Welcoming AnD Ventures, a new Israeli venture capital firm, to the investment playing field. The new VC fund has already made initial investments, despite still in the process of raising the targeted $50 million Seed focused fund. With a target check size ranging $1-$1.5M, the fund intends to lead Seed rounds in 15-17 Israeli and foreign-based startups..
AnD Ventures’ company builder approach provides startup founders with a hands on partner, aiming to help build “Silicon Valley standard companies.” The fund includes close partnerships with leading enterprises, as well as with external and in-house matter experts, all to serve the goal of a unique and strong market validation process. AnD will be focusing its early-stage investment powers on startups operating deep in the AI and Big Data markets.
Ex Google, iAngles and Ourcrowd execs run the show
The people behind the fund are Lee Moser, former Partner at iAngles and chief of staff of Israeli ambassador in Washington; Roy Geva Glasberg, previously founder and general manager for Google’s global startup programs “Google for Startup Accelerator”, director startup ecosystem at LivePerson and head of startups & Integrations at Microsoft; Kfir Kachlon, former senior member at OurCrowd investment team; Ariel Cohen, previously Senior Director of Product at Amdocs; and Arnaud Rodrigue, former Head of Mobility at Cukierman investment house.
Leading the Board of Directors, Gary Ginsburg, previously SVP global communications at SoftBank and Time Warner where he led the acquisition by AT&T. Ginsburg was a Founding Partner at 25Madison, and a Seed investor in Houzz, TripAction, and Duda Mobile. Based on the new fund announcement, its founders have collectively invested in over 200 companies, privately or through other funds.
“Foreign investors prefer companies already proven on the global stage”
In a conversation with Geektime, founding partner Lee Moser explains that AnD’s edge comes from its leaders.
With dozens of funds operating in Israel alone, where do you stand out? What’s your elevator pitch to entrepreneurs?
Moser: “The fund has 4 advantages: running an accelerator to develop direct support and access to startups; Validation and incorporation of multinational companies, experts, and serial entrepreneurs; Building companies prepared to penetrate U.S. markets through our global network of companies and partnerships (New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles); Supporting startups throughout their funding rounds - from Seed to acquisition - with our experienced investors, and by working shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S.-based VC funds and corporate investment arms.
Moser is talking about the AnD’s strategic partnership with funds in NYC, Japan, and India. She states that these partnerships will help open doors for the fund’s portfolio to expand into: “Foreign investors prefer companies already proven on the global stage.” Alongside the fund’s network, through AnD Studio, which drives and manages global accelerators, such as IDCX Accelerator and EIT’s Calling2Scale Bootcamp.
During the year of COVID we saw a lot of capital in the market, although mostly flowing towards established companies, making it hard for the early-stage startups to grab their first checks. Was it hard to convince your investors to invest in early-stage companies? Do you think the trend will change?
Moser: “We see an opportunity to seize the lead in this void: Entering early allows us to take a bigger chunk of the company and keep our position, so that when the company grows we are still positioned to leverage our investment.
The year of the pandemic ushered investors to focus on short turnaround deals - later-stage companies - with the understanding that this also affects ROI. Now we are seeing investors looking after long-term, more profitable investments, and these are our partners to help us fill in the void left by COVID…”