New Venture Capital Fund Takes $5M Investment toward Haredi Startups

October 20
6:00 AM 2016

The new fund, called the 12 Angels amassed $5 million from some of the most popular Israeli investors in the hi-tech sector, including Chemi Peres, co-founder of Pitango Venture Capital; Adi Soffer Teeni, general manager of Facebook Israel; and Dov Moran, whose company invented the USB flash drive.

Haredi entrepreneur Moshe Friedman and Zika Abzuk, vice-president of Cisco Israel founded KamaTech, a nonprofit organization that works to integrate haredim into the hi-tech industry four years ago.

The organization has helped more than 6,000 individuals from the haredi community obtain skills and qualifications in hi-tech, find work in the sector and launch businesses.

KamaTech's leading project is its accelerator program. It provides a collection of advisory services without charge to the haredi entrepreneurs. They also connect them to investors, providing business mentorships, as well as legal and accounting advice.

"KamaTech is now helping some 500 haredi start-ups, versus the five they found when the organization was established," said Friedman.

Although KamaTech is a non-profir organization and is itself supported by different philanthropic groups, the 12 Angels venture fund is strictly a for-profit project. It is expected to invest in thirty haredi start-ups over the next three years, focusing on EdTech, e-Commerce, artificial intelligence, cyber security and fintech.

iAngels created the 12 Angels. It is a front runner Israel-based angel investment network which helps connect investors to Israeli start-ups.

"12 Angels will enable investors to access new companies, and entrepreneurs with a fresh mindset. On the other side, it will enable many haredim - who want to continue a spiritual Torah life alongside technology and innovation to generate interesting applications and developments. It's win-win," Moran said.

"The fund offers a platform for supporting this growing, ambitious and courageous base of entrepreneurs, who often face real obstacles in building their companies," said Mor Assia, founding partner of iAngels.

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