PICO Venture Partners, an early-stage investment firm headquartered in Jerusalem, has raised $80 million for its second flagship fund following a $35 million debut effort.
The four-year-old firm is not industry specific; rather, the outfit seeks “values-based, execution-driven Israeli entrepreneurs who leverage technology to modernize processes and unlock greater efficiency in the marketplace.” In other words, PICO is an opportunistic firm, looking for local founders with potential to bring big returns.
PICO has previously invested in Vroom, an online used-car marketplace that’s raised nearly $500 million in funding. Other portfolio companies include cloud automation business Spotinst, AI-enabled career development tool Gloat and business management tool Arbox.
Led by co-founding partners Elie Wurtman — a former general partner at Benchmark Capital Israel — Todd Kesselman and Gina LaVersa — former investment bankers — PICO operates offices in Tel Aviv and New York, in addition to Jerusalem.
“At PICO, we put an emphasis on impact,” Wurtman said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “With this fund, we’re looking to partner with Israeli founders who want to use new technologies to make an impact on industries that need to be looked at from a refreshed perspective. While we’re looking for early-stage companies with significant growth potential, we also want to ensure we’re investing in entrepreneurs who have a clear vision about how they can make a real impact on markets, people and society.”