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New European fund looking for tired Israeli entrepreneurs

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Friday, April 1st, 2011

As reported in IVC Online: Atlantic Capital Partners has $100 million for secondary investments in European and Israeli technology companies.

While Israeli venture capital firms are scarcely managing to raise follow-on funds, Israeli technology companies continue to pique the interest of foreign funds and investors. US private equity firm Sliver Lake invested in Israeli company Prime Sense, and other foreign funds that have not invested here in the past are starting to show up.

Sources inform “Globes” that another foreign player is expected to enter the Israeli opportunities market: Atlantic Capital Partners, a new fund from Munich that recently raised $100 million for investment in companies in Europe and Israel. The fund will shortly announce two new investments.

Atlantic intends to invest on the secondary model, which is different from the familiar Israeli model of venture capital investment. The fund will buy stakes in companies and ventures from investors seeking liquidity or new partners.

“There are funds that have come to the end of their lives. Because of this, there are those that simply cannot continue to work with the company, and there are entrepreneurs who have grown tired and want to make money,” Moshe Bar, general partner in the fund, explained to “Globes”. “We will look for these cases, and construct a deal in which we can obtain different kinds of shares and become deeply involved in the company, with the aim of making it successful.”

How much involvement do you plan to have?

Bar: “We will be involved in all our companies. We have a great deal of experience in entrepreneurship and running companies, and also in closing deals. We are three partners, one of whom was a senior manager in a media corporation and ran large companies, while the second has experience in venture capital and in nurturing companies. I have invested privately in 14 technology companies in recent years. We all know what an entrepreneur goes through when he sets up a company, what he needs, and how he can be helped.”

Bar is a serial entrepreneur and angel, who lives in the US. Among other things, he has been a partner in setting up several technology companies, among them Qumranet, sold to Red Hat two years ago for $140 million. He is currently chairman of Zooppa. His partners in managing the fund are Marcus Englert, a physicist who worked for several years with Boston Consulting Group and who has held senior positions in the media industry, and Alexander Bruehl, formerly a senior partner at Atlas Venture, Inc., where he ran the firm’s activity in Central Europe.

For the time being, Atlantic will invest in Israel and Europe, although Bar says it is also examining a company in India. “We can help companies reach markets in Europe and the US, and those are the markets that European and Israeli companies aim at,” he says.