifax, with investments in companies such as Avraham Pharmaceuticals, Metabomed, Sweetch, and V-Wave, and BRM Group in third place. Peregrine gained the top from its third place ranking of last year, while last year’s leader, Pontifax, lost one place, finishing in second.
Medical Devices Investor Index
In the medical devices field, we find that Peregrine Ventures is significantly more active than all others, with investments in companies like Magnetto, Restore, NLT Spine, Eximo and mPharma, a substantial improvement on its second place in this category in 2015. Second place on the index went to the Johnson & Johnson corporate fund, with investments in V-Wave and CartiHeal, followed by BRM Group in third place.