Aristagora VC, a new venture capital fund, announced today (Tuesday) that it has raised $ 60 million for a first fund. The fund is backed by Japanese financial investors and will make initial investments in Israeli start-ups of $ 500,000 to $ 1.5 million.
The fund has four partners, of which two are Israeli managing partners. The first managing partner is Anat Thila Charney, former director of the Asian department at Discount Capital Underwriting. Alongside her will serve as managing partner Moshe Tzarfati, former managing partner in the Krypton VC fund, which made lime investments in start-ups in 2014-2016.
The fund’s investment committee chairman is Gideon Ben-Zvi, an investor and serial entrepreneur who signed exits such as the sale of a briefcase to Japanese photography giant Canon in 2018. Ben-Zvi currently serves as CEO of the Israeli chip company Valens.
The foundation’s fourth partner is Japanese Takashi Shinoda. Shinoda is the owner and CEO of a financial asset and capital management company in Tokyo of the same name, Aristagora. Shinoda is defined as the president of the fund.
According to Thila Charney and French, work on building the fund began a year and a half ago and they reached a final closure with investors as early as a quarter ago but waited with the final announcement. The fund does not intend to limit investments to start-ups in specific areas, but will not invest in more niche areas in hardware or health.
Thila Charney told “Globes” that at the beginning of her work as Asia desk manager at Discount Capital Underwriting, she was mainly involved with working with Chinese investors, but in recent years the focus has changed. “Due to regulatory issues and macro issues, the volume of activity of Chinese investors in the country has decreased and instead I started promoting investment in Israeli companies vis-à-vis entities in Japan and Singapore,” she says.
According to her, the Aristagora Fund will be able to assist Israeli start-ups in entering the challenging Japanese market, although this is not a necessary condition for receiving an investment. “The Japanese market requires an understanding and the process of foreign and especially Israeli companies penetrating this market is a slow and challenging process. We have the opportunity to help significantly as a fund with a Japanese operation.”
The Frenchman added that one of the points of frustration in his previous fund, the Krypton Fund, stemmed from its limited scope, which did not allow it to help young companies over time. “The result was that we saw good entrepreneurs running out of gas in the middle,” says a Frenchman. “With Aristagora’s broad financial capabilities, we will give the portfolio companies peace of mind until the companies are ready for the next steps.”
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