Genesis Angels notches up $34.5m in Israeli start-ups

The fund, backed byKazakh businessman Kenges Rakishev and some prominent Israeli names,has built up an impressive portfolio of intriguing technologies.

A little over six months after its launch, Genesis Angels, which operates in Israel under the name Team Singular, has invested $34.5 million in Israeli start-ups. The fund is backed by 34 year-old Kazakh businessman Kenges Rakishev, most of whose wealth is from low technology industry and infrastructure. Other investors include 32 year-old Mobli founder and CEO Moshe Hogeg. Rakishev invested $20 million investment in Mobli in September 2012.

Rakishev and Hogeg launched Genesis Angels in April 2013, together with former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who serves as the funds chairman. Another prominent name at the fund is Yuval Rabin, son of the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, who serves as a fund manager. Rabin also serves as chairman at Beyond Verbal Ltd., which has developed technology for analyzing emotions. Beyond Verbal was the funds first investment, and Rakishev, Hogeg and Rabin met as a result.

Genesis Angels largest investment was $25 million, in a seed round in mobile hardware developer Sirim, which operates under the radar. Another major investment was in StoreDot Ltd., which is developing technology to charge an iPhone in 30 seconds, among other things. In June, the company completed its first financing round, raising $6 million. Among other investors in it are Stef Wertheimer, Nation-E Ltd. (a company that specializes in developing energy storage solutions, headed by former Maccabi Netanya Football Club owner, Daniel Jammer), and apparently also Samsung.

Genesis Angels has also invested in three undisclosed companies that have yet to launch their products, all of which operate in FinTech - technology for the financial sector. One of the three companies is developing a product for end-users. In addition, the fund has made three investments in companies that are partially Israeli. One of these companies is InfinityAR, an augmented reality company that is developing a platform for wearable computers. The company has an R&D center in Israel, and its president and CEO is advertising executive Enon Landenberg. The fund also invested in cloud services provider TriPlay (via Rakishev and others before the funds formal launch), whose CEO, Tamir Koch, was one of the founders of Dotomi, which was sold last year for $300 million. Another investment was in Meta View, developer of smart glasses, which was founded by an Israeli expat. The fund has invested $40 million altogether to date, and it intends to continue to focus its investments on Israel.

What matters to us in an investment is the synergy between companies, and the added value that we bring to the table through our business connections, explains Hogeg. A company like StoreDot, which specializes in energy storage, is very relevant in the mobile world, and a portfolio company like Sirim uses its technology, and connects it to its hardware developments for smartphones. He says that most of the investments are in early rounds. We dont invest after the Series A round, which sets us apart from other investment funds."

Rakishev and Hogeg were recently joined by a third, silent partner - a foreign tycoon who prefers to remain anonymous. Stan Bharti, founder of merchant bank Forbes & Manhattan, is also a limited partner in the fund. The funds official name, Genesis Angels, brought it before the Tel Aviv District Court, when the veteran fund Genesis Partners decided to sue. Rakishev and Hogeg were forced to pay NIS 100,000 to Genesis Partners, and they were forbidden from using the name in Israel. The fund now operates in Israel under the name Team Singular.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 20, 2013

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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