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