Israel’s tech sector broke a new capital-funding record this week, with firms raising a total of $10.5 billion since the start of the year, matching the total raised in the whole of 2020, a record year, in less than half the time.
The data was compiled via the database of Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks the local tech ecosystem.
The increase in investments in Israeli tech companies, mostly from foreign investors, is even more pronounced when compared with investment performance worldwide.
While Israel recorded an increase of 137% for the first five months of 2021, compared to the first five months of 2020, according to SNC data, the increase globally was only 89%. Europe recorded a 123% jump over the same period, while the US saw an increase of 91% and Asia saw an increase of 69%, according to data compiled by PitchBook.
“The record funding in 2021 indicates that the growth in 2020 was not a short-term Covid-related boost but reflects top investors’ increasing trust in the Israeli innovation ecosystem,” said Uri Gabai, the incoming CEO of Start-Up Nation Central’s new Research and Policy Institute, in a statement.
“The significant increase in median deal size reflects a maturing ecosystem that is able to maintain its competitive edge as a global hub of technological innovation and offering problem-solving solutions. We hope a new budget by the expected incoming government will focus on growth-oriented policies such as enhancing the innovation ecosystem’s economic impact and tackling the chronic shortage in tech-oriented human capital.”
The median funding round amount more than doubled year-over-year from $6.8 million in 2020 to $14 million by June 8 in 2021, the data showed.
In terms of growth rounds (round B or higher), the median round size rose from $26 million in 2020 to $46 million in 2021. Early-stage companies experienced a similar boost in median funding from $4 million to $8 million.
The significant rise in investments in Israeli high-tech and innovation since the beginning of the year focused on the more advanced stages, with most of the capital (64%) invested in rounds C or later.
This year, 2021, has already set a record for the number of mega-rounds, or investments of over $100 million raised, with 30 having been completed so far compared to 21 mega-rounds throughout all of 2020.
These rounds represent 53% of all capital raised, and for the first time they account for more than half of the total funds invested.
The bulk of the funding has gone to cybersecurity, fintech, and enterprise solutions companies, the data showed. These top three sectors attracted an accumulated $6.2 billion or 60% of all investments. These sectors are all software-based, strongly B2B-oriented and saw huge increases in demand for their solutions over the last year as working remotely increased, Start-Up Nation Central said in a statement.
Start-Up Nation Central, set up in 2013, aims to be a gateway to the Israeli innovation ecosystem for multinational corporations, governments, investors, and NGOs from around the world.