Israeli tech raises US$360m

In Q1 2006, 101 Israeli high tech companies raised US$360m from venture investors, according to the Israeli Venture Capital (IVC) Research Center, a 36% increase from the US$264m raised by 88 companies in Q4 2005.

Israeli VCs invested US$177m, a 35% climb from the closing three months of last year and on a par with the US$173m invested in Q1 2005.The average financing round for Israeli tech companies was US$3.56m, a 17% increase from the previous quarter and a more modest 4% improvement from the same period last year. Four companies managed to attracted more than US$10m each, with 23 companies raising between US$5 and US$10m each. Seed companies have had a very good start to the current year, with 22 receiving US$50m, an increase of 127% from the previous quarter and up 56% from Q1 2005.

Efrat Zakai, director of research at IVC, said: “In the nine quarters since the beginning of 2004, Israeli companies raised about US$350m per quarter, on average. The last quarter of 2005 was the lowest in two years; investments in the first quarter of 2006 simply rose back to average levels, as we had forecast.”

He expects “no real surprises in 2006” with IVC predicting stability and an annual investment level roughly equal to the US$1.4bn of 2005.