2021 has been an exceptional year for the Israeli technology industry, with the number of exits soaring by 520% and reaching a remarkable $82.4 billion. These exits are the country’s pride and a sign that the “Startup Nation”, increasingly known as the “Exit Nation”, has become a key player and an essential partner in world innovation.
All mergers, acquisitions and IPO deals far exceed the 2020 values of $17.4 billion, according to an annual report published by the consulting firm PwC Israel.
The boom in acquisition deals.
So far, the number of exits for 2021 stands at 171 deals, compared to last year’s 60. Out of these, there were 99 acquisitions which totaled $11.5 billion and 72 IPOs, 45 of which were conducted on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. That’s an increase of 180% compared to 2020.
An example among these acquisitions is the Israeli online genealogy platform MyHeritage, which was bought on February 24th, 2021 by the Californian investment fund Francisco Partners. The sale was estimated at $600 million. Despite selling his startup, Myheritage’s founding CEO Gilad Japhet, indicated that he would continue to run the company and that the offices and factories would remain in Israel and abroad to ensure its growth.
2021 has set records in terms of funding for Israeli technology companies, with a total of $22.1 billion in investments from January to November, and the entry of Unicorn companies, listed at over $1 billion.
35 new Israeli unicorns in 2021.
Unicorns are high-tech companies or startups that are valued at at least $1 billion, or over 3 billion shekels. Less than 1% of startups achieve this, they are so rare that they are called unicorns. At the beginning of December there were more than 900 unicorns in the world, 79 of which were founded by Israelis, with a combined value of $228 billion.
This year, Israel is again in pole position in terms of unicorns per capita. Their number more than doubled, with 35 new unicorn companies in 2021 (according to a report by Deloitte Catalyst).
Israeli unicorns cover many fields: business productivity with the famous startups Taboola, valued at $2.6 billion, or monday.com listed at $6.8 billion since its IPO; Medicine, with Orcam (born within Mobileye, one of the largest exits in Israel’s history) or Rewalk.
Among the most famous unicorns, let’s not forget Waze, which was bought for more than 1 billion dollars by Google, a dazzling success.
The Hebrew State allows its most beautiful technological nuggets to be bought by foreign groups and world leaders. Keen on exits, each year, the Israeli high-tech sector sets new records in terms of mergers and acquisitions. But more so, there is also an increase in the number of Israeli startups being acquired by Israel-based companies. It seems the new generation of entrepreneurs is looking to create great companies that hold promise for Israel’s future.