Israel is a hotbed for tech startups, but it is also a tight knit community where a small number of local investors have access to the best deals.
Enter iAngels Crowd Ltd., an investing network founded by Mor Assia and Shelly Hod Moyal, two women who have taken their knowledge of Israel and their international business experience and combined it with a crowdfunding model that matches international investors with Israeli startups backed by top Israeli investors.
The firm has now raised a $14 million Series B round led by Australia-based Thorney Investment Group to expand.
“The biggest advantage of investing with these [local] angels and VCs is the fact that they have the best access,” Ms. Assia said. “When an entrepreneur in Israel wants to do a startup, these are the first people he calls, and they’re the first people we called when we wanted to start iAngels.”
Before they started iAngels, Ms. Assia worked as a product developer and consultant at SAP Labs, IBM Global Business Services and Amdocs, while Ms. Hod Moyal worked as an associate at Goldman Sachs Investment Bank. They said they learned at these companies what business standards international investors expect.
iAngels does data-driven due diligence on startups–something that angel investors may have a hard time doing either because they lack resources or are used to investing by gut feel, the founders said–and builds relationships with investors. Another goal is to help the startups expand beyond Israel into international markets, which they have to do if they’re going to continue to grow.
For startups that qualify, the firm co-invests with well-known investors in Israel and then offers the deal to a global audience of accredited investors on the same terms. It has also offered investments through NFX Guild, which specializes in building digital networks and marketplace startups from its offices in Israel and Silicon Valley, although iAngels invests in a wider variety of startups than NFX.