TEL AVIV Jan 14 (Reuters) – Israeli venture capital funds
attracted $914 million in 2014, up 68 percent on the year, and
look set to draw even more funding in 2015, the Israel Venture
Capital (IVC) Research Center said on Wednesday.
Carmel Ventures raised the largest amount, attracting $194
million to its fourth fund. Jerusalem Venture Partners had a
first closing of $160 million out of a targeted $180 million for
its seventh fund.
Carmel’s new fund, which has made investments in popular
quiz technology provider PlayBuzz and LuckyFish Games, attracted
money from Chinese internet search engine Baidu and
financial services group Ping An.
Chinese investors have said they are particularly interested
in the mobile, Internet, biotech, medical and agricultural
The amount raised by 12 funds marked a six-year high and was
18 percent above the 10-year average, IVC, together with the
Israeli office of consultancy KPMG, said in a report.
Currently, data showed some 19 funds are in the process of
raising capital with an aggregate target of $1.8 billion, said
Marianna Shapira, research manager at IVC.
“We expect that the majority of these funds will raise
capital in 2015, and believe as much as $1.2 billion could be
raised,” Shapira said.
Last week 83North announced it had raised a $200 million
Led by vehicle safety company MobilEye, which
raised $890 million in New York in July, there were 17 initial
public offerings by Israeli companies last year. They raised
$2.1 billion, up from eight IPOs amounting to $360 million a
A record number of Israeli portfolio companies with
valuations of hundreds of millions of dollars, together
with positive investor sentiment in the Nasdaq, has made it
easier for VC firms to raise capital, said Ofer Sela, a partner
in KPMG’s technology group.
“This has encouraged new limited partners from China and
Israeli institutional investors to join the more traditional
investors in Israeli VCs, such as university endowment and U.S.
public pension funds,” Sela said.
The Nasdaq gained 13.4 percent in 2014 while the
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s benchmark index rose 6.7
(Reporting by Tova Cohen; editing by Jason Neely)