Israeli high-tech firms raised record $6.47 billion in 2018

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israeli private high-tech companies raised a record $6.47 billion in 2018, up 17 percent from 2017, the Israel Venture Capital Research Center and ZAG law firm said on Wednesday.

In the fourth quarter high-tech firms raised a record $1.82 billion, up 8 percent from the third quarter, the IVC-Zag report showed.

“Most of the capital was raised by well-established software companies with annual revenues of up to $10 million in the verticals of AI (artificial intelligence) and cyber security,” said Marianna Shapira, research director at IVC.

Last year was the strongest year for Israeli cyber security companies, which raised $1.08 billion. Life science firms’ capital raising held steady at $1.2 billion.

“Over the course of 2018, there was a noticeable trend of foreign funds and investors, whose investments in Israel rose by more than $1 billion compared to last year,” said Zag managing partner Shmulik Zysman.

Reporting by Tova Cohen, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch