Israeli venture capital fund Symbol has announced the closure of its $50 million debut fund. The fund will make early stage investments of between $500,000 and $3.5 million in ‘pre consensus’ entrepreneurs and startups - meaning entrepreneurs with an unconventional track record or startups operating in fields considered to be hard for venture capital funds to invest in at early stages.
The fund began operating after an initial closing in late 2021 and has since made 10 pre-seed and seed investments, including in Sightful, Breeze, Nilus, CardinalOps, Jiga, and Squire. Despite the global financial climate, five companies in the Symbol portfolio have already raised another funding round. Two of the companies are alumni of the prestigious Y Combinator startup accelerator.
Symbol’s founder and managing partner is Yuval Ariav, who was awarded the Israel Defense Prize after 10 years of service in the Israeli military intelligence. He was part of the founding team of Onavo (acquired by Meta in 2013 for $200 million) and co-founder and first CTO of the fintech scale-up Fundbox. After leaving Fundbox, Ariav joined LionBird as a general partner where he led first-check investments in companies such as Fundguard and Assure Allies.
"I was a founder of a company that was well outside of the VC consensus, and it was extremely challenging to raise funds for our first round," Ariav said, referring to his experience with Fundbox. "This sparked a decade-long interest in great ideas that similarly don’t tick all the VC boxes."
He adds, "As a first check VC, we want to meet entrepreneurs as early as possible, assist with validating the ideas they are exploring, and with finding the right co-founders," he explains. "We look at companies across a variety of sectors and Go to Markets (consumer, SMB and enterprise tech), and tend to stay away from crowded areas like cyber. We are looking for everything that’s outside the spotlight - problems that are considered too hard to crack, market segments that are underserved by the tech solutions, or often viewed as too complex or niche."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 9, 2023.
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.