Israel VC Singulariteam Raises 2nd Fund, $102M Backed By Tencent, Renren Founders

Israel is racking up a growing list of startups that have either exited to big buyers or gone public, and this trend is driving yet more investment into the country. In the latest development, Tel Aviv VC Singulariteam is announcing that it has closed its second fund — $102 million from LPs that include co-founders of China’s Tencent and Renren — that it will use to invest in local startups and those with roots back to Israel.

It has already made at least six investments out of the latest fund.

Singulariteam was originally founded in 2013 under a different name, Genesis Angels. (It rebranded to avoid confusion with a similarly-named, older VC in Israel.)

Led by entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg — he of Mobli and Yo — the original mission was to focus investments into new areas like machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics.

That’s pretty much what the team has done. Its first fund of $100 million — which came entirely from entrepreneur Kenges Rakishev plus another “unnamed Russian investor” — was spread across 12 startups that either develop tech directly in these areas (General Robotics, VR eyewear company Meta and Beyond Verbal for example) or use it within more general consumer applications (such as photo sharing app Mobli, Sprylogics and Yo).

The $102 million fund widened the investment pool from Rakishev to LPs from further afield.

Hogeg tells me that the investors out of China came to the fund by way of Mobli. Vic Lee, one of the founders of Tencent, invests in and sits on the board of the startup, and so when it came time to raise the second fund for Singulariteam, Hogeg approached him.

“Through that, he introduced to to other Tencent and Renren founders,” he says. The two things that interested this group was the portfolio from the first fund, and the general startup climate in Israel, Hogeg says. “We have the innovation but not the market. China has the market but lacks the innovation.”

The list of companies that are backed are below. The starred ones are coming out of the latest fund, and we’ll write about them as we learn more.

  • Mobli: App for sharing pictures and videos currently working on a visual search platform.
  • InfinityAR: Software-based augmented reality engine for 3D content, aimed at the wearables market.
  • Beyond Verbal: Measuring a speaker’s mood based on the tone of a voice.
  • StoreDot: Nanotechnology-based smartphone batteries (more here).
  • META: Developers of VR/AR eyewear and other wearables. (They’re closing another sizeable round of up to $26 million, but Singulariteam is not involved in it, from what we understand.)
  • Sirin*: Still in stealth.
  • Intelagent: Trading algorithms and financial solutions.
  • Sprylogics: Location-based content engine.
  • Stox*: Social trading platform still in stealth.
  • Effective Space: Services for satellites to prolong their lives.
  • General Robotics: Robotic platforms aimed at the government market.
  • Yo: Simple messaging/alert app.
  • TL;DR*: Email app
  • HOP*: Another email app.
  •*: Democratizing investment, also still in stealth.
  • GeneSort*: Cancer and other gene-based diagnostics for personalised medicine.
  • Webydo*: SaaS for graphic designers to make websites, “no tech or programming skills required.”