Israel venture market suffers further decline in Q1

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The Israeli venture market suffered yet another decline in the first quarter of this year with little sign of an improvement while the region's political climate remains so unstable.

Investments totalled $344m, down ten per cent on the previous quarter and 27 per cent down on the same period last year, according to the latest Money Tree survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The number of fundraisings dropped to just 76, compared with 106 in the fourth quarter and 132 in the first quarter of 2001. Only six companies managed to raise seed capital, highlighting the particularly difficult conditions at the early stage.

Joseph Fellus, head of hi-tech at PwC, said: ‘I believe we are still in decline, although maybe not as severe a decline as before. If funds cannot guarantee continued new fund flow that affects their policy going forward.’

The mounting uncertainty about the political environment in the region has simply added to the difficulties that have hurt the region’s industry since the collapse of public markets in 2000.

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