Seasoned Venture Capitalists Set Up New Israeli Fund

As Israeli high tech enjoys a wave of favorable global exposure following Google's acquisition of Waze, Aleph, established by Michael Eisenberg and Eden Shochat, will announce a $120 million closing next month.

The seasoned Israeli venture capitalists Michael Eisenberg and Eden Shochat are teaming up to put together a new fund dubbed Aleph and are to announce a $120 million closing next month, TheMarker has learned.

Eisenberg will refrain from making new investments in Benchmark Capital in which he is a general partner. Both Eisenberg and Shochat declined to comment.

The names of the two partners in the new fund have been connected to several Israeli Internet and mobile success stories in recent years. While at Genesis Partners, from which he resigned in April, Shochat was a cofounder of Aternity and of Face.com, a facial recognition technology developer, which was bought last year by Facebook. He played a leading role in promising startups like Any.do, Commerce Sciences and JoyTunes. He was also the driving force behind TheJunction, a program initiated by Genesis Partners for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

As a partner in Benchmark Capital, Eisenberg has invested in some of Israel's largest Internet companies including Conduit, whose last round of funding was at a company value of $1.4 billion, and Wix, which has submitted a confidential prospectus to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.

Eisenberg was also the Benchmark partner who invested in Seeking Alpha and Gigya. He invested privately in CrossRider, which was sold last December for $37 million.

Eisenberg and Shochat are raising money for their new fund just as Israeli high tech is enjoying a wave of favorable global exposure in the wake of Google's $1.1 billion acquisition of Waze. That deal has shown the world's VC investors that Israeli startups are capable of developing innovative products that appeal to consumer audiences and achieve high rates of return for investors.

Apart from Aleph, Israeli VC funds that have raised capital over the past year include Pitango Venture Capital, Israel's biggest VC firm, which has raised $150 million of the $250 million in plans for its sixth fund. Magma Venture Partners, one of the two Israeli funds that invested in Waze, raised $100 million, and Qumra Capital, run by former Evergreen partners Boaz Dinte and Erez Shachar, have thus far raised $40 million out of $100 million they plan for their first fund.
 

Bloomberg