As of the end of 2019, there were 362 multinational corporations active in Israel, according to a new report by IVC Research Center, GKH Law Offices and Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI), an umbrella organization for tech firms operating in Israel. MNCs are defined as global firms that have research and development operations in Israel or own an Israeli tech firm,
These multinationals operate mainly in the enterprise software field, with other clusters operating in machine vision, internet of things, and cybersecurity technologies, the report said.
The majority of MNCs in Israel are US-based corporations, accounting for 63 percent of the 362 companies. They are followed by German firms, UK firms and Chinese firms, the report said.
Tel Aviv, Herzliya and Petah Tikva are the cities in Israel with the most MNCs.
Of these corporations, Intel Corp. was the most active foreign firm in the period 2014-2019: the US tech giant took part in 52 corporate VC investment deals, followed by Samsung, with 36, and Qualcomm, with 28.
Intel also acquired five companies for a total of $17.5 billion in the 2014-2019 period, including Jerusalem-based Mobileye, a maker of self-driving technologies, for a whopping $15.3 billion in 2017, marking Israel’s largest ever acquisition deal.
The most active corporate buyers of Israeli firms in the last five years were Google, which bought 10 firms, and Microsoft, which acquired eight. The US was home to the largest number of global companies acquiring Israeli startups, with a steady 50-plus exit deals each year in the 2014-2019 period, the report said. Seventy percent of all M&A deals between 2014 and 2019 were by foreign companies.
Foreign corporate investments in 2019 reached $983 million in 196 deals, the report said.
Meanwhile, Israeli firms have also started to set up research and development operations abroad, and as of the end of December 2019, there were 42 active Israeli tech companies in growth stage (with over 300 employees) that have opened branches overseas, most of them in North America and Europe.