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Israeli VC funds to face steep drop in '09

Israel is expected this year to face a 62 percent drop in the amount of venture capital raised, according to the IVC Research Center.

Israeli venture capitalists are expected this year to raise $300 million, setting the stage for a second consecutive year of decline, according to figures released Wednesday by the IVC Research Center.

Israeli venture capital funds are expected this year to post a 62 percent decline over last year, when $793 million was raised.

And should Israeli venture capital funds generate only $300 million, it would put it on par with levels not seen since 2003 to 2004.

IVC Research Center

Last year, Israeli venture capital funds declined 30 percent over the previous year, when $1.14 billion was raised.

But despite the two years of declines, IVC reports that roughly $1 billion in capital still remains available for investment. Of that pool of funds, approximately $400 million is targeted for first-time investments in high-tech companies. The remainder is set aside for follow-on investments in those companies.

Israel over the past decade has also attracted the attention of U.S.-based venture capitalists looking to invest in start-ups operating in the Middle East high-tech center.