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

3. Decem­ber 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 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

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