Investment and venture capital funds in Israel
Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. Advocates and Notary is 'one of the most prominent firms in the Israel funds market'. The 'deep bench' of 'experienced and technically strong' partners is among the most active teams in venture capital and private equity fund formation. Ian Rostowsky and Yonatan Altman have acted in some of the most valuable new venture capital fund formations in 2018, and Maya Issacharov served as Israeli counsel in relation to the establishment of Vintage X, a secondary fund aiming at funds investing in Israeli, European and US hi-tech companies. The team has been involved in major venture capital fund closings for clients including Grove Ventures and Firstime Venture Capital. Further, Issacharov advised Israel Infrastructure Fund on the formation of its third fund, and Rostowsky assisted with the formation of Forma Real Estate Fund, which reached its final close in 2018. In addition to formation, the department provides ongoing management and investment advice to dozens of venture capital funds and institutional investors.
Leveraging formidable strengths in hi-tech, corporate investment transactions and M&A, Goldfarb Seligman & Co. regularly advises venture capital, real estate, private equity and other funds on formation, fundraising and ensuing investment transactions. The team is particularly active in real estate funds, where recent work has included Ido Gonen acting for Menivim - The New REIT in relation to its establishment, fundraising and investment work. Further, the team has experience structuring hedge funds, funds of funds, and secondary funds, and also recently advised a group of major Israeli institutional investors on their investment into an infrastructure fund. In the hi-tech space, the firm advises venture capital investors on the full spectrum of activity from initial fund formation to portfolio investments. Ashok Chandrasekhar and Rami Sofer are regularly involved in investment work for private equity and venture capital funds, and Dubi Zoltak has particular expertise in international real estate investment mandates, particularly those with US aspects.
Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg, Shenhav & Co.
Following its merger with Shenhav & Co, Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg, Shenhav & Co.'s investment funds practice is led by Ayal Shenhav, who, working in conjunction with the firm's tax and securities teams, is among the most active practitioners in the venture capital space, both in fund formations and investment activity. According to statistics from the ITA, the team handles formation and management mandates for roughly one third of Israel's venture capital funds. In particular, Shenhav was recently involved in the formations of State of Mind Ventures II, which is co-managed by Pinhas Buchris; two funds founded by former partners of Sequoia Capital, S-Capital and Cyberstarts; and TLV II, which is the second fund raised by the founders of TLV Partners. The team also represents two of the five finalists in a tender by the Israeli Securities Authority for the selection of four state-guaranteed hi-tech investment funds, which will each manage at least NIS400m. Another figure in the team is Amir Raz, who has been involved in the formation of a fund that is primarily backed by Chinese investors.
Herzog Fox & Neeman has 'an extremely strong team with an extremely strong platform for across-the-board legal services'. Repeatedly rated for providing service of 'an international quality', at the time of writing the firm is the only Israeli law firm to successfully complete a foreign fund registration in Israel. Led by Tal Dror-Schwimmer, the funds team provides a comprehensive service across the spectrum of funds-related activity for buy-side and sell-side clients, and handles fund formation for onshore and offshore funds. The team has been involved in investment and formation mandates for venture capital funds, hedge funds, real estate and infrastructure funds, and crypto funds. Dror-Schwimmer is also assisting with the formation of the Hoshen Fund, a fund of funds that will invest in Israeli and foreign investment funds. Further, with a strong securities team led by Ilanit Landesman Yogev, the firm advised one of the world's leading asset managers on all regulatory issues associated with the registration of one of its funds as a foreign fund in Israel. The department provides a full range of service to venture capital investors such as Viola Ventures Group, and hedge fund managers such as Sphera Group. Buy-side clients include Phoenix, Discount Capital, and Poalim Capital Markets.
