Israeli private tech firms raised $8.3 billion in 2019

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israeli private high-tech companies raised $8.3 billion (6.31 billion pounds) in 2019, up 30% from 2018, the Israel Venture Capital Research Center and ZAG law firm said on Wednesday.

This brings to $39.1 billion the amount Israeli tech firms raised since 2010.

“2019 marked a record year, capping a decade of successive increases in capital invested in the Israeli high-tech industry,” ZAG managing partner Shmulik Zysman said. “This growth is partly due to the growing foreign capital invested in the Israeli high-tech industry.”

In the fourth quarter, high-tech firms raised $2.3 billion, the highest since 2012, though the number of deals declined to 122, the IVC-Zag report showed.

Capital raised in early-stage companies declined in 2019 with seed round amounts shrinking to $148 million from $169 million in 2018.

IVC forecast that allocated capital for more mature companies will continue to grow in 2020, barring a dramatic change in macroeconomic conditions. Artificial intelligence and cybersecurity companies will remain the most attractive for investors.

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Ari Rabinovitch