TEL AVIV Oct 23 Israeli high-tech firms raised $488 million in venture capital in the third quarter, up 8 percent from the second quarter, the Israel Venture Capital (IVC) Research Center said on Tuesday.
The amount raised in the July-September period was 7 percent lower than the year-earlier quarter, IVC, in cooperation with the Israeli office of consultancy KPMG, said in a report.
Israeli venture capital investments in the first nine months of 2012 reached $1.4 billion, a decrease of 9 percent from the same period of 2011.
The share of capital raised from Israeli VCs slipped to 24 percent in the first nine months from 25 percent a year earlier.
"Capital raising for new funds is slowly picking up, with new funds recently raised by Pitango and Sequoia Israel and more funds about to close soon," said Koby Simana, CEO of IVC Research Center. "These funds will inject much needed capital for first investments."
Israeli high-tech companies are key drivers of the economy, helping to spur growth of 4.6 percent in 2011.
Ofer Sela, a partner in KPMG's technology group, said 2012 is expected to be a record year in terms of the number of companies raising first investments.
"This is mainly due to the increase in the number of investors, including foreign investors, operating in the market," he said.
In the first nine months of 2012 the life sciences sector led capital raising with 27 percent of total capital raised, followed by Internet at 19 percent. (Reporting by Tova Cohen)