In the venture capital space, Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices is among the market's most visible firms. In addition to having an active formation practice, the firm's corporate and securities team acts for a huge variety of venture capital investors in a litany of investment and M&A activity. Key figures in the team include tax specialist Adv Eldar Ben-Ruby and Adv Hodiya Schnider, who advises Israel's largest venture capital group, Pitango, on an array of investment and formation matters, including the formation of TDJ-Pitango, a fund formed in cooperation with the Polish government. Additionally, Schnider is advising clients such as E-Toro, iAngels and Scale-Up on the structuring of funds and platforms dedicated to blockchain assets. The team also has experience with private equity funds, hedge funds and real estate funds. Private equity clients include Vector Capital and Viola Private Equity.
Raveh Haber & Co. is a boutique firm specialising in tax and investment funds, which maintains an active formation and investment practice for several major domestic funds, and also provides Israeli tax and regulatory advice to foreign fund managers. Jointly led by Miriam Haber and Gil Raveh, the team provides a comprehensive service to the Noy infrastructure and energy funds, but has also formed and provides an ongoing service to funds managed by clients such as Yesodot Real Estate Group and Israel Growth Partners. Haber also advised Electra America on the formation of the Electra Multifamily Investments Fund, which invests in apartment complexes in the US and reached a final close of $212m. Further, the team has assisted Hamilton Lane with all of its Israeli tax and regulatory issues for over a decade. The group is also engaged by buy-side clients, including Amitim Senior Pension Funds and Migdal Insurance Company. Another name to note is Yuval Arad, who specialises in private equity.
Vinograd & Co is a boutique firm that assists major institutional investors in fund investment transactions, and is well known for establishing unique hedge funds, real estate funds and other investment funds. In one example, Ronen Vinograd assisted IBI Investment House with the establishment of the Comrit Fund, which invests in non-traded REIT funds in the US; the team now advises the fund on all of its investment activities. Vinograd also structured a Cayman Island hedge fund investing in US securities and helped establish a first-of-its-kind insurance-linked securities fund, which is anticipated to grow to NIS1bn. Additionally, the team advises Meitav Dash, Poalim Capital Markets, Psagot Investment House and a variety of provident funds on their capital markets investments into funds; a key name to note here is Sharon Friedman, who leads the capital markets and institutional regulation practice.
Arnon Segev & Co.
Arnon Segev & Co. specialises in advising institutional investors in relation to their fund investment transactions. Led by Nira Bahat, the investment funds practice is engaged by many of Israel's most active investment houses and institutional investors. Additionally, the team has experience forming hedge and venture capital funds, and recently advised a major foreign investment manager on various regulatory and commercial issues associated with its entrance into the Israeli market. Another key figure is Deborah Lotstein, an active senior associate who is licensed in the US and specialises in advising private investors on investments into US-domiciled funds and private equity groups.
Naschitz, Brandes, Amir & Co. is well known for accompanying venture capital and private equity funds in investment and formation activity. In particular, the group provides a comprehensive service to Israel's most prolific private equity player, FIMI Private Equity Funds, which most recently formed its sixth fund, FIMI Opportunity 6. Department head Sharon Amir assisted Arbel Fund with a NIS700m capital raising, and advised Shikun & Binui Holdings on the establishment of an infrastructure fund investing in projects sponsored by Shikun & Binui. In addition to advising domestic venture capital and private equity investors, the department has been engaged by foreign investment firms in relation to their maiden investments in Israel. The team also provides ongoing investment and lending advice to Viola Credit Fund and Viola Ventures. Noga Devecseri Spira is another key figure in the department.
Schwell Wimpfheimer & Associates
Schwell Wimpfheimer & Associates' Israel-based team specialises in fund formation and investment transactions and has unique exposure to the global investment market through its head office in New York. The team is led by Jan Wimpfheimer, who has dual US and Israel qualifications and has extensive experience advising sponsors and investors in all types of private funds, including hedge, private equity, real estate and venture capital funds.
