US-based Greylock Partners’ subsidiary Greylock Israel made nine first investments, four of which were in the IT and software sector.
Vertex’s eight first investments were split among the IT and software, internet and semiconductor sectors.
DFJ Tamir Fishman, a merged entity between Tamir Fishman Ventures and the US’s Draper Fisher Jurvetson, made four of its seven investments in internet companies.
Cleantech-dedicated venture capital fund AquAgro made all seven of its deals in that sector.
In 2008, 33 first investments (28 per cent) were made in seed stage companies, compared to 43 per cent in 2007. Proseed, a venture capital fund traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, made the most investments in seed companies with three deals. 12 of 32 venture capital funds made no investments in seed companies.
Ten first investments were made in foreign companies in 2008. Infinity’s Israel-China venture capital fund, with 60 percent of its managed capital designated to investments in China, made four of its five first investments in Chinese companies.
In 2008, Israeli venture capital funds made 119 first investments in technology companies, compared to 127 investments in 2007. The dollar amount of the first investments dropped 28 per cent from the previous year.
Koby Simana, IVC CEO, said, “The reduced activity reflected the economic crisis that deepened in the fourth quarter and the difficulties confronted by Israeli venture capital funds in raising new capital. We expect a continued decrease in first investments in 2009.”
The IT and software sector attracted the largest number of first investments (26) in 2008 - 22 per cent of the total number of investments. In 2007, the sector ranked fourth, with 16 per cent. The life sciences sector ranked second with 25 investments or 21 per cent, while in 2007 the sector managed to attract only 7 per cent and ranked fifth.
The survey relates to investments in Israeli and Israel-related companies and in foreign companies made by Israeli management firms.