Three years after its launch, Tel Aviv University-linked TAU Ventures has raised $50m for its second fund, with the potential to increase it to $70m.

TAU Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tel Aviv University, collected $50m for its second fund on Monday from Chartered Group, unnamed family offices and other undisclosed investors, according to Globes.

The fund’s size may be increased by another $20m.

Founded in 2018, TAU Ventures typically focuses on early-stage deals. Its recent investments have included software documentation platform Swimm and fintech developer Futora, and the first $20m vehicle made 18 deals overall.

The second fund will aim to invest in 15 to 25 companies, providing up to $1m in initial capital.

Nimrod Cohen, managing partner of TAU Ventures, said: “We are in a period where a lot of money is circulating in the market. However, this can be misleading as there is still a shortage of investors in the early stages in Israel.

“More investors are operating in A or post-seed stages. They do not talk to entrepreneurs in the initial stages and rather want to see a product that has already reached the market. We are covering this critical stage enabling new companies to emerge.”

Ariel Porat, president of Tel Aviv University, added: “As part of Tel Aviv University’s strategic plan, we have made it a central goal to strengthen ties with industry here as well as promoting an international and multidisciplinary campus.

“TAU Ventures provides for entrepreneurs a platform with significant opportunities in innovation and making academic progress beyond the campus boundaries. It enables students to integrate practical experience with leading startups during their studies, and at the same time, it enables entrepreneurs to enjoy the diverse qualities of the campus.”

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).