Israel's IBI Tech Fund (TASE: IBITEC) is doubling its investment portfolio in startups. The fund announced this week that it had its third and fourth non-tradeable investments amounting to an aggregate $2.5 million (NIS 8.7 million), 2% of its assets. The fund is managed by Dr. Dan Aks and Dr. Dor Lilo.
The new investments are in two companies founded this year: RightBound and Xperiti. RightBound, in which $2 million was invested, develops technology facilitating automation and streamlining of sales processes between organizations and companies. Xperiti, in which $500,000 was invested, finds experts and manages information using artificial intelligence.
IBI Tech says that the investment in RightBound was made together with its investment partner, Shalev Hulio (a cofounder of NSO, which develops cyberwarfare and digital espionage software). The investment in Xperiti was in cooperation with investment partner Dr. Rafi Gidron, who was a partner in the sale of startup Chromatis to Lucent in 2000 for $4.8 billion, the biggest exit in Israeli high tech up to that point (although the company was later closed down).
Sources close to IBI Tech said, "In order to reach the most interesting deals in the market, the fund signed deals with investment partners" who are "entrepreneurs and investors," who propose to the fund investments in companies in which they are active and invest. Among IBI Tech's investment partners are Saar Wilf, Amichai Shulman, Yariv Gilat, Hulio, Gidron, Yigal Jacoby, and the Inimiti venture capital fund.
The two new investments follow previous investments of NIS 14.5 million in Nailomatic and Songo, a group of startups.
IBI Tech was founded at the government's initiative and with state assistance, and operates within a government protective envelope. The fund raised NIS 403 million in June 2018, and will invest up to 75% of its assets in non-marketable high-tech companies (startups). It is like a tradeable venture capital fund with the structure of mutual fund. It was developed in order to facilitate investments by the public in technology ventures.
The fund is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) at NIS 0.76, reflecting a market cap of only NIS 307 million. The fund reports that its current net asset value (NAV), net of expenses and management fees, is NIS 1.039, and its total assets are estimated at NIS 419 million.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 11, 2019
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