Israeli private tech firms raised record $2.74 billion in third quarter

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israeli private high-tech companies raised a record $2.74 billion in the third quarter, overcoming the coronavirus pandemic with a 24% increase from a year ago, the Israel Venture Capital Research Center and ZAG law firm said on Wednesday.

In the first nine months of the year, fundraising -- mostly in later stage rounds -- reached $7.5 billion, close to the amount raised in all of 2019.

“This quarter foreign investors allocated the highest amounts of all time,” said Shmulik Zysman, managing partner at ZAG. “The total capital invested by Israeli funds is also the highest ever.”

Life science firms stood out in the third quarter, as one in four deals was from this sector.

Early-stage companies have been affected by the pandemic, with investors focusing on later stage companies, he said. Less than $100 million was raised by 95 seed deals so far this year.

“There is still more than enough money at the Israeli dedicated venture capital funds, but their appetite for risks has declined,” said Marianna Shapira, IVC research director.

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Steven Scheer