The Fund Investing In Israeli Founders Fighting Climate Change

(Image: Firstime)
(Image: Firstime)

Firstime Ventures (Firstime) is a $250M AUM fund investing in Israeli founders and companies that are building a sustainable & accessible future for all. Firstime Ventures is investing in Israeli entrepreneurs that are building scalable products with a clear business model.

Fund Snapshot

  • Stage: Seed – Series A
  • Check Size: $2-8M
  • Geography: Israel or Israeli Founders
  • Lead/Follow: Both
  • Revenue/Valuation Thresholds: Post-Product Market Fit

About the Fund

Why was the fund created?

Firstime Ventures started as a successful government-backed incubator called “The Time.” Firstime was created to support these incubator companies.

In 2020, Firstime started a sustainability fund that focused on businesses that aligned with the UN Sustainability Development Goals. Within the scope of investing in sustainable startups, the partners all understood the importance of climate. Over the next 3 years, Firstime hopes to deploy $100M to combat the climate crisis.

What is a contrarian idea Firstime believes to be true/accurate?

Firstime doesn’t see climate as a niche – climate is a paradigm. The fund sees climate as a generalist thesis because it allows for investment in energy, agriculture, circular economy, and many other sectors.

What domains in climate tech does Firstime have the greatest expertise in?

While Firstime has more experience in software, over time the team’s thesis and investments have included digitally enabled hardware that can make a difference when it comes to climate change.
Within climate, Firstime will look at opportunities across many verticals, including agriculture, circular economy, energy, water, carbon reduction, carbon measurement, and transparency.

What type of portfolio support does Firstime provide?

Firstime is proactive when helping startups, but they also know how to avoid backseat driving. Firstime can help startups with:

  • Follow on funding
  • Marketing and branding
  • Strategic planning
  • BD
  • PR/Media
  • Business and financial plans
  • Sustainable reporting 
  • Carbon measurement 

About Investments

How can a startup get investment from Firstime?

Reach out to them via LinkedIn or on their website 

What is Firstime’s investment process and timeline?

Firstime is considerate of a founder’s time and emotions, and only takes meetings if there is enough interest. Their diligence process usually takes between 2-6 months, and takes 45 days or so from term sheet to check.

When engaged in due diligence, Firstime spends a lot of time focused on the founders and the team. Itamar Weizman, the Head of Climate Investments at Firstime, says that “[VC] is a business of nine funerals and one wedding.” As such, Firstime invests in the people they want to work with over the next 5-10 years. He continued on saying that “You need to pick the people that you want to go to the funeral with, which is tough. Sometimes people fail, not because they weren’t good enough, but because of reasons you can’t control.”

Besides the people behind a startup, Firstime also needs to understand the narrative and analyze the opportunity.

What would make Firstime consider deviating from its typical criteria?

Firstime’s current fund is limited to investing in 15-20 companies over the next 3 years (due to fund size). As a result, Firstime adheres to its investment criteria.

About The Author

Daniel Kriozere

Daniel Kriozere

Co-Founder @ The Impact

Daniel currently works at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a Product Manager. Outside of his day job, he is a Principal at C3, Tech Scout at For ClimateTech, and Venture Scout at Prithvi. He also works with various climate incubators/accelerators (Cleantech Open, Techstars, and Joules Accelerator) and runs The Impact and Innovate Climate – both are newsletters covering startups in the climate space.

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