Nielsen Backs VC Fund Pereg Focused on Marketing, Israeli Startups

12/13/12Follow @cathyarnst

Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN), the television ratings company, is backing a new VC firm, Pereg Ventures, based in New York, that will be looking for early stage advertising and Web-based-marketing technology startups, as well as Israeli entrepreneurs seeking to crack the US market.

Pereg said in its press release that it will invest in “market intelligence innovations, advertising solutions, management tools, and related mobile and online enablers.” Although it will focus predominantly on the U.S., it also plans to serve as a bridge between Israeli entrepreneurs and U.S. capital.

As Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sramana Mitra wrote in Xconomy in July, Israel has the second largest number of startups after the U.S. but there is a shortage of Israeli capital. “Over the past 12 years, the local VC industry has shrunk from 80 VC funds to only eight funds that are actively investing,” Mitra wrote.

New York-based Nielsen is the anchor investor in Pereg but its involvement is conditional on Pereg obtaining total investment commitments of at least $25 million, which the VC firm said it plans to do in the first half of 2013.

Claudia Iannazzo, a former consultant with Red Door Consulting in New York and a longtime player in international startups, will be CEO and partner of Pereg, while Itzhak Fisher, Nielsen’s executive vice president of global business development, will serve as chairman and partner.

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