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Israeli VC firm Grove Ventures raises $185m fund to back early-stage startups

New fund to focus on ‘exceptional entrepreneurs’ working on digitization, edge computing, AI, automation tech

Ricky Ben-David is The Times of Israel’s Startups and Business editor and reporter.

The Grove Ventures team. (David Garb)
The Grove Ventures team. (David Garb)

Israeli investment firm Grove Ventures said Thursday that it has raised a fund of $185 million to invest in early-stage startups and “exceptional Israeli entrepreneurs.”

The fund, Grove Ventures’ third, will focus on companies working digitization processes that “will shape the future, edge computing, cloud infrastructure, data infrastructure and management, developers’ tools and software, DevOps, AI, and automation, the company said.

Grove Ventures has backed outfits like Wiliot, a maker of battery-free Bluetooth-based chips to tag onto consumer-packaged goods that raised $200 million recently, online trust and safety startup ActiveFence, the developer of an artificial intelligence-powered platform to proactively uncover and flag malicious content, and TriEye, a developer of short-wave-infrared (SWIR) sensing chips that enable drivers to see in adverse weather and at night.

The VC company emphasized that the new fund will invest in pre-seed, seed and Series A in Israeli startups, early rounds that have drawn fewer investors in recent years. A majority of investments in Israeli companies over the past few years have gone into mid-rounds (Series B and C) and later, fueling the growing stable of Israeli unicorns — private companies valued at over $1 billion.

Grove Ventures is headed by Dov Moran, a veteran entrepreneur and investor widely known for having invented the USB flash drive as the founder of M-Systems, acquired by SanDisk for more than $1.6 billion in 2006. Lior Handelsman, one of the founders of smart-energy solutions firm SolarEdge, currently the only Israeli company listed on the S&P 500 index, Lotan Levkowitz, and Renana Ashkenazi, formerly with Applied Materials, serve as general partners.

The team said in a joint statement that they were excited to “support the next generation of companies that will propel the technological leaps forward and digitalization processes to power the future of the world.”

“We are in a challenging and fascinating period of time in which the world is becoming more digital than ever. We work to be a home for Israeli founders who build significant technological innovation and infrastructure and create game-changing companies,” they added.

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