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Crescendo Venture Partners: First Closing of its new early stage Israeli VC Fund

Kate­gorie: Venture Capi­tal
3. Dezem­ber 2019

Geneva/ Tel-Aviv — Tel-Aviv based venture capi­tal firm Crescendo Venture Part­ners is launch­ing its new VC fund planned to raise $80 million-$100 million. The new fund has completed its first clos­ing and is plan­ning to have its final clos­ing in the first half of 2020. The fund is managed by a group of seasoned venture capi­tal­ists with over 75 years of cumu­la­tive expe­ri­ence on both sides of the table, part­ner­ing with the Switzer­land based Crescendo Group, which manages client assets in excess of USD 3 billions of dollars from across its eight offices in Geneva, London, Guernsey, New York, Miami, Madrid, Hong Kong, Monte­v­ideo and most recently Nassau. — Crescendo has a long track record of invest­ing in as well as manag­ing attrac­tive and unique private market invest­ment solu­tions includ­ing, but not limited to venture capi­tal.

The fund will invest in early stage Israeli soft­ware star­tups in fields such as big data, AI and machine learn­ing with an empha­sis on soft­ware that trans­forms tradi­tional sectors such as agri­cul­ture, educa­tion, construc­tion, health­care and indus­try. The Fund began oper­a­tions during 2019 and has already made its first invest­ment when it led the A round of Lightico, an Israeli startup that has devel­oped an automa­tion solu­tion for the last mile of the customer jour­ney in contact centers.

Crescendo Venture Part­ners is led by Zvi Schechter, Dr. Yuval Avni and Tal Mizrahi, formerly part­ners at Giza Venture Capi­tal, together with Mark Kave­laars. Zvi Schechter is an early pioneer in Israel’s venture capi­tal indus­try and was the co-founder of Giza Venture Capi­tal in the 90s. Schechter led invest­ments in ground­break­ing compa­nies, includ­ing compa­nies which completed success­ful exits, such as Telegate, Cyota and Soluto. He also led invest­ments in grow­ing compa­nies, like WalkMe, one of Israel’s fore­most ‘unicorn’ star­tups, where Zvi was involved since the company’s incep­tion. Dr. Yuval Avni served as a part­ner at Giza Venture Capi­tal in Israel and in Giza’s over­seas funds. During 2015–2019 he managed Beta-O2, a startup company he success­fully led to a turn­around and to sustained growth. Prior to becom­ing an investor, Dr. Avni had been a surgeon and a grad­u­ate of the Tech­nion Medical School. In recent years he has been a visit­ing lecturer on entre­pre­neur­ship and fundrais­ing at the Tech­nion and Tel Aviv Univer­sity. Tal Mizrahi also served as a part­ner in Giza and has over 20 years of expe­ri­ence in invest­ments, finance and the legal aspects of venture funds in Israel and abroad and high-tech compa­nies. Prior to join­ing Giza, Tal served as VP Finance at PortAu­thor­ity, which was acquired by Websense for approx­i­mately $100 million. Mark Kave­laars is a venture part­ner in the fund and brings with him over 20 years of manage­r­ial expe­ri­ence in tech, market­ing and invest­ments. Kave­laars is a manag­ing part­ner and co-founder, at Swan­laab Venture Factory, Spain, a €60 million venture capi­tal fund invest­ing in inno­v­a­tive Span­ish compa­nies.

Dr. Yuval Avni, manag­ing general part­ner at Crescendo Venture Part­ners, notes: “Despite the huge poten­tial of star­tups in early stages, there is a gap between the financ­ing needs of these compa­nies and the amounts investors actu­ally invest in this stage. Crescendo will bridge this gap, with its team that will propose to entre­pre­neurs a combi­na­tion of expe­ri­ence in invest­ment and manage­ment of star­tups, along with a broad network of connec­tions with compa­nies and investors in Europe, Latin Amer­ica and Asia who are inter­ested in invest­ing in Israeli soft­ware compa­nies.” Avni added that “as a team that accu­mu­lated expe­ri­ence in invest­ments and also in manage­ment of star­tups, we under­stand the entrepreneur’s view­point, take a profes­sional and friendly atti­tude towards entre­pre­neurs and make quick deci­sions concern­ing compa­nies we encounter.”

Zvi Schechter, general part­ner at Crescendo Venture Part­ners, adds: “We are currently riding on the posi­tive momen­tum of the cycle for Israeli star­tups. We are constantly meet­ing with excep­tional entre­pre­neurs with great ideas who can create a real trans­for­ma­tion in a wide range of sectors of tradi­tional indus­tries in vari­ous sectors. Crescendo will place at the disposal of those entre­pre­neurs a combi­na­tion of capi­tal, busi­ness expe­ri­ence and a network of global contacts with poten­tial customers, part­ners and investors from around the world, who are yearn­ing to connect and coop­er­ate with inno­v­a­tive star­tups from Israel.”

Photo caption: Crescendo Venture Part­ners’ lead­ing team from left to right — Manag­ing General Part­ner Dr. Yuval Avni, General Part­ners Zvi Schechter and Tal Mizrahi

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