Yankee Margalit, ex-IBM Israel head found VC fund
Dec 04, 2012 (Globes - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Former IBM Israel general manager Meir Nissensohn and Aladdin Knowledge Systems founder and former CEO Yankee Margalit have founded a venture capital fund, which will invest in early stage start ups. Nissensohn stepped down as head of IBM Israel in April after 16 years in the job, while Margalit sold IT security company Aladdin to the Vector Fund in March 2009. The two men are brothers-in-law.
Margalit told "Globes", "It'll be great that it's only family." The fund will also be joined by Margalit's wife Elinor and his brother Dani. He added, "We are a venture capital fund without investors and without employees. We don't want to manage other people's money and we are doing all the work for ourselves."
Margalit said that the aim of founding the fund was to put his investment activities into a "framework" in order to do "what I've been doing for the past three years in a more orderly way."
"We'll let ourselves fall in love with companies"
The fund plans investing in 15 companies over the next few years. As it is a fund based on family capital without institutional investors, the amount available will not be very large, even though larger sums might be required if follow-on investments are needed.
Margalit said, "It's too early to talk about specific numbers for the size of the fund. We'll let ourselves fall in love with companies. We know the model very well, and the working assumption is that we will invest in companies and perhaps make follow-on investments."
The combination of Margalit, who comes from the world of IT security, and Nissensohn, who comes with a broad background in the corporate computing world, suggests an inclination towards the world of enterprise security.
Yet Margalit is thinking about something else, "We'll want to bring to bear expertise on how to build a large company in the long term and how products are brought to market. I'll be happy to do that in areas that interest me today such as green energy, future computing, future networks, medicine, and anything that has potential to improve the quality of life, and not only the field of security in which I've been involved for so long." Do you think you would have invested in Aladdin when it was starting out
"That's an excellent question. Every entrepreneur is either stupid or courageous and that's what makes it easy to start. I really hope that Aladdin's entrepreneur would have made me say wow. But even if I would not have been enthusiastic about the company at least I would have fallen in love with the entrepreneur."
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