Benson Oak Ventures focuses on investments in Israel with a mission to support great entrepreneurs build the platforms of the future.
We are a technology venture firm with a founder first philosophy.
Benson Oak has almost 20 years of venture capital investment experience on a global scale including the US, Israel and Europe. With investments in leading consumer and platform plays including flagship company AVG (NYSE, 2012), our founder focus means we look for every conceivable way to add value pre-investment, during due diligence and through a deeper involvement with our portfolio companies.
Entrepreneur Focus = Focused Entrepreneur
In early stages, founders are constantly dealing with fundraising. Preparing, doing, closing and then prepping for the next round. Our goal is to build deep trust relationships with our entrepreneurs, invest early and double down on the best companies in the following round. Seed and A stages are riddled with challenges and are the riskiest stage of the company. We firmly believe the founders should focus on building product market rather than constant fundraising.
By doubling down we de-risk both our
investment and the entrepreneurs
We become your strategic partner and assist on all fronts as needed.
The emerging Web 3.0 landscape, undergirded by blockchain infrastructure, is engendering a new wave of disruption and will unleash the platforms and brands of the future. We seek to invest in these platforms and brands of the future, supporting products and marketplaces that have stickiness built in and can scale rapidly with digital marketing efforts without operational growth bottlenecks.
We generally lead the late seed and A round - we invest early and double down on (winning) portfolio companies.
Our investments focus on:
Focus on the use of technology to remove friction out of common uses, with a focus on newly created markets and brands of the Web 3.0 revolution.
Using technology and innovative models to make common products and services not previously available to SMB's - affordable, intuitive.
Decentralization will produce new market platforms redefining SAAS models and creating new economies. Blockchain will be the key underlying technology that redefines platforms as we know them.
We focus current investments on infrastructure which underpins these platforms of the future. We see many parallels - and have much relevant experience - in the need for marketing and strong brand positioning between blockchain technologies and decentralization and consumer offerings.
Benson Oak bought AVG in 2004 when it was a 20 person team in Brno, Czech Republic and became actively involved in assisting the management of the Company. At the time, AVG had $5M in revenue but had just started to offer its anti-virus product for free. Benson Oak became involved in the operations and especially in developing the freemium model as the company grew to over 100 million users, becoming a global leader in Internet Security solutions for consumers and small businesses. In 2005, Enterprise Investors and Intel Capital bought into AVG in a secondary transaction and in 2009, TA Associates entered. Overall, BOCs investment in AVG returned 100x to its investors as the company exceeded a $1 billion market cap after going public on the NYSE in February 2012.
Highlights l Value Add
Robert Cohen spearheaded BOC’s acquisition of AVG and was deeply involved in the business for the next 8 years. Aside from being a Board member, Robert also served as interim CFO, managed AVG’s fund raising activities. In 2011, he joined the senior management team responsible for global M&A and strategic corporate development activity and gained deep operational experience via the execution and integration of five acquisitions and two strategic partnerships, in the US, Germany and Israel. Robert was part of the management team as it went public.
Benson Oak Fund History
Benson Oak Group
First and most successful investment banking boutique in Czech & Slovak Republic founded by Gabriel Eichler.
Benson Oak advised on over $5 billion of transactions encompassing debt raising and M&A activity.
Benson Oak Capital - Czech and Slovak Technology
AVG exited IPO NYSE 2012.
Klik: #1 online Insurance broker in the Czech Republic.
Benson Oak provided the seed investment to fund the idea and has financed the company through multiple rounds and is now cash flow positive.
Benson Oak Capital - Czech Private Equity
Private equity fund focused on mid-market buyouts.
Benson Oak Investments - Israel Tech
Lending Express is the only AI-powered marketplace for business loans. Its proprietary technology matches businesses with the most relevant lenders and provides a simple funding solution at no cost.
Spitball is building a peer to peer student economy by leveraging its nearly 500K student user base.
Slidely is the maker of Promo, the #1 video creation solution for businesses and agencies with over 40,000 customers worldwide.
Benson Oak Global Angel Fund
The Global Angel fund invested in start-ups around the world including Harri (NY), LoungeBuddy (SF, Series A led by Founders Fund), Shoppad (Bay Area, the #1 application developer for Shopify), Corkscew (London//Prague) and Woo (Tel Aviv).
The Global Angel Fund also took exposure to start-ups via investments in LP funds in the US, Europe and Israel including co-investments which have produced profitable exits.