Recently Betabeat told you about Kirill Sheynkman, the Silicon Valley veteran who was investing big bucks for Russia’s number two tech titan. Last night at the TechStars NY after party, we met Ron Rofe, the point man for Vaizra Seed Fund, which was sponsoring the party.
“We’ve been making investments here for a while, but now we are doing business here full time,” Mr. Rofe, dressed in a slick silver suit with a white pocket square, told Betabeat. “Increasingly the talent from the financial sector is being unlocked, and we think a lot of young tech companies here are poised to capture that.”
Mr. Rofe has an interesting backround, according to his Crunchbase. He was an officer in the Israeli Defense Force, where he headed MAMRAM, the top technology unit in the IDF. This summer, we wrote about how elite IDF programming units like MAMRAM and 8200 function as feeders for Israeli startups, some of whom are bypassing the Valley to head for New York. After that Mr. Rofe founded Plarium.com, Russia and Eastern Europe’s biggest Social Gaming company.
So a hi-tech warrior who co-founded the Russian equivalent of Zynga. Not your average track for a VC.
The Vaizra Seed Fund is the early stage arm of Vaizra investments. The founder at Vaizra is a gentleman named Yitzchak Mirilashvili, who, according to his Crunchbase: “Founded VK.com, the biggest social network in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, with over 135 million users; recently sold a 7.5% stake to DST for $1.5 billion; remains the largest individual shareholder of vk.com.”
So either we’ve got some fascinating new players in the New York scene or these guys are really good at writing their own Crunchbase profiles. Betabeat hopes to reach out to Mr. Rofe this afternoon and learn more.