Israeli Billionaire Seeks $500 Million for Health-Tech VC Fund

(Bloomberg) -- aMoon Partners, an Israeli life-sciences venture-capital firm backed by billionaire Marius Nacht, has raised the first $200 million for a new fund.

A number of private investors participated in the first closing of aMoon II, which will bankroll mid- to late-stage health-tech startups, said Yair Schindel, the managing partner and co-founder of aMoon with Nacht. Several “very large institutions” are considering investing in the fund, whose target is $500 million, he said.

The launch reflects a jump in health-technology investment as lifespans increase and healthcare spending picks up across many developed countries. VC firms poured about $4.5 billion into the sector globally last year, near the record set in 2015, figures from research firm PitchBook show.

The fund’s focus on more mature private health-tech companies reflects a financing gap for startups that need extra cash to conclude clinical trials or are on the verge of commercial breakthroughs, Schindel said. The average investment in startups will be between $10 million and $40 million, he said.

“The opportunity is vast,” Schindel said. “There are about 1,500 life-sciences startups in Israel, of all types, and about 10 percent of them are mid- to late-stage opportunities. That’s a huge pipeline that we’re following very closely.”

Most of the fund’s investments will be in Israel, though it’s also looking at firms in health-tech hubs such as the U.S., U.K. and Switzerland, Schindel said.

aMoon, which employs 14 staff in Israel, plans to open its first international office in one of those countries after the current funding round, he said. The company has already financed three startups with initial funds from aMoon II, Schindel said.

Nacht, who made his fortune as co-founder of Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., helped found aMoon in 2016. He was the sole backer of its first $200 million fund, which bankrolled 16 startups.

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