At UpWest, we believe that to scale quickly and effectively, founders need to immerse themselves in their target market as soon as possible. It is the fastest way to gain valuable customer insights, create partnerships, and build the momentum needed to grow your business rapidly. That is why we invest in companies of various stages and domains that look to set up their business operations in the US and hit the ground running.
We actively invest:
1. Founders looking to break into the US market or founders that have already established a US presence
2. All stages of the product lifecycle, from a mere idea to a finalized product/service
3. Startups both with or without previous seed funding
To get a better sense of who we invest in, feel free to check out our portfolio.
We believe it is crucial to take a hands-on approach in helping our investments succeed to later stages. Accordingly, we give our portfolio companies more than a check: we provide ongoing mentorship to tackle market penetration, funding, and scaling. We only invest in roughly 10 startups per year, ensuring we have the capacity to actively support our companies for many years.
Early Market Access
Upon our investment, you will spend a few months in our Silicon Valley office, engaging directly with the UpWest team to hone in on go-to-market strategy, find product-market fit, connect with partners/customers, and learn the best practices of breaking into the US market (and what not to do).
Beyond our investment, UpWest also supplies our entrepreneurs with office space, access to the Silicon Valley ecosystem, and an opportunity to work with some of the most influential and experienced people in the technology world. We reduce friction and ease the logistical pain points for our founders by inviting them to live in our UpWest house, a community of fellow entrepreneurs located in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Funding & Fundraising
As a venture fund, our relationship with your company begins when we write our first check. But our initial investment in your startup is just the beginning — our intention is to invest up to $1M per startup over the course of the company’s lifetime.
After the initial few months gaining momentum in the US market, we extensively prepare you for fundraising, give you insight to the investor point of view, and help guide your company throughout every step of this journey. We also look to participate (not lead) in these early follow-on rounds.
To date, our portfolio companies have raised over $400M in follow-on funding from top seed, early stage and growth funds, predominantly located in the US.
Scaling the Operations
We have helped dozens of our companies scale and establish their headquarters in the US. For our portfolio companies, it is common to set up sales & marketing offices in the US while keeping the R&D in Israel. UpWest is there to help every step of the way: from facilitating the creation of the business/R&D infrastructure to helping the founders scale their business the best way possible (e.g. by letting go). Some examples of these companies include SentinelOne and HoneyBook — where we were the first investors — which now have hundreds of employees split between these two locations.
Though most of our startups ended up establishing their headquarters in Silicon Valley, some have established their US presence in New York, Boston, Austin, and other locations across the US.
Investing in only a small number of companies each year allows us to allocate significant time and resources to each startup in both the short and long term.
Our entrepreneurs take on the US market with a strong support system and constantly build on each other’s diverse experiences. Moreover, our strong US-based network provides additional unparalleled support to you as a founder penetrating this new market. This also includes our strong US-based alumni network of founders who are passionate about their ventures and are happy to assist our new companies.
No matter how early or late you may be, if you are looking to build an impactful global company, we would love to hear from you. Our Partners are based in Silicon Valley, though spend significant time in Israel throughout the year.
We are in Israel from late May ’17 until August ’17. Please email us to set up time to chat. As we invest year-round and have brought startups to the U.S. throughout the year, please don’t hesitate to reach us at any time.