TAU Ventures, the investment arm of Tel Aviv University (TAU), has raised a second fund of USD 50 million to invest in early-stage startups, the company announced on Monday.
The VC, founded by managing partner Nimrod Cohen and TAU, established its first USD 20 million fund in 2018. It made 18 investments in early-stage startups including SWIMM, Gaviti, MyAir, Castor, and more.
All existing stakeholders have reinvested in the current fund. Both funds were led by Chartered Group, which brings together many leading entities from Japan plus new investors, including family offices in the US, Canada, and Europe. TAU Ventures mentioned the opportunity to further grow the fund to USD 70 million.
TAU Ventures intends to use the second fund to invest in 15 to 25 companies founded by Israeli entrepreneurs across a wide range of sectors. It will provide up to USD 1 million per startup as a first investment. The firm said it emphasizes creating value for entrepreneurs with various university resources.
“We are in a period where a lot of money is circulating in the market. However, this can be misleading as there is still a shortage of investors in the early stages in Israel. More investors are operating in Series A or post-seed stages. They do not talk to entrepreneurs in the initial stage as they rather want to see a product that has already reached the market. We are covering this critical stage, enabling new companies to emerge,” said Cohen.
“As part of Tel Aviv University’s strategic plan, we have made it a central goal to strengthen ties with the local industry, as well as promoting an international and multidisciplinary campus. TAU Ventures provides entrepreneurs a platform with significant opportunities for innovation and academic progress beyond the campus boundaries. It enables students to integrate practical experience with leading startups during their studies. At the same time, it enables entrepreneurs to enjoy the diverse qualities of the campus,” said Ariel Porat, president of Tel Aviv University.
The article was originally published by NoCamels, a leading news website covering breakthrough innovation from Israel for a global audience.