The global investment firm Square Peg is expanding its operations in Israel and has appointed Yonatan Sela as a partner.
Square Peg invests primarily in Southeast Asia, Australia and Israel. The company’s portfolio includes two of the world’s most prominent unicorns in recent years, Canva and Stripe, as well as many others, including Airwallex, Finaccel and Israel’s Fiverr.
The firm manages a total of $1.2 billion across several funds, with plans of raising a new fund that is expected to be at least $500 million in size.
Sela is an entrepreneur and investor with expertise in crypto, fintech, and consumer internet (B2C). He co-founded Props, a crypto protocol intended to bring user ownership to consumer apps that have amassed 12 million users.
While living in New York, Sela worked as an investor at Venrock where he began investing in fintech, crypto and media, and as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group.
“While increasingly we see outstanding founders working on crypto and B2C ventures, many funds in Israel have been avoiding investing in these areas, especially when it comes to crypto. For me, these are verticals I am particularly passionate about having built and invested in them in the past,” Sela said.
“Naturally, I’ve made two of my first investments in Square Peg in these areas, and I’m thrilled to be a part of a fund where these domains are considered important. I hope that we can contribute to nurturing the next generation of category-leading ventures in these categories,” he added.
Sela will manage the fund’s investment activities in Israel together with Philippe Schwartz, a partner in the firm.
“The depth and diversity of the Israeli ecosystem is rare by any standard, and that’s why we are expanding our activities here. A new generation of large, world-changing companies have been created in Israel in recent years, and it’s a great privilege for us to be active partners in their journey and support their creation,” Schwartz said.
“All of us at Square Peg Israel spent most of our careers on the other side of the table as operators and founders – this is truly what we love to do. As we expand our investment activity in Israel and work to empower our founders, we are looking to add more investors to our team,” he added.
Square Peg has been growing its operations in Israel in recent years by investing $250m. in Israeli start-ups, including the aforementioned freelance marketplace Fiverr, weather technology platform Tomorrow.io, healthcare AI software Aidoc, IoT security provider Sternum, and AI infrastructure platform Deci.
The fund typically targets Israeli start-up companies in seed and A rounds, and recently invested in Exodigo and Retrain, as well as other investments it hasn’t yet announced. Square Peg has so far returned $550m. to investors.