It’s only six days into the new year, but pundits are already touting 2015 as a banner year for startup investments in Israel.
The momentum picks up from the past several months, when leading Israeli venture capital firms closed, or began the process of closing, new financing to the tune of an estimated $825 million, according to Israeli financial daily Globes.
In October Magma Ventures – which invested in such successful companies as Waze and Onavo — completed its $150 million fourth fund, and Jerusalem Venture Partners closed two funds worth $160 million. In November, Carmel Ventures – which has invested in Kontera, PlayBuzz, ironSource, myThings and other standouts — closed its own fourth fund totaling $194 million.
During the first week of January, outgoing Greylock Israel partners launched a new $200 million fund to invest in Israeli and European startups, according to Globes. Smaller funds are in the works from Glilot Capital ($70 million), Canaan Partners (at least $30 million) and First Time ($40 million).
The financing flurry is partly fueled by the fact that Israeli startups set a record for exits in 2014. End-of-year reports indicate that 52 Israeli companies were acquired for some $15 billion, nearly double 2013′s exits worth $7.6 billion.