Investment

Liberman family office backs new VC fund

Joshua Liberman, a member of Australia’s Liberman family, one of the country’s wealthiest, is putting his tech investing credentials to the test by launching a new VC fund. 

The new entity, Lumir Ventures, is a joint partnership between family office Josh Liberman Investment Group and Tel Aviv-based VC firm 10D. 

Lumir’s focus will be Israel’s technology space and will aim to back companies across a series of verticals that are looking for Series B financing – and beyond.  According to Australia’s Financial Review, the fund is targeting raising $100 million. 

Liberman is a well-known tech investor having invested in Ducere, a global online education and leadership business school, and more recently in Australian fintech lender Lumi, which launched in August 2018. 

In addition to his own private investment vehicle, Joshua is chairman of LJCB Investment Group, which stands for Lee, Joshua, Cassy and Berry Investments. It is the primary investment vehicle of the Liberman family and is regarded as one of Australia’s largest private investment groups, with interests in industries such as banking and finance, property, equities, venture capital, petroleum distribution and energy production. 

In respect to e-commerce, LJCB Investment Group invested early on in online classified site SEEK – which successfully listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2005 –  and marketing platform owner PINCHme. Now with his next venture up and running, Josh Liberman will be hoping to uncover a range of new investments in Israel’s technology space, one of the most vibrant in the world.  

Liberman’s links to Israel tech investing extend further by virtue of the fact that his cousin, Justin Liberman, is co-founder of Melbourne-based Square Peg Capital; Australia’s biggest VC fund with A$1.4 billion in assets under management. One of Square Peg’s other co-founders, Paul Bassat, set up SEEK with his brother Andrew in 1997. 

Joshua, and his sister Berry are the grandchildren of Jack Liberman. Jack and his older brother Chaim were born in Poland and were wartime prisoners in Russia. After surviving the Holocaust, the two brothers fled Europe once the Second World War came to an end. They ultimately arrived in Australia in 1949. 

One of the first businesses Jack got off the ground was opening a hamburger bar. At the same time, he and Chaim spotted an opportunity to sell clothing offcuts, which acted as the catalyst for the brothers to set up their own hosiery mill. 

Such was its success that by 1959 they had cornered the market. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the brothers oversaw a number of expansions. In 1984, Jack acquired the listed car distributor LNC. The cash flow this generated was used for the $100-million acquisition of a US retailing chain.

As the family’s wealth grew, Jack and his sons Boris and Leon established the JGL Investments group of companies, an empire worth more than $2 billion. The “G” in JGL was Jack’s wife, Genia. JGL operates in oil, textiles, retailing and property. 

Jack and Chaim passed away in 1997 and 2008 respectively.

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