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Plenus Venture Lending has raised $56 million for its Plenus II fund, which it will use to provide credit lines to mid- to late-stage technology companies.
The firm now has $120m. under management after investors from Israel and abroad took part in the latest round of financing, the company said on Tuesday. The figure beat the firm's target of $50m., said founder and managing partner Moti Weiss, who added that foreign investors contributed between $10m. and $15m. Most of that money came from wealthy Jewish families rather than institutional investors.
"There weren't any foreign institutional investors because the fund is too small for them. They invest in funds worth at least $100m.-$150m. and they often want 10%," he said.
However, some of Israel's biggest financial institutions took part, with Bank Leumi and Israel Discount Bank among return investors that had already backed Plenus I, while Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings, Menorah Holdings and Israel Phoenix Insurance were among the new investors.
"The participation of leading insurance companies and new institutional investors testifies to the demand that exists today in the Israeli market to carry out investments that deal with alternative financing," said Weiss.
Unlike traditional venture capital firms, which invest in start-ups in return for stakes in the companies, Plenus offers credit lines of about $1m.-$10m. to technology firms in different stages of development, making it the only firm in Israel that uses what is known as the venture lending model.
Plenus has invested more than $100m. in loans to about 30 technology companies, including the anti-fraud software company Cyota, which was bought by Massachusetts-based RSA Security last month for $145m. Its portfolio also includes Internet, medical devices, semi-conductors and electronic equipment companies.
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