TechCrunch: Wadi Ventures — A New Israeli Micro-Seed Fund With Close Industry Ties And Mysterious Backers
Aug. 28, 2012–Targeting “Silicon Wadi” — Israel’s own version of Silicon Valley — Wadi Ventures has launched as a new micro-seed VC fund focusing on disruptive Internet and new media startups in the region. So new, in fact, that its website is currently under construction. More interestingly, however, the fund thinks it’s seen a gap in the accelerator model, where industry partners, such as telcos, banks and corporates, get in on the action early and actually help shape those early-stage ideas — and with it, offer a quicker route to market.
It’s not yet saying who those partners are. Or more importantly, who is backing the fund, aside from that they are European and consist of a mixture of important financial institutions and entrepreneurs, some of them “very well known”. It hopes to be able to disclose more information on its mysterious backers sometime in the future. We wait with bated breath.
Wadi Ventures says its first cohort will involve ten teams — applications are being screened right now — and that each startup will receive an investment of around $30k in return for 7-10% equity. “As always, it is not an exact science”, says Jonathan Pacifici, General Partner, Wadi Ventures.
Back to the fund’s model: It says that it believes that startups need to engage as soon as possible with the market, and for Israeli companies that market is abroad. Hence its focus on industry partners and European backers. But more specifically, it wants to avoid the potential misfit between a startup’s innovative idea and existing industry dynamics and practicalities, citing the theoretical example of a new mobile payment solution being tailored to a top European bank rather than discovering too late that “the technology is nice, but doesn’t match the market’s needs”.
In this regard, Pacifici says that when talking to industry partners, there has been a lot of interest for the idea of ‘tailor made’ startups…Read More>>