VC Square Peg raises $450m to ramp up Israel investment

Philippe Schwartz. credit: Square Peg Capital

Tel Aviv-based partner Philippe Schwartz: Founders are building companies in areas that were considered ‘out-of-scope’ for Israelis.

International venture capital firm Square Peg Capital announced today that it had closed its fourth generation of venture capital funds of $450 million. The firm says that it looks to ramp up its investments in Israel.

The raise, which takes Square Peg’s total capital commitments to over $1 billion, was led by Australian institutions HostPlus and AustralianSuper, and included family offices, financial institutions and founders.

"A fundraise represents a huge responsibility to deliver attractive returns to Square Peg’s limited partners, the majority of which are pension funds, family offices and founders. We do this by empowering exceptional founders, investing at the beginning of their journey, and then throughout their lifecycle as they seek to build world-class companies," Philippe Schwartz, Tel Aviv-based partner at Square Peg, said.

Square Peg says it has made a record-breaking number of investments this year, and that it has returned $400 million to investors since March. In Israel, the firm has hired startup founder Yonatan Sela as an investment principal, and Riskified’s Business Operations director Orly Amir as a senior investment associate.

"Israel has become one of the world’s most valuable tech ecosystems, and founders have been building increasingly large companies in areas which in the past were considered ‘out-of-scope’ for Israelis. Our team’s extensive operational experience and network in both the US and Asia is proving transformative for our companies," Schwartz said.

To date, Square Peg has invested over $170 million in 12 Israeli companies, including weather forecasting startup ClimaCell, medical imaging startup Aidoc and freelance marketplace Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR), which is now valued at over $7 billion.

Internationally, Square Peg has invested in global unicorns such as crossborder fintech startup Airwallex, $6 billion online design software company Canva, and payments giant Stripe.

"We believe the founding team is the single most important component of any investment decision we make. This means we place an extremely high value on our relationship with our founders, and in ensuring that we support them and their vision for the company with empathy, ambition and true thought-partnership," Schwartz, said.

"As a founder, choosing your investors is one of the most important decisions you can make for your business. As a CEO you have a plan, you have a market and you have a vision, but there is so much that you can’t control. The one thing you can control is the people you surround yourself with. And the support that Square Peg has shown us over the past few years has been extraordinary," said ClimaCell co-founder and CEO Shimon Elkabetz.

Square Peg invests in technology startups across Australia, Israel and Southeast Asia with a focus on series A and B. It has four funds, with over $1 billion under management.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 14, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Philippe Schwartz. credit: Square Peg Capital
Philippe Schwartz. credit: Square Peg Capital
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