3i backs Israeli fund

3i has invested $20m in Giza Venture Capital’s fourth fund. This investment extends 3i’s global venture capital activities to Israel, where it will invest primarily alongside Giza, in Israeli technology companies.

3i typically invests around $300m annually in early and late stage technology companies worldwide. Today, Israel represents one of the world’s primary VC markets raising $1.34bn in venture capital in 2005.

Jo Taylor, global head of 3i venture capital, said: “The combined promise of Israeli companies and a general upswing in the health of global technology market makes this a good time for 3i to invest in the region. 3i is a natural partner for ambitious Israeli start-ups which are moving rapidly onto a global stage. We look forward to gaining access to exciting Israeli opportunities, for example, in areas like cleantech, security and semiconductors which fit 3i’s global profile well.”

Patrick Sheehan and Ali Erfan, 3i partners, will manage 3i’s venture interests in Israel.

Founded in 1992, Giza Venture Capital manages four funds with a total of $500m. Giza has invested in around 80 early stage companies in communication, information technology and life science sectors, with 25 exits to date.