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Mossad’s Venture Arm to diversify its Secretive Portfolio

The fund, Libertad Ventures, which does not disclose the names of its portfolio startups, was established in 2017 and modeled after a similar CIA fund

Libertad Ventures, the Mossad newly established Venture Arm which keeps its portfolio companies secret, said Monday it is expanding its investments into sectors such robotics, fintech, and smart city technologies.

After receiving a wide range of tech startup pitches since its establishment in 2017, the Israeli intelligence agency has decided to diversify its portfolio.

In its first call for proposals, looking for groundbreaking technologies to expand the Mossad’s capabilities the fund focused on five sectors: robotics, energy, encryption, web intelligence, text analysis, and natural language processing.

Now it aims to fintech, energy harvesting, big data, 3D printing and scanning, smart city technologies, sound processing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, synthetic biology, and drones.

At the time, it announced that the fund would provide $2.9 million a year to five companies. Each startup is eligible for up to $580,000. Libertad fund does not take equity in return for its funding.

The Mossad modeled Libertad Ventures after the CIA’s In-Q-Tel, that invests in tech startups to keep the U.S. intelligence agencies armed with the most innovative technologies.

The fund’s head said in a statement that Mossad has already benefited from some of its portfolio companies.

The chosen startups develop their technology, and the Mossad receive a license to use the intellectual property developed, but the agreement is non-exclusive. The Mossad retain no rights to intellectual property acquired after the term of the project.

At the launch of the fund, a statement by the head of the Mossad Yossi Cohen said that Israel’s startup ecosystem offers groundbreaking technologies that may expand the organization’s capabilities. It will position it in a better place when it comes to facing future challenges.

The Mossad’s partnership with private companies is excellent, he added, and the agency will continue to strengthen it.

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