Israeli former NBA star Omri Casspi launches $50m VC fund

i24NEWS

3 min read
Omri Casspi, (L), and David Citron, founders of the Sheva Foundation
photo by/ ShevaOmri Casspi, (L), and David Citron, founders of the Sheva Foundation

Sheva intends to invest in 20 companies, between $1 million to $2 million each

Israeli ex-NBA star Omri Casspi is launching a $50 million venture capital (VC) fund to invest in early stage startups.

Called "Sheva," Casspi started the fund with David Citron, a veteran early stage VC investor.

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“I’ve always been the hardest worker; first one at the gym, last one to leave. I believe that the same level of energy is what’s required of an early stage founder, and I’m eager to bring my hustle and robust network that I was fortunate enough to build over my career to provide real differentiated value to our founders,” Casspi said.

Besides hitting the hard court for over a decade in the US professional basketball league as the first Israeli to play in the NBA, Casspi captained Israel's national team at the 2015 EuroBasket.

He met Citron while exploring opportunities to get involved in Israel's thriving VC ecosystem.

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“Omri initially reached out to me on LinkedIn. I’ve always been a fan of the game of basketball, and grew up watching Omri represent Israel. But, a connection request from someone like Casspi seemed like a phishing attempt,” recalled Citron.

“We hit it off immediately, and started co-investing in a number of early stage startups. Our chemistry was so good, that it got to a point that our joint portfolio companies suggested we team up on our weekly calls. We were already thinking about the viability of starting a fund, but hearing this message from founders more than once gave us a real indication of product-market fit, so we decided to go all in and launch Sheva."

Sheva focuses on pre-seed and seed stage, as well as opportunistic series A investments. The fund intends to invest in 20 companies, between $1 million to $2 million each.

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