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Symbol closes $50M debut fund, paving the way for ‘Pre-Consensus’ Israeli startups


Symbol, a prominent venture capital firm based in Tel Aviv, has announced the successful closure of its inaugural fund, raising a remarkable $50 million. The fund’s unique focus centers on early-stage investments in Israeli entrepreneurs who are shaping groundbreaking startups in unconventional niches. Despite global economic uncertainties, Symbol’s debut fund has already demonstrated remarkable success, having made 10 pre-seed and seed investments, with five portfolio companies securing subsequent funding rounds.

Fostering Diversity in Tech Ventures

Symbol’s founder and Managing Partner, Yuval Ariav, brings a wealth of entrepreneurial experience to the table. Previously a key member of the founding team at Onavo (later acquired by Meta for $200 million), and the co-founder and initial CTO of the fintech scale-up Fundbox, Ariav’s vision for Symbol is to champion startups that defy conventional VC norms. The fund seeks to unearth hidden gems – startups considered too risky, unconventional, or complex for traditional early-stage investments.

Ariav’s personal journey has driven his passion for supporting startups that might otherwise be overlooked. “I was a founder of a company that was well outside of the VC consensus,” Ariav explained. “It was extremely challenging to raise funds for our first round. This sparked a decade-long interest in great ideas which similarly don’t tick all the VC boxes.”

Forging Resilience Through Partnership

Symbol’s approach isn’t just about funding – it’s about fostering resilience and supporting founders through their unique challenges. Ariav emphasizes that setbacks are an inevitable part of the startup journey, and Symbol stands alongside founders, helping them navigate the hurdles and ultimately build thriving and resilient companies.

The fund’s investor base, known as Limited Partners, comprises an extensive network of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and family offices from both the US and Europe. LionBird, an early investor in FundBox and a previous professional home for Ariav, also participates as a Limited Partner in Symbol.

Unlocking Opportunity: The ‘Pre-Consensus’ Advantage

Symbol’s niche lies in championing ‘pre-consensus’ entrepreneurs – those whose unconventional ideas, backgrounds, or approaches might not conform to traditional VC expectations. The fund’s aim is to offer access to a group of innovators who are often underrepresented in the current investor landscape. This focus stems from the firm belief that Israel’s rich talent pool possesses a unique blend of courage and creativity, presenting a massive opportunity for innovation.

Championing Innovation Since 2021

Founded in 2021 and headquartered in Tel Aviv, Symbol is an emerging force in the venture capital world. Under the leadership of Yuval Ariav, Symbol is committed to supporting pre-consensus founders on their journey from concept to reality. With a diverse investment portfolio that spans sectors, Symbol is a sector-agnostic fund that concentrates on B2B, consumer, and enterprise tech startups. Symbol invests between $500,000 to $3.5 million in the first funding round of exceptional Israeli entrepreneurs, wherever they may be located, who are building pre-consensus companies.

As the tech industry continues to evolve, Symbol’s debut fund signals a promising shift towards embracing unconventional talent, fostering resilience, and igniting innovation in unexpected corners of the startup landscape. With their unique approach and commitment to diversity, Symbol is setting the stage for transformative change in the world of venture capital and tech entrepreneurship.

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