An international investment group is making the case that Philadelphia is one of the best places to be if you’re looking to back Israeli startups and help them grow. It left Philadelphia six months after this story was written.
JANVEST Technologies, an investment group with partners in Israel, San Francisco and Philadelphia, recently closed a $5 million angel fund and plans to invest up to $500,000 in 10-12 to Israeli web and software-based companies, according to a release. It aims to capitalize on what the fund calls a “growing investment gap” in Israel’s tech community
Philadelphia makes sense for three main reasons, said local managing partner Brian Rosenzweig, who moved from Israel to Philly a year and a half ago to launch the American arm of the fund:
- Interest. Nearly a dozen Philly-region investors make up almost 20 percent of JANVEST’s $5 million fund, Rosenzweig said.
- Market. After JANVEST invests in an Israeli startup, it aims to grow the company’s U.S. client base. The Philly business ecosystem is “not so overwhelming or unmanageable,” Rosenzweig said, and that allows JANVEST to get its companies “quick and significant traction in the U.S.”
- Proximity. It’s a common refrain among local entrepreneurs: It’s not hard to get to New York City, Boston, and, as it turns out, Tel Aviv (there’s a direct flight, Rosenzweig said), from Philly.
Rosenzweig, 31, is one of four JANVEST partners. He’s the only one in Philadelphia and he lives in Rittenhouse Square. Previously, he was the Director of Marketing at New York City-based 21Ventures, a venture fund that focused on Israeli clean tech startups.
It’s not the first time a Philadelphia angel group has set its sights on Israeli startups. The Keiretsu Forum MidAtlantic will hold its first quarterly “Israeli Innovation Showcase” this April. We reported on the forum’s growing interest in Israeli startups last fall.
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