Hila Rom - RUNI Ventures CEO

RUNI Ventures raises $30 million

Established five months ago, Reichman University’s venture capital fund (RUNI) aims to leverage the many ventures that are growing in the variety of entrepreneurship programs, innovation labs, and accelerators active on campus

RUNI Ventures, Reichman University’s venture capital fund, announced the first closing of its investment fund, raising $30 million. The announcement comes just five months after the founding of the fund, which was established to leverage direct access to the many ventures that grow every year in the variety of entrepreneurship programs, innovation labs, and accelerators active on campus. The importance of the first closing is that a significant part of the target amount has been raised, and the fund can start using the money to make investments.
The university itself will not invest, but will act as a general partner (GP) and will charge a management fee of 2% and a success fee of 20% as is customary in the venture capital industry. Although the university is a non-profit, the fund's profits are supposed to flow to an endowment fund, which is being established in the model of the wealthy universities in the U.S., which manage funds of billions of dollars. "Our deal flow looks great. It's a good indication that during times of crisis stronger and more accurate companies grow here, so this is also a great time for early-stage investments," said Hila Rom, the managing partner and CEO of RUNI Ventures.
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הילה רום
הילה רום
Hila Rom - RUNI Ventures CEO
(Photo: Koteret Studio)
RUNI Ventures will invest in startup companies in the pre-Seed stage, and it operates in a unique model according to which, in addition to investing amounts of about half a million dollars per project, its portfolio companies will receive tools especially set up for the early stages of a project's life. These tools include, among other things, a shared workspace in Herzliya, the placement of outstanding students as interns or employees, advice from academics and industry experts, as well as the ecosystem of university graduates in which there are many high-tech entrepreneurs.
Despite its young age, the university was recently ranked 7th in the world among universities of a similar size and 38th among all universities in the number of ventures founded by its graduates, according to Pitchbook. The university is hoping to benefit from the success of its graduates in the high-tech sector. Reichman graduates have founded more than 300 startups over the past two decades, raising a total of $4.8 billion. Some 14 of those startups went on to become unicorns, with some of them going public on Wall Street, like Similarweb, monday.com, Hippo, and ironSource. Among the unicorns to be founded by Reichman graduates are Melio, Bizzabo, and HoneyBook.

The university revealed that a third of the startups were already founded by students during their studies or within two years of their graduation, with almost half of the entrepreneurs meeting their partners at the university. Because of this, the university can get access to these startups much earlier, sometimes even before they even enter the venture capital fund market.
The fund will be set up as part of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at Reichman and is the brainchild of the School’s Dean Dr. Yossi Maaravi. Prof. Yair Tauman, Founding Dean of the School and one of the most active angel investors in Israel, will head the investment committee. The fund will be managed by CEO Hila Rom, the former CEO of MAKERS - Venture Builders, and Founder and Managing Director of agtech incubator Yakhin Impact.
Reichman will be the second university to start such a fund in Israel, joining TAU Ventures of Tel Aviv University founded five years ago.