05 Feb 2018

Globes: UK’s Hetz Ventures sets up $50m Israel VC fund

Hetz is the first British fund exclusively targeting Israeli startups. Lord Feldman is one of the founding partners.

A member of the UK House of Lords, a businessperson, and a veteran of an IDF intelligence unit are the three managing partners in Hetz Ventures, a new UK venture capital fund for investing in Israeli startups. Hetz Ventures, revealed here for the first time, is a $50 million fund for investment in Israeli startups in the early stages – the first all-UK fund investing exclusively in Israeli ventures.

The fund has met with over 60 Israeli companies over the past three months, and is continuing to meet with additional parties. The partners say, however, that it will eventually invest in no more than 12 companies. The fund’s founders are Andrew Feldman, a member of the British House of Lords; Stuart Roden; and Judah Taub. All three are UK Jews from different backgrounds, who have decided to bring UK money to Israeli high tech and Israeli high tech to the UK market. Another partner who has joined them is Israel Seed Partners cofounder and Castel Partners chairperson Neil Cohen.

Between 2010 and 2016 Lord Feldman was chairperson of the UK Conservative Party, including during the term of former Prime Minister David Cameron. Prior to that he was the party’s CEO. Before entering politics, Feldman founded and management a retail business. “These two dimensions, both the private and the public one, brought me to technology and Israel,” he told “Globes.” “Through politics, I was better exposed to what was happening in Israel. The UK ambassador was very interested in Israeli technology, and helped its progress a lot. This made me realize that the UK was under-represented in Israeli high tech.”

At a time when investments in startups that are just beginning is declining, Hetz Ventures wants to invest in startups at the seed and pre-seed stages. The fund’s investment strategy is “constructive activism”: they want to invest in companies with a relatively low value of around $10 million, and no more than $20 million. The companies receiving the investments are interested in the connection for getting ahead through the fund’s connections in the UK in order to increase their value rapidly. Hetz Ventures is therefore looking for startups whose technology can serve companies in the retail, financial and holding companies sectors.

The fund has 15-20 investors, with each investor investing $2.5-3.3 million. All of Hetz Ventures’ investors are from the UK, and although Feldman refused to disclose their names, he said they were senior figures in several major UK companies. He added that although the fund was relatively small in monetary terms, it had a great deal of strength in action – if a significant opportunity arises, many of the investors are likely to be interested in also taking part in later financing rounds.

Read more here: http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-uks-hetz-ventures-sets-up-50m-israel-vc-fund-1001222349