Israeli healthcare-focused VC fund aMoon Partners, backed by Israeli billionaire Marius Nacht, said that its second fund, aMoon II, which launched in April 2018, has finalized $660 million in investor commitments, making it the largest single fund in Israel.
The commitments exceed aMoon’s original target of $500 million for the fund.
Venture-capital partnerships have several funds under different terms and for different purposes. The new fund is the largest single one among them; there are other VCs in Israel that have total investments managed more than aMoon, but no other single fund within any other VC is larger.
aMoon II invests in mid- to late-stage life science companies in the field of digital health, medical technologies and biopharmaceuticals that operate in Israel as well as other health-tech hubs like the US and Europe.
The new fund will invest in companies that integrate digital health advancements such as AI, machine learning, and big data computing into drug and medical device development.
To date, the fund has invested in four Israeli companies and a fifth in Silicon Valley, founded by an Israeli entrepreneur, aMoon said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We plan to leverage Israel’s ecosystem of breakthrough science and disruptive tech innovation to accelerate cure and reshape global healthcare.” said Dr. Yair Schindel, co-founder and managing partner of aMoon. “This raise is a vote of confidence for the Israeli healthtech ecosystem that extends beyond Israel’s borders, to include the sizable community of Israeli entrepreneurs and researchers in global hubs, such as Silicon Valley and Boston.”
Israel has highly detailed electronic medical records for 98 percent of the population dating back 20 years, making it among the most valuable datasets in the world, the statement said.
To further increase Israel’s competitive advantage in the health sphere, the Israeli government recently set up a national initiative that will invest NIS 1 billion ($272 million) in Digital Health projects over the next 5 years.
“The convergence of medicine and technology is generating a wave of innovation capable of redefining medical care – beyond our imagination. This presents a unique opportunity both for impacting human life and for the investor community.” said aMoon co-founder Marius Nacht, who is also the co-founder and chairman of Israel’s largest cybersecurity firm, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.
Nacht and Schindel seek to bridge a funding gap faced by healthcare companies, as they require a lot of capital to develop their products and carry significant risks of failure. The advantage of investing in mid- and late-stage companies is that much of the vulnerability is in the past, and there is a shorter time to market and to profitability.
In May 2018, Swiss multinational investment bank Credit Suisse AG said it will inject $250 million in aMoon’s second fund, creating a strategic partnership with the venture.
The first $200 million fund, aMoon I, set up three years ago, invested in early-stage health technologies and life sciences firms, and was backed exclusively by Nacht.