TechNation / New VC Fund TLV Plans to Raise $100 Million

FanZone raises $5 million to expand events app; peer-to-peer lending platform Blender secures $5m.

Yoram Reshef

Rona Segev and Eitan Bek, two veterans of Pitango Venture Capital, are forming their own fund. The two filed over the weekend plans with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to form TLV Ventures to invest in seed stage startups. They expect to raise their goal of $100 milion over the next few months. Further details about the fund were not immediately available.

TLV will focus likely on the areas Segev and Bek specialized in at Pitango: enterprise software, mobile apps, data storage and Internet of things. TLV will be based in the Mind Space center in the old Tel Aviv Stock Exchange building. The TLV filing comes less than two weeks after Eric Benhamou’s Silicon Valley-based Benhamou Global Ventures said it raised $72 million for a new fund in the U.S., Israel and Europe. Unusually, it will not charge management fees.

FanZone raises $5 million to expand events app

FanZone has secured $5 million in a funding round to take its platform for helping fans find rides to sports and music events into new markets and develop its service in existing ones. The round was led by Olive Tree Capital Ventures and includes Ron Zuckerman and Amir Gal-Or, who invested in the company’s $1.2 million seed about a year ago.

Launched in 2014 by Ori Shila and Tomer Kazaz and employing 20, FanZone began as a ride-sharing app for sports events and later worked with sports clubs and mass transit operators and the Israeli Police to manage big crowds at major events. “Our vision is to create a platform that includes a wide range of services and solutions around an event that will make it more affordable and make it easier and faster to get there,” said Shila.

Peer-to-peer lending platform Blender secures $5m

Blender, the Israeli peer-to-peer lending app, has raised $5 million from investors led by the U.S. venture firm Blumberg Capital. Blender, which was founded by Gal Aviv, Boaz Aviv and Barak Gur, says it has helped generate 10 million shekels (2.65 million) in loans since it was founded in 2014.

"The current fundraising round will help us strengthen Blender‘s base in Israel and development new markets in Western Europe and Latin America,” said Gal Aviv, Blender’s CEO. The startup, which raised $2 million in a seed round and employs 30 people, is still not profitable. Borrowers can get loans of up to 30,000 shekels for up to three years at interest rates of 4-9%, but the average loan is between 15,000 and 20,000 shekels at 6%. To spread risks, the loans are made by a group of peer lenders.