Pitango and Gemini were the most active Israeli venture capital funds in 2006 having made the most first investments, the Israel Venture Capital Research Center said Monday. IVC listed its top 10 most active VC funds, which made 65 first investments last year, slightly above the 2005 level of 63 and 23 percent higher than the 53 investments of 2004. "For 2007, we are forecasting stability in new early stage investment activity by Israeli VC funds," said IVC general manager Guy Holtzman. "Competition among Vs themselves, as well as with private investors, is pushing company valuations higher, especially in the Internet and new media sectors." Topping the 2006 list, Pitango made 10 first-time investments in companies followed by Gemini with nine, Benchmark Israel and Carmel with eight each and Genesis in fifth place with seven. The bottom half was made up by Evergreen and Sequoia Israel with six investments each and Cedar, Giza and Vertex with four each. Nine of the companies, Cedar being the exception, raised new funds in the past three years, the IVC said. The 2006 list was notably different from the previous year with four new entries after Star, Pontifax, Infinity and JVP all dropped out of the top 10. By sector, the software industry attracted the highest number of first investments by the most active funds in 2006 taking 22 of the deals, followed by the communications sector with 18 investments, Internet with 14, other technologies with eight and life sciences with three. Twenty-one of the investments were in seed-stage companies, 33 were in R&D stage companies, and 11 were in later stages companies, the IVC said.