Israel

From startup to scale-up: Israel's most valuable VC-backed companies

October 23, 2019
Over the past decade, Israel has seen a near-constant increase in cash flowing into the VC ecosystem. The capital raised by Israeli startups has risen from $483.6 million in 2009 to nearly $3 billion last year, per PitchBook data, with more than $2.8 billion already raised so far this year. With so much activity, the country has earned the moniker "startup nation." Behind Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv has the most startups per capita in the world, according to Startup Genome's 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report. 

Now Israel is arguably a scale-up nation, adding three new unicorns this year for a total of five. Using PitchBook data, we've compiled a list of the country's most valuable VC-backed companies. 

Monday.com

In July, Israel welcomed its most valuable startup in the shape of Monday.com, when the project software management provider landed $150 million for its Series D. The financing, which was led by Sapphire Ventures and supported by investors including HarbourVest Partners, reportedly gave the company a valuation of $1.9 billion. Founded in 2012, Monday.com enables its users to manage all of their work tasks from one centralized platform including marketing campaigns, onboarding and client management. The startup counts over 70,000 teams as customers and has secured more than $230 million in VC backing. 

Gett

Uber rival Gett is responsible for the top two largest Israeli VC rounds to take place in the past five years. In 2016, the ridehailing company secured a $300 million investment from car giant Volkswagen to boost its presence in Europe and New York. Then in May this year, it received $200 million of debt and equity from venture capital investors at a post-money valuation of $1.5 billion, per TechCrunch. While the company is a fraction of the size of its US-based competitors, it appears to be doing better in terms of finances and is reportedly expecting to be profitable by the end of year. Based in Tel Aviv, Gett operates in more than 120 cities, including London and Moscow. 

IronSource

Launched in 2010, IronSource offers monetization technologies geared toward game developers. It provides a platform for customers to acquire users and display ads within mobile games. The company was in the spotlight earlier this month when CVC Capital Partners agreed to purchase a minority stake for more than $400 million. It has also been backed by VC investors including Israel's Viola Ventures and 83North. IronSource is reportedly anticipating revenues of around $1 billion in 2019 and EBITDA of $150 million.

Lightricks

Jerusalem-based Lightricks is a recent addition to the unicorn club having raised a $135 million Series C in July at a $1 billion valuation. The startup is behind popular photo-editing apps Facetune and Enlight, among others. Collectively, its products have more than 180 million downloads and nearly 3 million paying subscribers. Lightrick's backers include Goldman Sachs, Insight Partners and ClalTech

OrCam

The fifth most valuable VC-backed company in Israel is OrCam, a developer of wearable devices for the blind and visually impaired. Its products allow users to read text, recognize faces and identify objects due to its wireless smart camera, which translates writing and barcodes into spoken words. OrCam attained unicorn status in 2018 when it sold a 3% stake for $30.4 million to investors including Meitav Dash and Clal Insurance, according to Reuters. The company was launched by Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, co-founders of collision avoidance system provider Mobileye, which was sold to Intel for $15.3 billion in 2017. 

Featured image via RudyBalasko/iStock/Getty Images
 

For more information on Israel's VC ecosystem, check out our Venture Ecosystem FactBook: Israel

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