Israeli VC firm Magenta Venture Partners announced today a new venture capital fund targeting $100 million. The new fund had its initial closing in October 2018 and is planning its final closing in 2019.
Investors in Magenta Venture Partners include Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Koito Manufacturing Co. Ltd. who are looking to work with the fund to identify innovative technologies in Israel.
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Magenta Venture Partners is an equal partnership between Mitsui & Co. Ltd., one of the largest trading and investment companies in Japan, Ori Israely, and Ran Levitzky, two seasoned Israeli professionals from its venture capital industry
The fund specializes in early-stage investments in Israeli and Israeli-related technology startups in multiple domains including Automotive, Mobility, AI, Smart Cities, Industry 4.0, Enterprise Software and Fintech.
The four partners of the fund include Ori Israely, formerly of Motorola Solutions Venture Capital and Giza Venture Capital, Hiroshi Takeuchi of Mitsui who has relocated now to Israel after 15 years of venture investment experience in Japan and the US; Ran Levitzky, formerly from Viola Ventures where he co-led investments in early-stage startups, and earlier held roles at Amdocs, Microsoft, and Verint Systems; and Atsushi Mizuno from Mitsui’s investment arm who has over 10 years of experience investing into Israeli companies and who has been living in Israel for the past 4 years.
The fund adds to its Venture Advisory Board the former head of the technology center for 8200 unit Ron Shvili, who currently is the CTO & VP of Technology and Information Systems of Cellcom, a leading telecommunications group in Israel.
“Our name Magenta, is a blend of blue and red – the colors of the Israeli and Japanese flags” explains Ori Israely – Managing General Partner and a veteran of the Israeli VC industry, “it signifies the strengths of Israel and Japan”. Israely added: “our fund is a financially focused, but we look to invest in startups that not only look for capital but also seek value driven by the team’s experience in Japan, EU and the USA. We also leverage our investors to analyze and validate investments, assist the portfolio, and help all the startups we engage during this process.”
“Magenta will also work on introducing benefits of cooperation with such LPs to maximize return on investments, expose LPs to innovation generated by our portfolio companies and also from our deal flow,” said Hiroshi Takeuchi – Managing General Partner.
“Magenta offers unique added value in Israel’s venture capital scene,” said Ran Levitzky, General Partner at the firm. “Israeli entrepreneurs have a clear understanding that building a significant company requires a variety of products that are marketed not only in the west but globally including the east and Japan in particular.” Mr. Levitzky added that the fact that all the investors in Magenta are large Japanese companies, provides significant added value to Israeli entrepreneurs and startups who aim to build global leading companies.
Mr. Yokoya, Executive Vice President, of Koito Manufacturing Co. Ltd., said, “Koito as the No.1 manufacturer of automotive headlights in the world is committed to the next generation of autonomous driving and smart cities technologies. For that, Koito will partner with Magenta to explore collaboration opportunities with startups in Israel through our investment in Magenta Fund. We’re fully confident in the team and delighted to partner with Magenta in Koito’s exploration of new technologies in Israel.”
Mr. Kikuchihara, Managing Officer & Chief Operating Officer of Corporate Development Business Unit of Mitsui & Co. Ltd., said, “Mitsui has been engaged in venture capital investment practice around the world for decades, including 8 years of investments in Israel. Our partnership in the Magenta Fund is the proof of our commitment to this country which is one of the centers of innovation in the world, and we would further strengthen our investment and business promotion activities in this country from now on.”