Israeli venture capital fund Vertex Israel Ventures has sold a 33% stake in its holdings in its fourth fund to US investment giant StepStone for $160 million in a strip sale.
Vertex's fourth fund, which was set up in 2014, has invested $144 million in early stage startups. According to Vertex general partner Yanai Oron, the fourth fund portfolio is now worth $720 million, five times the amount invested.
From the value of these holdings, Vertex has already repaid $150 million to the fourth fund's investors, following exits such as Dynamic Yield's sale to McDonald's for $300 million, Argus Cyber Security's sale to Continental for $450 million, and Innoviz's SPAC merger at a company valuation of $1.4 billion.
After these deals, Vertex holds stakes in companies that are worth $570 million 'on paper,' of which it is selling a stake to StepStone for $160 million. Startups still in the fund's portfolio include Axonius, which last year raised money at a $1 billion valuation, Verbit, which raised money at a $2 billion valuation, OwnBackup, which raised money six months ago at a $3.3 billion valuation, and Yotpo, which raised money in its last financing round at a $1.4 billion valuation, and plans holding an IPO this year. In the deal Vertex also sold its holdings in Data Rails, which was chosen as Globes most promising Israeli startup of 2021.
Founded in 1997, Vertex is one of Israel's oldest venture capital firms. It has raised $1.2 billion in six funds.
Oron said, "We gave our investors the option of selling one third of their holdings and they all agreed. This is something that reduces the risks and lowers the pressure to sell all the holdings in companies."
Jefferies acted as sole financial advisor to Vertex Ventures Israel.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 20, 2022.
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