Gemini hires new venture partner

The Israeli venture capital firm has expanded its venture partners team as it prepares for a first close of its fourth, $200m technology fund.

Carmel Sofer, former president of Comverse Europe, the software and multimedia communications services provider, has joined venture capital firm, Gemini Israel Funds.

Sofer joins Gemini’s team of two existing venture partners, Dr Orna Berry, former chief scientist with the Israeli government and Shahar Kaminitz formerly of Amdocs, the US software service provider.

Discussing the appointment in an interview with PrivateEquityOnline, chairman and founding partner, Ed Mlavsky said that they had considered: “many potential candidates”, but that Sofer fitted the culture of the firm and would focus on sitting on the advisory boards of a number of portfolio companies and attracting potential deal flow to Gemini.

Mlavsky also confirmed that with the $200 million (€166 million) Gemini III fund almost fully invested, the firm was in the process of raising Gemini Fund IV, with a target of between $150 – 200 million. The firm is hoping to hold an initial close of the fund later this month and a final close before the end of the year.

Gemini focuses on providing seed capital to high-technology start-up companies in the information technology, communications, enterprise software and semiconductor industries.

In a statement, Sofer said: “It is a real pleasure to be joining Gemini, with its strong brand and reputation. I look forward to leveraging my professional experience as an entrepreneur and as a senior executive in a world-leading organisation.”