New York and Philadelphia-based VC firm INE Ventures said Wednesday that it has launched its first fund. No financial terms were disclosed. According to INE Ventures, the pool will provide seed funding to Israeli tech startups with the aim of helping them enter the U.S. market and become multinational companies.
NEW YORK & PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–INE Ventures, LLC is pleased to announce the official launch of INE Ventures Fund I, following the Mayor of Philadelphia’s Economic Trade Mission to Israel. INE Ventures will co-invest seed capital in Israeli technology startups with a selection of trusted venture capital partners to relocate portfolio company founders to Philadelphia and New York City to help them penetrate the U.S. market and turn into growing multinational companies.
“The goal of INE Ventures is to take exciting but unproven Israeli technology companies and work closely with their founders to grow them into viable and scalable businesses with strong traction in the U.S. market,” said Paul Grossinger, Managing Partner of INE Ventures.
Israel, termed the “Startup Nation,” is one of the world’s best incubators of new companies and offers the second highest density of early stage companies after Silicon Valley. However, out the hundreds of Israeli startups created each year, many fail to flourish because they lack access to sizeable growth capital and a large, friendly consumer market. INE Ventures will provide its portfolio companies with access to both as the first venture capital fund to target seed-stage Israeli startups for relocation to the East Coast. The opportunity for relocation allows these companies to take advantage of the Tri-State region’s avid interest in cultivating their startup technology sectors, which will play a critical role not only in maximizing the portfolio companies’ growth, but also in serving the region’s interests.
“We are excited to have partners like INE Ventures to help follow through on our mission to make Philadelphia a leading technology hub and amongst the best North American cities to start or build a company,” said Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia. “INE Ventures sees the enormous value for companies to relocate their business development operations to our city and we want to thank INE Ventures for making Philly one of their hubs,” added Nutter.
Israel’s government also recognizes the important role the U.S. market and investors play in growth for the Startup Nation’s early-stage companies and its U.S. representatives are excited by the role INE Ventures will play in bringing access to growth capital to these seed-stage companies.
“I would like to congratulate INE Ventures for establishing a co-investment fund in Israeli companies which will also support the companies with their growth in the US market. This is a particularly exciting testament to the wealth of opportunities Israeli startups provide for local investors,” said Nili Shalev, Israel’s Economic Minister to North America.
INE Ventures began to address a critical need: Israeli seed companies must take advantage of the US market to grow. East Coast investors are eager to meaningfully interface with Israeli startups that have a long term base of operations and that plan for expansion on the Eastern Seaboard and into the US market. The Fund’s Partners, Paul Grossinger and Joshua Cline, bring expertise in early investing, seed-stage operations, and lean marketing and branding in the global market through their collective experience with Pervasive Group Inc., The Cline Group, and a collection of ongoing and closed seed and Series A-level financial raises for Israeli portfolio and advisory companies during 2013, including iOnRoad, MediSafe, and Seebo. Intending to make investments in groupings of six to eight startups over the course of a year, INE Ventures’ Partners are already evaluating companies for co-investment and will relocate the first portfolio company founders in the winter of 2014.
“The cooperation between Plus Ventures and INE Ventures will allow us to not only win the most promising early stage Israeli start-up investments, but to also answer a critical success-factor that affects all start-up companies located in Israel,” says Roy Oron, Partner and Head of Venture Development at Plus Ventures, and advisor with INE Ventures. “As is one of the most active investors in Israeli early stage start-ups, at Plus Ventures we not only lead the first investment round, but we also help grow companies – ‘hands-on’. Our goal partnering up with INE is two-fold: Having INE and other US early stage investors co-invest with us in ‘Start-Up Nation’, and, as importantly, helping our portfolio companies propel to penetrate the US market as soon as they are ripe so that they achieve success, at the early stages of the development of the company, and close Series A rounds sooner.”
Joshua Cline, a Managing Partner of INE Ventures, commented, “Today is the first step INE Ventures will take toward fostering the growth of dozens of Israeli seed-stage companies that might otherwise be stranded. The opportunity for relocation and the ability to capitalize on the resources present in the Tri-State region will help these companies reach their potential.”
About INE Ventures, LLC
Based on the East Coast with offices in New York, NY and Philadelphia, PA, INE Ventures, LLC invests exclusively in Israeli technology startups through co-investment partnerships with select Israeli venture capital firms. Leveraging a deep network of contacts across Israel’s technology world and the multi-disciplined experience of its team, the firm closely assists its entrepreneurs and portfolio companies in increasing their U.S. market penetration. The INE Ventures portfolio will include a diverse array of companies focusing on Mobile, SaaS, Internet, Security, and other innovative technologies. For more information on the Fund, as well as its’ Managing Partners, Paul Grossinger and Joshua Cline, please visit www.ineventures.com