TEL AVIV, July 15 (Reuters) - Israeli private high-tech firms raised $930 million in venture capital in the second quarter, the highest quarterly amount since 2000, the Israel Venture Capital (IVC) Research Center said on Tuesday.
This is up 38 percent from the amount raised in the first quarter and 109 percent above the year-ago quarter, IVC, in cooperation with the Israeli office of consultancy KPMG, said in a report.
The quarterly figure included a $135 million investment in Landa Digital Printing by German specialty chemicals group Altana.
In the first half of 2014, 335 Israeli high-tech companies raised $1.6 billion, an increase of 81 percent from a year earlier, making it the strongest capital raising period on record for Israel's high-tech industry.
"Mature, revenue growth companies are continuing to raise significant capital," said Ofer Sela, a partner at KPMG's technology group. "While in the past, venture capital funds saw the M&A (mergers and acquisitions) route as providing the best opportunity for revenue growth company exits, potential Nasdaq IPOs (initial public offerings) are now a major driver of VC investment."
Israeli high-tech companies are key drivers of the economy, helping to spur growth of 3.3 percent in 2013. High-tech firms raised $2.3 billion in 2013, the highest amount in a decade.
Israeli VC fund investments amounted to $153 million in the second quarter, up 40 percent from a year earlier, IVC said.
"In the first six months of 2014, we counted 15 deals above $20 million, nearly equal to the number of such deals for the entire 2013," said Koby Simana, chief executive of the IVC Research Center.
In the second quarter, the life sciences sector attracted the largest share of funds at 27 percent. (Reporting by Tova Cohen)