Israel Cleantech Inches Forward

Israel Cleantech Ventures held a $20 million first close toward its purposed $60 million fund, making it the first Israeli VC firm to raise money for the emerging cleantech industry, co-founder Glen Schwaber told PE Week. Subscribers can read the whole story here.

Schwaber, Jack Levy and Meir Ukeles, each of whom is under the age of 40, co-founded the Raanana, Israel-based firm last September, as PE Week first reported. The firm has since then bulked up its staff, adding Venture Partners Arnon Goldfarb, Israel Kroizer, Eytan Levy and Yigal Stav.

Schwaber says that his decision to leave JVP and launch Israel Cleantech Ventures was more about the opportunities he saw in cleantech deals rather than any particular interest from institutional investors.

VCs funded six cleantech startups in Israel with $50.6 million during 2006, according to data from the Cleantech Venture Network. Three of the startups that raised money operate in the fields of water purification and reclamation, the data shows.