Maniv Mobility announces close of first mobility-only fund in Israel
Maniv Mobility LP, which the company says is the first Israel-based venture fund dedicated exclusively to mobility tech, announced that it has raised its first fund, in excess of $40 million. Limited partners in Maniv include equity crowdfunding firm OurCrowd, InMotion Ventures—a subsidiary of Jaguar Land Rover—and the $14 billion French Tier One supplier, Valeo, as well as hedge funds and family offices.
An affiliate of the 20-year-old Maniv Investments, Maniv Mobility invests primarily at the seed and Series A stage and boasts a portfolio of 15 mobility technology startups, mostly in Israel with some in the U.S. The company says that the global automotive industry has increasingly been looking to Israel for the technology building-blocks that will be the center of its future value chain. This has particularly been the case since Intel announced the $15 billion acquisition of Mobileye in March.
Maniv Founder Michael Granoff has been involved in transportation technology for nearly 15 years, beginning with a role in the creation of the Washington, DC-based energy security policy group, Securing America's Future Energy. He also participated in the electric vehicle infrastructure and services start-up, Better Place, which raised nearly a billion dollars before shuttering in 2013.
"The move in locomotion from gasoline to electric, while being a crucial step, I now realize will also someday be seen as an historical footnote," said Granoff. "The true headline of the coming era in transportation is the switch from manual vehicles to automated ones. Automated vehicles will be electric—breaking oil's stranglehold and giving us cleaner air. But these vehicles will do so much more: save lives and time through accident avoidance, expand mobility to the young, the old, the infirm, and allow us to reclaim precious real estate from idle vehicles, and more."
Maniv said that he is particularly proud that three Founder/CEOs of the portfolio companies asked to become Limited Partners in the fund. "We have terrific relationships with the management of our portfolio companies," said Granoff. "We eat, breathe, and sleep mobility, so we are able to support them as they strategize and chart their course."
Ben Volkow, Co-founder and CEO of portfolio company otonomo, which recently completed a $25 million Series B, said, "It has been a pleasure to work with Maniv Mobility over the past few years. Michael and Olaf have added real strategic value based on their experience in the transportation industry. I am really impressed by the portfolio they have built and the direction in which they are moving in and am looking forward to being a part of this journey both as a Founder and as an LP in the fund."
"In this sector, we see both a tremendous opportunity to deliver outsized returns to our investors, and a unique chance to help companies make transportation safer, cleaner, more efficient, less expensive, and much more versatile," said Granoff. "When it comes to the contributions of Israeli entrepreneurs in mobility, Waze and Mobileye were the tip of the iceberg. On their heels are companies like Cognata, which is building a highly realistic 3D-simulation engine to train and validate autonomous systems; Upstream Security, which is developing cloud-based cybersecurity for vehicle fleets; and OryxVision, a vision sensor that will allow superior range, resolution, and function over current LiDAR solutions while costing less. All three are in Israel and all three are in our portfolio. We're seeking out the companies that are creating technologies that will accelerate the arrival of our autonomous future, but that have sustainable businesses even if that future takes several years to materialize."