Do you have an Israeli startup and you’re looking for opportunities in (and money from) Japan? The newly formed Magenta Venture Partners should be one of your first stops.
The firm, which just closed a $100 million fund, is an equal partnership between two long-time Israeli venture capitalists and Mitsui & Co., one of the largest trading and investment companies in Japan.
Magenta – a blend of blue and red, the colors of the Israeli and Japanese flags, respectively – aims to invest in early-stage companies in several of Israel’s hottest areas of innovation: automotive, mobility, AI, smart cities, enterprise software and fintech (financial technology).
Magenta’s four partners are Ori Israeli, formerly of Motorola Solutions Venture Capital and Giza Venture Capital; Hiroshi Takeuchi of Mitsui, who has relocated to Israel after 15 years of venture investment experience in Japan and the US; Ran Levitzky, formerly of Viola Ventures as well as positions at Amdocs, Microsoft and Verint Systems; and Atsushi Mizuno from Mitsui’s investment arm. Mizuno has been living in Israel for the past four years.
On Magenta’s advisory board is Ron Shviili, the former head of the technology center for the army’s elite 8200 signal-intelligence unit and current VP of technology at Israeli mobile services provider Cellcom.
Koito Manufacturing Co. in Japan, which has also invested in the fund, says its main interest is identifying next-generation Israeli startups in the autonomous driving and smart cities spaces. Koito is the world’s leading manufacturer of automotive headlights.
Mitsui began investing in Israel through other venture capital funds eight years ago. “Our partnership in the Magenta Fund is the proof of our commitment to this country, which is one of the centers of innovation in the world,” said Shinichi Kikuchihara, COO of the corporate development business unit of Mitsui.
Magenta will be based in Herzliya.