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The Silicon Review Asia

Rami Kalish, Pitango Venture Capital Managing General Partner and Co-Founder: ‘Our Team Has More Than 100 Years of Accumulated Experience in Building Companies into Category Leaders’

The Silicon Review
September, 2019

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“We invest in core technology across all stages, via two parallel funds: Pitango Early Stage and Pitango Growth.”

Venture capital firms are without a doubt the muscle behind innovation as they support the company they may invest in, from the early stages, all the way to IPO — especially those with larger funds that have billions of dollars under management.

In light of the foregoing, we’re thrilled to present Pitango Venture Capital.

Pitango operates as a venture capital firm. The company invests in software, communication, networking, wireless, internet, healthcare, and technology sectors. Pitango serves customers in Israel and the United States.

The company was incorporated in 1993 and is headquartered in Herzliya, Israel.

Pitango Venture Capital: Synopsis

Rewind: Taking Flight

Pitango was founded as Polaris Venture Capital in by Rami Kalish, as part of a government initiative named the Yozma program ("Initiative" in Hebrew); which offered attractive tax incentives to any foreign venture-capital investments in Israel and offered to double any investment with funds from the government.

In 1996, Kalish was joined by Chemi Peres, son of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, to create Polaris Fund II, which raised more than $100 million, Polaris II invested in 35 high-tech companies. Some were partially funded by another Israeli VC firm, Eucalyptus Ventures. When the investments proved successful, Polaris II and Eucalyptus merged into Fund III in early 2000.

In 2000, Rami Beracha, who joined Pitango in 1996, Became a managing general partner. He resigned in 2018.

In 2001, Polaris Venture Capital changed its name to Pitango Venture Capital; to avoid confusion with Boston based Polaris Venture Partners (even though the Boston firm was founded after Pitango in 1996, the Israeli firm chose to change its name). Pitango takes its name from the semi-wild Surinam Cherry that grows in Israel.

Pitango Venture Capital Fund IV followed in 2004 and in 2007, Pitango V.

In 2010, with the support of the Israeli government, Pitango established the first fund in the country focused on investment in the Arab-Israeli sector, called Al-Bawader (Arabic for “early signs”).

Elements: That Make Pitango Outshine Competition

Pitango has been investing in exceptional founding teams and disruptive ideas since its inception. Its team has more than 100 years of accumulated experience in building companies into category leaders.

With over $2 billion under management and investments in over 250 companies, Pitango invests in core technology across all stages, via two parallel funds: Pitango VC and Pitango Growth.  

Pitango believes innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship are a means to make the world a better place. The company’s commitment is to entrepreneurs who go far beyond the status quo and have a world-changing vision.

And Pitango believes that diversity and inclusion are key in building a strong community of entrepreneurs. The Israeli society is as strong as its diversity and inclusion efforts, so is the tech ecosystem, which should endeavor as a whole to play a role model in its inclusion efforts.

Pitango’s name reflects its ethos. The Pitango is a fruit that grows in abundance throughout Israel, yet the ripest fruits are a challenge to find. Just like finding the right company takes a good eye for opportunity, persistence and skill – the sweetest Pitangos are hard to find, hidden by dense foliage. Once found, the effort is worth it.

Rami Kalish: An Aspiring Entrepreneur

Rami Kalish is a Managing General Partner and Co-Founder at Pitango. Prior to founding Pitango, he held sales and marketing positions at IBM and senior executive roles at Orbotech.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Avantis Team, Flash Networks, ForeScout Technologiesand Neura.

Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of several portfolio companies that went public on NASDAQ, including: ITXC, CardGuard, VocalTec, Retalix, Optibase, RADWARE and on the Board of Optonol (acquired by Alcon), Red Bend Software (acquired by Harman), RocketPlay (acquired by American Gaming System – AGS) and SkyCure (acquired by Symantec).

Rami is a member of the advisory boards of the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) Yazamut-Bronica Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, The Merage Foundation for U.S.-Israel Trade and The educational Center for Tolerance and Peace of the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa.

He earned a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Information Science from the Technion Institute of Technology.

“With over $2 billion under management and investments in over 250 companies, Pitango invests in core technology across all stages, via two parallel funds: Pitango VC and Pitango Growth.”

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