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Israel-focused VCs sow cash around seed stage tech firms

Firm puts together $75m to invest in AI, Big Data, robotics

A new multi-million dollar fund is planning to invest in promising Israeli tech startups.

YL Ventures, based in both Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, has put together a $75m war chest to invest in seed stage Israeli companies in high-growth sectors including cybersecurity, enterprise software, autonomous vehicles, drone technologies and virtual reality.

YLV III, as the new fund announced on Thursday will be known, aims to invest in two to three companies per year. Initial seed investments will be $2m-$3m, with YL Ventures leading the rounds.

The venture capitol firm has experience in Israeli entrepreneurs, most of whom having graduated from the IDF’s intelligence units [Unit 8200], to build successful cyber-security firms.

Managing Partner Yoav Andrew Leitersdorf, commented: “Israel is a well-known powerhouse for cybersecurity and related technological innovation. We are able to harness that expertise to expand into new sectors that leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, Big Data and robotics, all of which are highly relevant to our new fund. While remaining extremely selective, we can vet ideas fast, devote substantial attention to helping our companies scale, and provide a lot of value post-investment.”

YL Ventures has a back catalogue of successful exits form previous funds. It has previously invested in 10 companies, five of which have already been successfully acquired. For example, FireLayers (cloud access security broker) was acquired by Proofpoint and BlazeMeter (performance testing platform for DevOps) was acquired by CA.

Among the current YL Ventures portfolio companies include connected car security startup Karamba Security. ®

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