Israel VC with focus on auto tech raises $40 million

Israel VC with focus on auto tech raises $40 million

Firm seeking technologies that accelerate the shift toward autonomous vehicles

Mobileye provides technology in the area of software algorithms that could enable autonomous cars. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
Mobileye provides technology in the area of software algorithms that could enable autonomous cars. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

Israel-based venture capital firm Maniv Mobile LP, which invests mostly in early-stage transportation technology startups, said Wednesday it has raised more than $40 million, twice its goal, for its first fund.

The fund will act as a bridge for partners looking to invest in emerging mobility technologies, according to the firm, which already has a portfolio of 15 such startups. Most are in Israel and a few are in the US.

Since Intel Corp.’s acquisition of Mobileye in March, investor attention has turned to Israel’s other developments in the autonomous car space.

Maniv Mobile is an affiliate of the 20-year-old Maniv Investments. Limited partners in the new fund include equity crowdfunding VC OurCrowd, InMotion Ventures, a subsidiary of Jaguar Land Rover, and the $14 billion French multinational automotive supplier, Valeo, as well as hedge funds and family offices, Maniv said.

The firm’s founder, Michael Granoff, said that the industry’s shift from gasoline to electric power is minor compared to the coming shift toward autonomous vehicles. His firm is seeking out companies that are creating technologies that are accelerating that change.

“Automated vehicles will be electric, breaking oil’s stranglehold and giving us cleaner air,” Granoff said in a statement. “But these vehicles will do so much more: save lives and time through accident avoidance, expand mobility to the young, the old, the infirm, allow us to reclaim precious real estate from idle vehicles and more.”

Jon Medved, CEO of OurCrowd, praised Maniv Mobile for being at the forefront of a new paradigm. “Now that Israel is recognized as a world leader in this sector, there will be increased global attention to Maniv’s portfolio companies, many of whom are already pioneers in emerging new technologies, ranging from automotive data to advanced sensors, simulation to robotics, and automotive security to inter-vehicle communication,” he said.

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