The Canadian-based Awz Ventures annouced the closing of a fund raising totaled US $75M for its new Awz X-Seed investment and accelerator hub in Tel Aviv. Awz X-Seed, launched in partnership with MAFAT (the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development) and other Israeli security agencies, will invest in “pre-seed” and “inception” stage companies developing innovative security technologies with significant commercial applications in the civilian sector.
It has already identified 10 potential investment in cloud security, quantum, aerospace, deep tech, robotics, artificial intelligence, and cyber security. Every 18 months, Awz Ventures will raise subsequent $75M Awz X-Seed funds to invest in its next cohort of 15 companies, which will take up residence in the hub for enrichment and growth. Each portfolio company will receive an office space in the Awz X-Seed hub, and business and technology mentorship services provided by the hub’s in-house professional team.
Advisors with Operational Experience
Awz Ventures was founded in Canada in 2016 by Yaron Ashkenazi, a former officer in Israel’s Shin Bet, and Edward Sonshine, Founder and Chairman of one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts, RioCan REIT. According to Ashkenazi, “the unique strategic partnership with MAFAT and Israel’s other security agencies will allow our hub to have the most advanced deal flow that stems from the real recognized needs within the security industry. We will address these needs both by investing in existing companies and by creating companies together from scratch.”
Awz X-Seed will be led by Yaron Ashkenazi and Daniel Mak, a Canadian high-tech investor, alongside two Israel-based General Partners: Roni Alsheich, former Deputy Director of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), and Sharon Gal, former Head of Technology Innovation at the Israel Prime Minister’s Office. The portfolio companies will also be advised by experts such as the former Mossad Chief of Intelligence Haim Tomer and former Commander of Israel’s elite Unit 8200 Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ehud Schneorson.