Pereg Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of US-based media analysis company Nielsen, is expected to raise $25m by March for the first close of its fund. Itzhak Fisher, chairman of Pereg Ventures and executive vice president of global business development at Nielsen, said:  “We are in the middle of the process of raising money. Nielsen is our anchor investor and we have got high net worths lined up. I am investing $2.5m myself, or 5% of the fund. We hope to have the first closing at the end of March at $25m.” It emerged Nielsen’s corporate venturing unit was looking to raise $50m last year. Fisher said Nielsen would invest “a significant amount”. Fisher was founder and chief executive of RSL Communications, a Nasdaq-listed company. At RSL, Itzhak bought all the shares of an internet protocol telephony company, Delta Three, for $10m, in 1997, which three year’s later was worth $1bn on Nasdaq. Fisher said: “I took a company public at a $1bn valuation. Since then I have been private equity investing my own money and friends’ money.” The company may get strategic investors in the second close, Fisher added. “Other strategic investors are in discussions to invest so they can get insights around big data, analytics, media and consumer. They sit at the table and see where the market is going, what is coming. I am hoping one will come in at the second close,” he said. Fisher is working for both Nielsen and Pereg as a bridge between the two companies. He said: “I am head of global business development of Nielsen for 75% of my time and for 25% of my time I do the fund. This is the most efficient way and they are in the fund structure as an LP not the GP. They are not on the investment committee and they don’t have right first refusal.” Nielsen’s clout in its sector has proved an advantage, Fisher said. “Three to four start-ups pitch to me in a week, because in consumer, media and analytics we are the largest research company in the world. They all want to work with us.” The firm is looking to partner with other investors on every one of its deals. Fisher said: “We will never do a round on our own. We will invite other venture funds which provide strategic benefits as well as, but not only, money.”

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