Sequoia, a multibillion-dollar venture capital firm and an early investor in the likes of Apple and Google, has shut down a dedicated investment fund for Israeli startups, according to local news site Calacist (via news aggregator No Camels) and multiple sources.
Sequoia Israel — which raised five funds to invest specifically in Israeli startups, with the last two funds in the region of $200 million (£154 million) — will be folded into Sequoia’s US operation in Silicon Valley. That means Sequoia will continue to back startups in Israel but investments will be made out of Sequoia’s global fund as opposed to a fund operated out of Israel.
The closure of the Sequoia Israel fund, confirmed by two sources with knowledge of the company, may raise a few eyebrows in the so-called “Startup Nation.” Namely, if there are so many promising startups in the country then why is one of the world’s biggest venture capital companies closing the dedicated fund for the nation?
The California-headquartered VC is discontinuing its Israeli fund because partners would rather work through the American fund and give Israeli companies better access to that fund and its resources, according to sources close to the company. There won’t be any changes to Sequoia’s team size in Israel.
Sequoia tends to invest between $100,000 (£77,000) and $1 million (£770,000) in seed stage, between $1 million and $10 million (£7.7 million) in early stage, and between $10 million (£7.7 million) and $100 million (£7.7 million) in growth stage.
The closure of the Sequoia Israel fund comes at an interesting time. Startups in the country raised a record breaking $1.7 billion (£1.3 billion) in venture capital in the most recent quarter, according to a study by KPMG.
Rival venture capital firms Greylock and Benchmark have made similar moves in recent years, both shutting down their Israeli investment funds, while Google Ventures folded its European fund into its US fund last year.
The founder of a multimillion dollar tech company in Tel Aviv told Business Insider that an increasing number of Chinese investors are moving in on Israel’s startups, offering them more money for less equity than their rivals in Silicon Valley.
Sequoia Capital declined to comment.