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  • Writer's pictureNando Bosquenegro

The Evolution of Israeli Venture Capital into the 3rd Generation

Israeli venture capital has undergone significant transformations over the years, with each generation bringing its unique approach and vision to the dynamic startup ecosystem. The 1st generation, pioneers like Pitango, Vertex Ventures Israel, and Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), laid the foundation during the 90s and early 2000s. The 2nd generation, featuring prominent names such as Grove Ventures, Team8, Aleph VC, and lool Ventures, emerged in the early 2000s and extended into the 2010s. Now, we find ourselves in the era of the 3rd generation, marked by fresh faces and innovative strategies, shaping the landscape of Israeli venture capital.


The 1st Generation: Laying the Groundwork


The first wave of Israeli venture capital played a crucial role in establishing the country as a global hub for technological innovation. Investors like Pitango and JVP were at the forefront of funding groundbreaking startups, contributing significantly to the success of companies that would go on to become household names. This generation focused on building a robust ecosystem and establishing Israel as a go-to destination for cutting-edge technology.


The 2nd Generation: Adaptation and Expansion


As the startup ecosystem continued to evolve, the 2nd generation of Israeli VCs stepped in to adapt to changing dynamics. Grove Ventures, Team8 Capital, Aleph VC, and lool Ventures were key players in this phase, supporting startups through their growth stages. This generation expanded the scope of investments, diversifying into emerging sectors and ensuring that Israeli startups had the support they needed to scale globally.


The 3rd Generation: A Paradigm Shift


In the late 2010s, a new wave of venture capitalists emerged, marking the 3rd generation of Israeli VCs. This wave includes Cardumen Capital, Hetz Ventures, Meron Capital, Fresh.Fund, and MizMaa Ventures. What sets this generation apart is its willingness to take risks and invest in earlier stages of a startup's development. This shift represents a departure from the more conservative approach of their predecessors.


New Blood, New Investment Theses:


The 3rd generation of Israeli VCs brings a breath of fresh air to the industry. Cardumen Capital and Fresh.Fund, for instance, have demonstrated a higher tolerance for risk, actively seeking out early-stage investments that others might deem too uncertain. This bold approach has injected new life into the startup ecosystem, providing much-needed support for visionary entrepreneurs at the early stages of their ventures.


A More Founder Centric Approach:


The 3rd wave of Israeli VCs have been prioritizing the caliber of founding teams over any other metric. Top-notch teams are at the forefront of their investment theses. This founder centric approach allows for more flexibility, agility, and a better understanding of the unique challenges faced by each startup. This is most likely due to the amount of competition and dry powder in the market, which have driven newer funds to focus on relationships, putting themselves in the shoes of founders in order to win deals over incumbents. This focus on exceptional teams also reflects an acknowledgment that success often hinges on the people driving the innovation more than anything else.


Conclusion:


As Israel continues to thrive as a global innovation powerhouse, the evolution of its venture capital landscape remains a critical factor. The 3rd generation of Israeli VCs, characterized by Cardumen Capital, Hetz Ventures, Meron Capital, Fresh.Fund, and MizMaa Ventures, is playing a pivotal role in shaping the future. With a higher risk tolerance, a focus on early-stage investments, and an emphasis on exceptional teams, these VCs are driving the Israeli startup ecosystem forward into new realms of innovation and success.


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