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Venture investments in Israel rise for fifth straight year to $5.2 bln

Israel tech startups raised $5.24 billion in 2017 with a handful of big-money deals leading to a fifth annual increase in investments.

Capital allocated rose 9 percent from 2016, though deals were down 8 percent to 620, mirroring a similar decline in the United States, according to the IVC-ZAG survey. Sixteen percent of the money came from Israeli firms, an increase, with the remainder from foreign investors.

The year saw four deals of $100 million or more. The companies funded were Cybereason, Via, Lemonade and Skybox. Together, their funding accounted for 12 percent of capital invested, the survey said. The average round size among Israeli technology companies more than doubled in four years to $8.5 million last year.

Fourth-quarter funding was solid with $1.44 billion invested, but saw a decline in deal volume.

In 2017, software companies gathered the most money, followed by life sciences startups, which experienced a 41 percent increase in funding from 2016. The number of cyber security deals was down significantly for the second year in a row.

The survey said it was optimistic about funding in 2018, in part because of new clarity over investment regulations in China. The lack of clarity was “often exploited by Chinese investors to withdraw from investment agreements” in 2017, the survey said.

Action Item: Check out the IVC-ZAG summary of Israeli tech investing in 2017 at http://bit.ly/1JQHlhT

Photo of Israel flag-bearer Vladislav Bykanov leading his country’s contingent during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 7, 2014. Reuters/Jim Young