At times it’s been ever so slightly confusing that Silicon Valley venture capital giant Greylock Partners had a venture arm based between London and Israel, called “Greylock IL”, which was billed as an “affiliate fund”. This was not confusing to those who dealt with them day-to-day, of course, but the perception has often been that this was a simple overseas office. But that was not really the case, since Greylock IL had its own partners and was run as a close, but separate organisation. That perception ends today, however, as Greylock IL is rebranding a 83North. (83North is the sum of the geographic latitudes of both London and Herzliya, Israel. See what they did there?)
It’s also announcing a new $200 million fund which will invest in “all stages” of consumer and enterprise technology companies led by European and Israeli entrepreneurs. This is the third fund raised by this entity in 8 years. Thus, the newly branded 83North now has over $550 Million in capital under management. Greylock IL closed a second formal fund of $160 million in 2011. Some of the partners in Greylock Partners are among the investors in the new 83North fund.
The former Greylock IL partners will continue just as they have, just now as Under 83North. These include — since 2008 — Laurel Bowden, Arnon Dinur, Erez Ofer and Yoram Snir.
As a group, these partners have to date backed more than 30 companies including Actifio, AeroScout (acquired by Stanley Black & Decker), Hybris (acquired by SAP), Just Eat (which floated on the LSE), ScaleIO (acquired by EMC), SocialPoint, Supersonic, Telit and Zerto. More than half of its portfolio companies have operations in the US. It’s also an investor in iZettle AB, was valued at about 200 million euros in its last funding round.
Included in that is Wonga, which wrote off £220 million, after being found to have mis-sold payday loans to 330,000 customers.
David Sze, Partner from Greylock Partners, said: “While 83North is an independent firm, we share a common operating philosophy and we look forward to collaborating on investments with strong Israeli and European entrepreneurs in the future.”
Laurel Bowden, Partner at 83North in London, said the firm hopes to add value to their entrepreneurs in both locations “by exposing them to the best practices in each domain. Our FinTech portfolio is a good example of this strategy, we backed global companies like Ebury and Wonga in London, Payoneer in Tel Aviv, BlueVine and Marqeta in California and iZettle in Sweden.”
She told me that having invested in BOTH geographies for some time, they think the mix of the two, London and Israel, mean that they can see 20 hard-core tech companies in Israel for every single company in Europe. “That gives you an edge,” she told me.
In other words, because Israel’s tech scene is so advanced, 83North will get glimpses into advances in technology they can either later scale in Europe, or keep their European portfolio companies informed about.
This makes sense.