Nine Israeli unicorns, which refers to privately held start-up companies valued at over $1 billion, are now based in the state of New York, highlighting the growing influence of Israeli companies in the US, according to a Tuesday press release from the New York – Israel Business Alliance (NYIBA).
Some of the companies listed include prominent names in the tech world, focusing heavily on software and consumer payment services, such as Riskified, Sisense, VAST Data and Via join Compass, Lemonade, Payoneer, Taboola and The We Company, all of whom are now valued at $1 billion or more.
"It’s remarkable that the number of Israeli-founded unicorns based in New York has nearly doubled over the past year,” said Aaron Kaplowitz, NYIBA president.
“As Israel transforms from the Start-Up Nation to the Scale-Up Nation, New York is becoming more and more indispensable to Israel’s innovation ecosystem,” he added.
Riskified, a provider of e-commerce fraud prevention with headquarters in Tel Aviv and Manhattan, was able to raise $165 million to achieve a valuation of $1 billion, while Sisense, a business analytics company, was funded to the tune of $100 million that made its valuation over $1 billion.
Via, a ride-sharing service, secured $200 million in investments that led it to a valuation of $2.25 billion, and in April, the Israeli data storage company VAST Data achieved an investment of $100 million, prompting a valuation of $1.2 billion.
Another highly prominent Israeli tech company, Fiverr, an online platform for freelancers, achieved unicorn status in 2019 prior to decision to go public in June. Outbrain, which recently merged with Taboola, also surpassed the billion-dollar threshold to become a unicorn.
According to the NYIBA, 506 Israeli-founded companies across New York have generated $33.8 billion in total revenue, accounting for 2.02% of the state's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018, in addition to employing directly 24,850 New Yorkers.
Some of the industries Israeli companies have been operating in include agriculture, AI, cybersecurity, drones, life sciences, and renewable energy.
Predicting the future of Israeli companies in the state, Kaplowitz said that “As we contend with a global pandemic, I expect to see more collaborations in life sciences, bolstered by the three medical partnerships Gov. Cuomo announced in Jerusalem last year.”
“Still, I think the areas even more ripe for bilateral growth are AI and drones, sectors that offer audacious long-term solutions to challenges created by the coronavirus,” Kaplowitz noted.