Mobli founder Moshe Hogeg launches new $102 million VC fund

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Chinese Internet giants, Tencent and Renren, are leading the investment in Moshe Hogeg’s second investment fund.

 

moshe-hogeg 640X PR.2 MOBLI

Chinese Internet giants Tencent Holding Group and Renren are leading investment in Moshe Hogeg’s Singulariteaminvestment group’s, second fund, of $100 million. Singulariteam chairman and YO! and Mobli founder Moshe Hogeg launched the fund at a press conference today. Kazakh businessman Kenges Rakishev, who made most of his fortune in traditional industries, participated in the first Singulariteam fund, and invested directly in Mobli, is also an investor in the new fund.

China’s Tencent is behind a number of leading services, including the instant messaging app WeChat. Tencent has a market cap of $200 billion, is the second in size in China (after Alibaba) and is one of the world’s biggest companies. Renren is the company behind the “Chinese Facebook, ” and has a market cap of $900 million. Hogeg explained that the Chinese investments in the fund will make it possible for the companies in the investment fund’s portfolio to enter the Chinese Internet and digital markets more easily. With regards to Rakishev, Hogeg said, “Unlike the previous fund, which Rakishev led, this time, he is still a significant investor, but not a leading one.”

“When we launched the first fund, we decided to bring a new methodology, where we serve as half angel investor, and half investment fund. We invest in the very early idea stages, but instead of investing $100, 000, we invest $1-2 million at the idea and presentation stage, ” Hogeg explained. “It’s unusual, but, if I may quote Warren Buffett, ‘If you believe in something, go after it aggressively, and don’t leave it alone.’ In our world, investing $1-2 million in initial stages is going after it aggressively. It increases the likelihood of success of the companies that we invest in significantly. There is a difference between a CEO who is worried about how to pay salaries tomorrow morning, and a CEO who has money in the bank and is focused on building the product and creating value, ” Hogeg added.

Hogeg said that the new fund has already invested $20 million in start-ups, and the second fund’s portfolio already includes two companies that are developing mail apps – TL;DR, and Hop, alongside web-building platform Webydo, invest.com, Genesort, and the.net.

As far as Hogeg and Singulariteam are concerned, this is a significant step up, as the first fund was only for $20 million. Additional investors participated in the first fund, with a co-invest model, and added another $80 million. Hogeg said that the start-ups that the company invested in with the first fund raised a total $300 million. One of these companies was Mobli, the social-network app for photos and videos where Hogeg is CEO, which raised $86 million. Another is StoreDot, which is developing a fast smartphone charger, and which raised $32 million. Some other noteworthy companies in the portfolio are Meta and InfinityAR, which are developing special augmented-reality glasses, and YO!, which has developed a communication app where a single word is sent to users. Hogeg emphasized the difference between the investment fund he heads and other investment funds, and said, “We connect between companies, so the synergy between companies and CEOs, product managers, and marketing managers help the portfolio’s entire eco-system.” Hogeg also said that he brought on academics from the fields of behavioral psychology, marketing, and trends, in order to streamline the fund’s and the start-ups’ work processes.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com

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