Investments in Israeli startups surged to a record $1.44 billion in January, even as the pandemic has continued to wreak its havoc, Start-Up Nation Central (SNC), a nonprofit that tracks Israel’s tech industry, said on Thursday.
The figure compares to $956 million raised in January 2020, just before the pandemic struck. May 2020 saw a drop in investment to just $433 million, but by autumn investments were above the $1 billion mark, reaching $1.26 billion in September.
During January this year, six startups raised more than $100 million each, or so called mega rounds, during the month, totaling 73% of the total funds raised that month. The mega-rounds in January 2021 alone equal close to 30% of the total number of mega-rounds in the entire year of 2020, which totaled 21.
The strong data “reflects a strong vote of investor confidence in Israel’s innovation ecosystem during the COVID-19 pandemic,” SNC said in a statement. The January figure “is the highest number of both mega-rounds and general investments made during a single month in Israeli start-ups.”
The six mega-rounds that were announced during January 2021 were:
• Rapyd Financial Network (Fintech): $300 million, D Round
• Drivenets (Network Infrastructure): $208 million, B Round
• OwnBackup (Enterprise solutions): $167.5 million, D Round
• K Health (Digital health): $132 million, E Round
• Resident Home (Ecommerce): $130 million, B Round
• Melio (Fintech): $110 million, D Round
“The record level of fundraising in recent months is driven by two effects,” said Meir Valman, director of research at SNC. “One is the increasing maturity of the Israeli tech ecosystem, when rapidly growing startups are able to raise much larger rounds. The other is the effect of Covid-19 on Israeli companies, which pivot rapidly to address the challenges of the pandemic, but that will also stay relevant long after it is gone.”