Tel Aviv-based Crescendo Venture Partners has reached a first close for its debut early-stage VC fund, which aims to raise about $80-100 million.
The new fund expects to reach its final close in the first half of 2020, the firm said in a statement.
The fund will invest in Israeli software startups in fields such as big data, AI and machine learning with a focus on the theme of transforming traditional sectors such as agriculture, education, construction, healthcare and industry.
The fund began operations this year and has made its maiden investment in Lightico, an Israeli startup developing an automation solution for the last mile of the customer journey in contact centers.
Crescendo Venture Partners was founded in partnership with Switzerland-based Crescendo Group, which manages client assets in excess of $3 billion from offices in Europe, the US and Asia.
The firm is led by Zvi Schechter, Yuval Avni and Tal Mizrahi, formerly partners at Giza Venture Capital, together with Mark Kavelaars, managing partner and co-founder of 60-million-euro Spanish VC Swanlaab Venture Factory.
The partners together have over 75 years of experience in the industry, having invested in and supported companies such as Telegate, Cyota, Soluto, Beta-O2 and Israeli unicorn WalkMe.
“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,” said Yuval Avni, managing general partner at Crescendo Venture Partners.
Zvi Schechter, another general partner, added: “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 joins a number of new VC funds dedicated to the Israeli market in 2019, including Magenta Venture Partners’s $100-million vehicle launched in January and another $100-million fund focusing on food tech with participation from Finistere Ventures, OurCrowd, Tnuva and Tempo Beverages.