Alex Waislitz’s Thorney Investment Group plans to invest up to $15 million in a strategic alliance with Israeli early-stage technology investment platform iAngels, which is backed by a host of international high net worth players including Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
iAngels is an investment platform that sources investment opportunities focused on elite Israeli start-ups and early stage companies.
Some of its 27 investments so far have included software company Nanorep, medical records app group Hello Doctor, and photo-management start-up Myroll.
The platform’s key point of differentiation is that it allows private investors to gain access to exclusive early-stage opportunities by collaborating and co-investing with some of Israel’s leading and most respected angel and venture capital investors.
Thorney’s investment includes a direct equity stake in iAngels, guarantees to invest directly in some of iAngels’ start-up ventures and underwriting guarantees up to a value of $15m.
A fortnight ago Mr Waislitz revealed plans to raise up to $100m, including a substantial investment from Thorney, in a new private fund that will invest in technology companies in Australia, Israel and other parts of the world.
It comes as the local tech and venture capital sector is abuzz ahead of the release of the Turnbull government’s innovation statement over the next month that is expected to have a raft of measures to enhance the local industry.
iAngels co-founders Mor Assia and Shelly Hod Moyal, who are visiting Australia this week to meet with Mr Waislitz and other high net worth investors, said 20 per cent of the $20m they had raised since their launch 18 months ago had been from Australia.
Thorney was an early investor into iAngels and has subsequently made a number of angel investments on the iAngels platform.
“We have a pretty significant following, primarily private investors in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. And a couple of single family offices,’’ Ms Hod-Moyal said.
“They love the idea of having a team on the ground in Israel that is ingrained into the ecosystem that has all the relationships with the angel investors and venture capital teams. And with a research capability, we can be their eyes and ears in Israel.’’
iAngels has already deployed $10m of its funds into investments and has a further war chest of $10m.
Other than Australia, 20 per cent of its funding has come from the US as well as Europe, Canada, Hong Kong, China and South Africa.
Earlier this year, iAngels itself used its own platform to raise $2.25m, a seed round led by Roman Abramovich’s fund.