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3i extends international network via investment in Israeli VC fund

3i, a world leader in venture capital and private equity, today announces that it has invested $20 million in Giza Venture Capital's fourth fund.

This investment extends 3i''s global venture capital activities to Israel, where it will invest primarily alongside Giza, in Israeli companies with highly disruptive technologies.

As a global VC, 3i typically invests around $300m annually in early and late stage technology companies across the world''s innovation hotbeds. Today Israel represents one of the world''s primary VC markets raising $1.34bn in venture capital in 2005.

Jo Taylor, global head of 3i Venture Capital explained, "The combined promise of Israeli companies and a general upswing in the health of global technology market makes this a good time for 3i to invest in the region. Today, emerging technology companies need to internationalise at an earlier stage in their development and 3i''s investment in this leading Israeli fund allows us to deploy our international expertise and contacts to add value to Israeli companies."

He added "3i is a natural partner for ambitious Israeli start-ups which are moving rapidly onto a global stage. We look forward to gaining access to exciting Israeli opportunities, for example, in areas like cleantech, security and semiconductors which fit 3i''s global profile well."

Patrick Sheehan and Ali Erfan, 3i Partners, will manage 3i''s venture interests in Israel. 
Giza has been established in Israel since 1992, managing funds valued at over $500m. Its sector focus matches 3i''s VC investing strategy with a shared specialism in communications, software, electronics, semiconductors, advanced technology and healthcare. In addition to 3i''s investment in the Giza fund, the partnership will create co-investment opportunities for 3i in the region.

Giza Venture Capital, an early-stage investor in Israeli technology, welcomed 3i as both an LP and co-investor. Zeev Holtzman, CEO at Giza Venture Capital said, "3i''s global network outside of Israel is second to none; a fantastic resource and its broad platform is complementary to Giza''s early stage investment strategy. Through this partnership, we are excited to offer the young companies we back exposure to their target markets early on. We have created here a win-win situation"

Notes to editors

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia Pacific. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders. 
In the 6 months to 30 September 2005, 3i achieved realizations of over £1bn and invested £835m, including co-investment funds, of which 3i''s Venture Capital business invested £58m in early stage technology companies globally across four specialist sectors: communications, software, healthcare and electronics, semiconductors and advanced technologies ("ESAT"). Its portfolio of 400 companies includes Vonage (VOIP), Udex (RFID), Microsulis (medtech), EnOcean (energy) with successful realisations through Bookham, CSR, Arakis, UbiNetics and many others.

About Giza Venture Capital

Founded in 1992, Giza Venture Capital manages four funds with a total of $500 Million. Giza has invested in 82 seed and early stages companies, in the sectors of Communication, Semiconductors, Information Technology and Life Sciences, with 29 exits to date. Giza is known for its professional expertise and extensive management experience, and is supported by leading international investors from the USA, Europe, Asia and Israel.

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