Shelly Hod Moyal: From a young age, it was my ambition to become an entrepreneur in Israel. A little over a decade ago, I founded iAngels with my partner Mor Assia. We have built an investment platform with thousands of investors worldwide who have invested in over 100 Israeli tech startups, out of which 26 have exited and eight are unicorns. 

I also have my own at-home startup. I am mom to four young children aged five to 11. My husband, Kfir Hod Moyal, is also a tech entrepreneur and investor.

Mor Assia: My journey through tech started as a young kid in Israel, as I was always attracted to science and learned physics, math and coding at a very young age. I joined [signal intelligence unit] 8200 for my military service, which was very meaningful. Ten years ago, I cofounded iAngels to be able to bring my experience in corporate, as well as my strong ties to local founders, into play. 

I am a mother of five children, ages three to 13, and married to Yoni Assia, founder and CEO of eToro. We have quite an exciting family and entrepreneurial life.

Shelly and Mor: As venture capitalists, we define ourselves and our work as deeply committed to maximizing returns for our investors while upholding our fiduciary responsibility with the utmost seriousness. We strive to meet and exceed expectations, pushing boundaries and exploring innovative avenues to achieve success. Beyond traditional investment roles, we are entrepreneurs partnering with some of the brightest minds in the high-tech ecosystem. We leverage our experience, networks and resources to empower entrepreneurs and drive transformative change.

Our main role is to continue investing and backing entrepreneurs. The continued financing of early-stage startups is crucial for the Israeli tech ecosystem to exist. Given the global slowdown and Israel’s geopolitical situation, there is both an incredible opportunity and a need in Israel. 

“We are a nation of brave, optimistic and resilient people. We learn to make lemonade from lemons and have survived and excelled for thousands of years against all odds and we will do it again.”

Our secondary role is to continue to contribute civilly through volunteering, connecting communities in Israel with one another, as well as our network internationally with those in need of support in Israel.

Although investing in Israeli tech is by no means a charity, Israel relies on the tech sector today more than ever. Half of Israeli exports are from the tech sector as well as more than 30 percent of the country’s taxes and over 1 million jobs– 14% of the working population. If there was ever a time that Israel needed us to invest, it’s today. Since we started iAngels over a decade ago, we haven’t seen a better opportunity for investors to generate returns. 

It’s important to discuss this in the broader context than just the war. The M&A and fundraising markets in Israel are very healthy, but there is a big gap in the early-stage investing activity. 

We’re inspired by the strength of the Israeli people, and more personally the strength of our entrepreneurs. Many of them have gone through incredible hardships with partners and employees serving in reserve duty all the while looking out for their businesses and in many cases still fundraising. Our portfolio companies have raised a collective $72 million, approximately, since the start of the war while still donating and giving back to local communities. 

We are also deeply inspired by our own team at iAngels. Four of our 19 employees were on full-time or part-time reserve duty and everyone else volunteered and raised money for charities. One member of our team wasn’t even on the list for reserve duty due to a technicality and he begged to volunteer, ultimately serving for more than three months with a date to return later this year. 

We are a nation of brave, optimistic and resilient people. If we can’t get out the door, we will use the window, and if not the window, the chimney. We learn to make lemonade from lemons and have survived and excelled for thousands of years against all odds and we will do it again. What could be more inspiring?

As individuals and as a team, we are working hard to play our role in the community as ambassadors to the global investor community outside of Israel as well as within our community here in Israel. 

For International Women’s Day this year, iAngels opened its doors for office hours and invited 40+ women to come and speak with various team members of ours on their future and how we can help. 

We were involved in fundraising and volunteering with Brothers and Sisters in Arms, as well as working with various partners on philanthropic initiatives related to civil advocacy and fighting antisemitism. Prior to the war, we also partnered with Nifgashim to put together a 1,500-participant event focused on unity between secular and religious communities in Israel.

The silver lining in all of this is to see the coming together of Israelis and Jews around the world. Over 300,000 Israelis returned to Israel from abroad to volunteer as soldiers and support the war effort. We recently hosted a mission that included investors of ours from around the world, and were truly honored to spend an evening on a base with soldiers, full of motivation and drive to restore peace to the region.

We wish for this moment to catalyze positive change, spurring greater innovation, unity, compassion, empathy and resilience. Following previous Israeli wars, the Israeli economy has come back stronger, and we have every reason to believe the opportunity will be the same now.

We cannot deal with the challenges that lie ahead alone. We need to find a way to be more collaborative with the regions and communities around us and find the right leadership and concessions in order to build an Israel that is safe for our children and grandchildren.