Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) has made its return to the local venture capital industry, a year and a half after its future looked uncertain. The fund announced today that it had made the first closing of its fifth fund on $100 million. The fund, which has a target of $150 million, will be earmarked for investment in media ventures. The first closing of the new fund brings the total funds managed by JVP to $770 million.
JVP has a track record in raising funds at times of crisis. It raised its fourth fund in 2001 at the height of the previous crisis.
There were many in the local venture capital community who doubted whether Erel Margalit, the founder and managing partner of JVP, would manage to raise capital, given that, among other things, since it was founded 12 of the the fund's partners have resigned. This is seen as a sign of problems, in a field which, because of the nature of the investments made, investors prefer stable funds backed by strong and dedicated partners. JVP is different. Margalit is the dominant partner in the fund, and it would appear that his charisma and his record as the Israeli ranked most often on the "Forbes" Midas List, was pivotal in his success in getting the fund's investors to sign checks.
The new fund will make early-stage investments in companies developing digital media technologies, as well as investment in companies operating in traditional fields such as software, semiconductors, Internet and telecommunications. The new fund's strategy will focus on seed companies through JVP's technology incubator, JVP Studio, and early stage companies through the principal fund.
Margalit said today that he believed that "quite a few of the next generation of leading companies coming out of Israel will focus on building applications and products for the consumer and media market in a manner that will combine technology, media, design, and other creative elements."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 5, 2008
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