Pitango Venture Capital has announced the $150 million first closing of its Pitango VI, sixth fund. The key to today's announcement was the commitment received by an "anchor" investor, which enabled the establishment of the new venture capital fund, and will allow Pitango to continue raising money for an overall fund of $250 million.
The Pitango VI Fund will invest in early-stage companies, including seed and pre-seed investments, as well investing in mature, growth-stage companies. Investments will be made in a wide range of industries, including Internet and media, mobile apps, data storage and enterprise computing, telecommunications infrastructures, software, semiconductors, renewable energy, and the life sciences (both drug development and medical devices).
Pitango managing general partner Rami Kalish said, "The first closing is an important milestone for us and for Israeli industry, as well marking investor confidence in us. Israel is a fertile source for innovation, and we believe in the Israeli market and in its current excellent opportunities. To our delight, we are now seeing more new ventures than before, and we intend for the new fund to invest in outstanding venture and entrepreneurs, beginning with the pre-seed and concept stage, through mature and established companies. The fund's size gives us the flexibility necessary for both pre-seed investments and to lead later financing rounds in late-stage companies."
Kalish co-founded Pitango in 1993, and the firm now manages over $1.4 billion through its offices in Israel and Silicon Valley. It has invested in 106 Israeli high-tech companies to date, including companies that have gone public or merged with strategic partners.
The announcement about the new fund comes against the backdrop of reports that Israeli venture capital funds are struggling to raise money. But Kalish said, "We've had two very good years with the fund having total exits worth $2 billion for our companies." This he said was among the reasons that the new fund took off.
Kalish added, "The difficulties have not been connected to the Israeli market nor to Pitango. But it is impossible to ignore that the market is in an economic crisis. In a period of crisis it is more difficult to raise money, and it influences many areas including our field. What encourages me in Israeli high tech is that the situation is very good, and we believe that in the next two years we will have some large exits."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 2, 2012
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