Yigal Arnon & Co has 'deep expertise in the venture capital field', where it maintains an active investment practice and has experience with fund formation. Yarom Romem acted for clients including Hetz Ventures and AgriNation in relation to the formation of Cayman Islands venture capital funds. Further, the team assisted OurCrowd with the launch of Cognitiv, and is also advising the client on the creation of a Cayman Island fund that will be more attractive to otherwise jurisdictionally weary European investors. The team also acts for institutional investors such as Leumi Partners and Clal Insurance Company.
BFP & Co Attorneys & Notary
BFP & Co Attorneys & Notary specialises in investment and commercial transactions in the hi-tech sector, and maintains an active fund formation practice where it acts for venture capital investors. Led by Haleli Barath, the team has handled formation and structuring mandates for CreditEase Israel Innovation Fund, Cerca II, and IVL.
Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co is often engaged by major domestic and US-based private investment funds in relation to high-value investment transactions and complex M&A. Led headed by Raz Tepper and Eran Yaniv, the team also has experience in fund formation. As an example, Gilad Winkler acted for Menora Mivtachim Insurance in the establishment of a fund in conjunction with Canadian Solar Group. The team also assisted Helios Fund with the NIS450m fundraising associated with the establishment of two new investment funds. In addition, the group also provides ongoing investment and transactional advice to funds and corporate investors including Sky Private Equity Fund, Claridge Israel, and Claltech Investments. Ron Sitton is also recommended.
M. Firon & Co Advocates and Notaries
M. Firon & Co Advocates and Notaries has gained recognition among Israeli investment houses for its well-rounded high-quality legal advice. Additionally, Oded Ofek was involved in the incorporation of Excellence Mutual Funds and Ayalon Mutual Funds, which invest in non-liquid and private companies in the R&D field in Israel. Ofek is also advising the Israeli Ministry of Finance on various financing issues in relation to the establishment of a fund that will guarantee the VAT reimbursements to home buyers pursuant to the Sale (Apartments) (Assurance of Investors of Purchasers of Apartments) Law. Further, a team including Jacob Sarov acted for Sigma City Management in connection to the formation of a fund designed to finance urban renewal projects, and now assists the fund with its ongoing investment activity. Also recommended is Gail Etzion, who has assisted with the formation of a Cayman venture capital fund, and also advises venture capital investors on a litany of portfolio investments.
Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz's strong hi-tech practice has led to strong relationships with active venture capital firms; however, its expertise extends far beyond portfolio investment and the team advises various investors on the formation of venture capital, private equity and other types of funds. A key figure is hi-tech and venture capital specialist Atir Jaffe, who advised Keshet International Broadcasting on the formation of a $55m venture capital fund, and also assisted with the formation of the new Israeli impact fund, COPIA Agro & Food Technologies Fund. In the private equity space, the team handled the formation of the AP Partners Fund, which reached over $82m in its initial closing. Another important feature is the firm's global network, which includes US tax lawyer Oz Halabi, and uniquely positions the funds department to handle cross-border mandates.
Shibolet & Co. with Raved, Magriso, Benkel & Co. comprises 'a team of collaborative professionals', whose 'familiarity with the market's latest trends and regulatory developments' produces high-quality legal service. In the investment funds space, Orit Sternhell-Zaltzman was involved with the formation of a Cayman Island hedge fund investing in crypto assets, and also helped establish a fund that provides debt funding to Israeli real estate projects. Also of note, the team has assisted a prominent global technology company with its investments into a venture capital fund. The firm also has a strong corporate and hi-tech practice, which regularly handles portfolio investment transactions.
Through its active hi-tech and healthcare-focused corporate practice, Tulchinsky Stern Marciano Cohen Levitski & Co. advises a number of venture capital funds on portfolio investment activity, and also handles fund formation for some prominent venture capital firms. In one example, the team is advising Jerusalem Venture Partners on a wide range of fund structuring, formation and taxation issues. Similarly, Doron Stern and Ofer Dolinsky have assisted Sanara Ventures, a joint venture comprising Teva and Philips Healthcare, with fund formations as well as ongoing investment activity. Daniel Chinn left for AYR – Amar Reiter Jeanne Shochatovitch & Co in 2019.