Photo Credit: Abir Sultan / Flash 90
Israeli shekels

In June alone, Israeli startups raised $561.4 million. The month of May brought in $327 million.

“There is still much available cash around, ready to be invested, and a significant number of interesting companies that are good candidates for investments. On the other hand, there is fear that the global technology market is about to shrink. Nevertheless, the amount of available cash and attractive companies have their pull – as can be seen from the total volume of investments this [first] quarter, the industry is hard at work and the investors are still in the game,” said Sela of KPMG Somekh Chaikin.


Venture capital

Meanwhile, venture-capital commitments set off at a running pace this year. In the first two months of 2016, investment firms in Israel received more than $665 million in new pledges.

One of the newest investors in Israeli high-tech is Bill Gates. According to Globes, Gates invested indirectly in the MEDX Xelerator, a new incubator specializing in medical equipment and digital medicine. The four partners in the incubator are Sheba Medical Center, Boston Scientific, MEDX Ventures Group and the Intellectual Ventures Company (in which Gates is an investor).

The partners committed to an investment of $65 million over eight years in the incubators’ companies and graduates.

IVC shows that in the first six months of the year, VC-backed investments  topped $1.882 billion. There were 117 VC-backed deals accounting for a record $1.1 billion in Q2 and 97 deals worth $782 million in Q1.

Catalyst CEL, in partnership with Catalyst Private Equity, announced a new Israel-China private equity fund of $200 million.

Moscow-based Titanium Investments was the next to unveil its $50 million venture capital fund for investing in Israeli startups. The Russian fund’s portfolio already includes the Israeli companies Feedvisor, Mantis Vision, BrightInfo, NanoRep,, Cloudyn, Mentad, Roojoom, Drippler, Cloudpayments, Aitype, Imonomy, Cimagine, MUV Interactive and 365Scores.

TLV partners, a Tel Aviv based VC dedicated to investing in innovative A-round startups, announced a $115 million fund in February.

Also in February, VC firm Vertex Ventures raised $150 million for its fourth fund. Backers include Murata, SBI FujiFilm, and VVH. The fourth fund has already invested in four ventures: car cybersecurity company Argus; cyber intelligence firm WireX; E8 Storage; and WebyClip.

In March, expat Israeli billionaire Haim Saban announced a new fund – Saban Ventures – to invest $100 million in Israeli startups.

In May, Kuang-Chi, a Shenzhen-based technology conglomerate, announced its Kuang-Chi GCI Fund & Incubator combining investment in early- to mid-stage Israeli and global companies with incubation by the Chinese tech giant. The newly established international innovation fund – based in Israel — has an initial mandate of $50 million, which is planned to grow to $300 million within the next three years.

Also in May, HP announced the launch of HP Tech Ventures,  a new corporate venture arm, targeting early-stage companies with cutting-edge technologies. Operating in Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv, HP Tech Ventures said it will pursue strategic investments and partnerships in disruptive technology areas, including: 3D transformation, immersive computing, hyper-mobility, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and smart machines.

That same month, international healthcare venture capital firm OrbiMed announced its second Israel-focused venture capital fund — OrbiMed Israel Partners II, with approximately $307 million in capital commitments.

“Israel is a compelling locus of life-sciences innovation, on par with top regions in the US and Europe,” said Jonathan Silverstein, co-head of OrbiMed’s global private equity effort. “With this fund we will further accelerate our investment pace in Israel and help nurture local innovations into leading healthcare companies.”

Interestingly, in the first six months of the year, some 57% of the deals included at least one foreign VC investor, compared to a 32% average in the first half of the previous two years, according to the IVC report.