VC firm Maniv is growing in every direction, armed with a $140M new fund

Venture capital firm Maniv has grown in almost every area since its launch eight years ago in Israel – from its investor base and portfolio of 40 startups to its geographic focus, presence and size of its funds.

But even with a recently closed $140 million fund in its coffers and a new office in New York, founder Michael Granoff says Maniv is still at heart just a startup fund “that sometimes violates its own rules “.

It means largely the same thing it did when it launched in 2016: an early-stage investment strategy focused on what the company describes as the intersection between mobility, transportation and energy.

There are, however, some notable developments that hint at Maniv’s investment strategy with its third and final fund known as Maniv III, TechCrunch has exclusively learned. Maniv, once firmly focused on Israeli startups, continues to expand its geographic reach and now has a portfolio of companies operating in nine countries.

“So we’re definitely going to keep an eye on the local market here, but we’ll be looking for the best deals and learning everything we can from the deal flow that’s coming in in a very distributed fashion from all over the world,” Granoff said.

The venture capital firm has also largely stopped using the once-fashionable generic term “mobility” (often leaving it outside its original name Maniv Mobility) and has instead chosen to talk about deep technology, decarbonization and digitalization of the transport sector.

“I thought the trajectory of this term (mobility) was going to continue to become clearer over time, but actually I think the opposite has happened for many reasons,” Granoff explained, adding that even if the term mobility is perhaps not used as often, it remains at the heart of its mission.

Nate Jaret, general partner at Maniv, said the $140 million fund reflects new goals: a more diverse group of investors as well as the inclusion of financial investors who see decarbonization and digitalization in all forms transport (even air and sea). as an irreversible secular trend that generates the best financial returns.

Historically, Maniv’s investor base has consisted of automobile manufacturers. It now better reflects the countless essential tributaries of transport and mobility, explains Jaret. In other words, Maniv has moved beyond traditional automotive to find strategic investors in leasing, fintech, logistics, vehicle maintenance, energy, management and fleet repair.

Its new investors in the fund, a group that includes BNP Paribas Personal Finance and the venture capital arms of Shell and Enterprise Mobility, represent “the rich mosaic of industries directly impacted by changes in the transportation sector on these decarbonization themes and digitalization”. Jaret said. “It is not only the automakers and tier 1 players who are making the platforms, but also the after-sales insurance, maintenance, repair, infrastructure and energy players who are trying to understand their new position.”

The Maniv III fund also includes returning investors Valeo and InMotion Ventures, the venture capital arm of Jaguar-Land Rover. Tissé Capital of Toyota Motor Corp., vehicle rental company Arval, transportation infrastructure giant Ferrovial, industrial manufacturing company ITT Inc., fleet payments company WEX and an unnamed European insurance company have also participated in the fund.

Maniv’s fund also reflects a scalable investment strategy.

The firm, which manages nearly $320 million in assets, previously led investments in AI computing chip startup Hailo in Tel Aviv; Revel carpooling and electric vehicle charging network in New York; medium-duty electric truck maker Harbinger Motors in California; the Kolors intercity bus platform in Mexico City; River, an Indian two-wheeled electric vehicle startup; and the Spanish automobile subscription Bipi, acquired by Renault’s financing arm, RCI Banque, in 2021.

Maniv is now insinuating itself into the broader world of climate technology – at least where it overlaps with transportation. The company has used the new fund to make four investments to date, including in a Chicago-based startup called Celadyne that is working to extend the life and efficiency of proton exchange membranes to make production of financially viable green hydrogen.

The fund also invested in Israeli startup Neologic, which developed a proprietary chip design for performance and power gains in data centers and automotive; an electric motorcycle battery swapping startup called Vammo, based in Brazil; and San Francisco-based Circular, which encourages the use of post-consumer recycled plastic in manufacturing by filling gaps in ubiquitous information and testing.


Back to top button