Celebrating 73 years of Israeli innovation and entrepreneurship
This week, Israel will be celebrating its 73rd Independence Day. 9,3 million citizens and growing.
Many will argue that the country survived its opening decades through a series of miracles. There is a strong case for stating that the concept of the ‘start-up nation‘ was born through military necessity, the core need to survive against the odds. And exactly how Israel is countering the Iranian threat today surely goes far beyond the scope of a James Bond film.
But after 73 years, Israeli innovation is driven by more than just military applications. Bottom line: In the first quarter of 2021 – with much of the country, USA and Europe in lockdown – Israeli tech startups raised a staggering record $5.37 billion in 172 deals. As my wife pointed observed, that sum is less than the value of America’s annual military support for Jerusalem.
The details make for stunning reading. However, this is not a freak trend.
The same day as this news was released, we also learned that:
- Ra’anana-based agritech company Vertical Field, developer of technology for growing produce in cities, will trade on the Toronto stock exchange. The initial valuation is US$100m.
- Israel-based automotive chip company Valens Semiconductor Ltd. is in advanced negotiations to go public via a merger with a SPAC with a value of over US$1 billion – yet another unicorn!
- Israel is playing an increasingly important role in 2021’s ‘global battle for the chip”. Anyone care to boycott the country now?
2021 will hopefully be a year of significant growth for the Israeli economy, partially on the back of a rebound from covid and partially due to the start-up sector. Here’s looking to an even bigger and better 74th birthday party!