Maybe it's the cool breezes of autumn or a gush of Rosh Hashana cheer, but the is that five Israeli startups closed hefty financing rounds since Thursday last week. The five brought in $85 million, with foreign investors kicking into each one.
The startups' achievement would be nothing to sneeze at during better times. This September, as tech stocks continue to shrink on Wall Street and bombs continue to explode here at home, it's nothing short of awesome.
For comparison, in all of August, ten startups brought in a total of $63 million.
Today it was the turn of Ra'anana-based Business Layers, which said it had raised $25 million venture financing, including from foreign funds Canaan, Novell and Ascend Venture Partners. Several Israeli funds took part too.
Another startup revealing its success today was Power Paper, which raised $10 million, partly from new investors. Its backers included Japanese fund Yasuda, on its first fling in Israel, as well as EDB from Singapore and Israeli funds.
Then there is biotechnology firm BIO IT, which today announced completion of a $7.8 million financing round. One of its key backers is Orbimed, one of the biggest med-tech funds in the U.S. It also roped in Frederick Frank, vice chairman of Lehman Brothers.
On Thursday Friendly Robotics, maker of robots for home and garden use, said it had raised $7 million according to a pre-money company value of $15 million. Its round was led by Israeli fund Etgar (Challenge), with the participation of the American fund Coral and Taiwanese bank CDIB, among others.
But the biggest round of all to hit the headlines was by InterWise, which TheMarker today learned has secured $36 million. (The company won't confirm.) Most of the money apparently came from foreign investors, including two investment banks.
The spate of good news is a welcome break from the glum headlines the startup industry had become used to lately. But the companies found their valuations for the financing rounds far lower than achieved in the past, usually during 2000. Moreover, some of the investments came as bridge loans from shareholders that are now being converted into equity.