Anat Tila Cherni
Title: Founding Partner, Aristagora VC.
Past Positions: Head of the Asia Practice in Discount Capital, Tech lawyer in one of Israel’s leading law firms.
Portfolio Companies: Lynxight, Nimble Beauty, Suridata.AI, TOPeration, CADY, RFKeeper.
From a young age, I was fascinated by Asian cultures and history. This is one of the main reasons I decided to study Eastern Asian Studies at the Hebrew University along with my LLB, which gradually led me to the investment and high-tech worlds.” Says Anat, founding partner at Aristagora VC.
I spent the first few years of my career working in China, with Chinese investors. My “opening” to this market was my ability to speak Chinese. Even though we live in an era of globalization, the majority of the investors and businessmen I interacted with preferred communicating in Chinese and not in English.
“These days, aside from my work with Israeli startups, I work mainly with the Japanese market, as all of our LPs in the fund are from Japan. I feel fortunate to be working with Japanese investors as I learn so much from them about long-term vision, which is always backed by a very detailed and comprehensive working plan”.
Tila Cherni previously served as head of the Asian desk at Discount Capital and as a Tech lawyer in one of Israel’s leading law firms. Today, among the portfolio companies managed by the fund are Lynxight, Nimble Beauty, Suridata.AI, TOPeration, CADY, RFKeeper.
“I Took Risks”
“Looking back at the way my career evolved, what stands out the most is the fact that I wasn’t afraid to take risks and to set myself challenging goals. For example, when I joined Discount Capital as the head of the Asia practice, I did not have formal experience in investments and investment banking, however, I was positive I would be able to learn and understand how this world works quite fast and do my job in the best way possible”. After establishing new investment-related activities in existing corporates, I decided it is the right time to do it on my own.
As part of her activities over the past decade, Tila Cherni has had a close interface with a variety of Asian investors and she has been exposed to various investment strategies and the motives of investors who wanted to be exposed to technologies from Israel and their investment processes. On the other hand, she worked closely with Israeli technology companies and Israeli venture capital funds, for which she raised capital. “In a sense, I had a chance to explore the VC world both from the perspective of LPs as well as from the perspective of the funds. At a certain point, I remember feeling it was time to embark on my next adventure, and establishing a VC fund, backed by Japanese investors, felt like the right move. “
“Understanding the Need”
“The business cooperation between Israel and Asia is fascinating as it creates synergy between Israeli innovation and big Japanese corporates who are seeking to adopt new technologies to innovate their business. The Japanese activity in the Israeli ecosystem is comprised mainly of Japanese corporates which established local R&D and innovation centers and some Japanese CVCs. The first step I took after realizing the need for a fund like Aristagora VC was to find the right partners for this journey and build a team with the relevant set of skills. It was clear to me that it required a mixture of entrepreneurship, early-stage investment experience, and a comprehensive understanding of the Japanese market”.
As part of the establishment of the fund, Tila Cherni and her partners have examined macro-economic trends, which they believe would have a massive impact on global markets, and are the basis for their investment strategy. One of these trends, which is growing rapidly mainly in Asia, is the automation of manual processes, which is based on the combination of machine learning and robotics. There are various reasons for the growing traction of this space, some of which are the aging of the population, the decrease of employees in physical work, and the improvement and cost-effectiveness of related technologies.
“We are certain that in the next few years we will witness robotic products which will impact our lives, from agriculture and industrial applications to our day-to-day tasks. As such, we plan to continue investing in this space and utilize our expertise and network in Asia in order to assist our portfolio companies to enter and scale in the market”.
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