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New US-Israeli Fund Aims To Invest In ‘Kosher’ Property Tech Startups

A new Israeli-American fund is raising $50 million to invest in startups and companies developing property and real estate technologies with a “kosher” bent.

The fund, established by the BuiltUp Ventures firm, will focus on investments in a variety of real estate technologies, connecting entrepreneurs to New York’s Orthodox Jewish community, “most of which are heavily involved in the local real estate industry” in terms of understanding, connections and practical assistance, according to a company statement.

The fund will focus on seed investments exclusively in the areas of construction, retail, logistics and other sub-sectors of property tech, the company said.

The fund is currently preparing to raise $10 million in initial funding and aims to complete $50 million in funding in 2020. It will be launched as part of Mipim PropTech, a leading real estate technology conference held November 12 – 13 in New York City.

BuiltUp Ventures has selected eight Israeli companies from its portfolio to exhibit at the event including Innovesta, an AI-based platform that provides uncensored rankings of companies and assets; SolidBlock, a company bringing together real estate and blockchain tech; MyTower, an online platform for property managers and building occupants; MTtech, a company that creates interactive multimedia operating systems for homes and offices; SkySaver, an emergency evacuation solution for high-rise buildings; Swathly, a business intelligence software for commercial real estate investments; Augmind, a company providing augmented reality for real estate; and Xtate, a firm providing automated AI-based social media advertising for realtors.

BuiltUp Ventures is headed by Oded Eliashiv, a managing partner of sister company/venture capital fund B-Seed, Eliezer Gross, an ultra-Orthodox entrepreneur and founder of US-Israeli investment company Besadno Group, Yishai Breslauer, CEO of private equity real estate investment firm Sidre, and Amos Meron, managing director at Israeli VC firm Clear Future.

“We have seen that our portfolio companies are accelerating at a rapid pace and we have decided to continue investing in real estate technologies through a dedicated fund. Our core advantage is reflected in several aspects,” Eliashiv said, noting that their US investors and partners are well-versed in real estate and can help entrepreneurs enter the US market and that the entrepreneurs who head the company have a wealth of knowledge and experience in seed investments.

“For the ultra-Orthodox community, investing with us guarantees that the money goes to companies that match their beliefs,” Gross told CTech by Calcalist this week. “We will not invest in companies that do not observe the Shabbat. Any company that does not observe the rules of the Torah, we will not back it.”

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