The tech scene in Israel is heating up. Record amounts of money are being raised by companies from investors and they are enjoying unprecedentedly high valuations. Likewise, shares of public limited companies have also seen an increase in value in the public markets. This is proving to be helpful for Israel in shifting from a Start-Up Nation that comprised of a horde of small tech firms that are sold quickly and becoming a ‘Scale-Up Nation’, where entrepreneurs are holding onto their firms and putting in efforts to grow them into large and possibly profitable ones. Thanks to this tech boom, new tech millionaires are being created.
This boom is in accordance with what seems to be happening in the tech industry globally, as both play and work are undergoing digitalization due to the coronavirus pandemic. Due to COVID-imposed lockdowns, schools, businesses, food, and shopping services increasingly shifted online and technology-assisted in this transition. The crucial role of innovation has been underlined by the virus with a clear and loud message; businesses that don’t follow this trend will not innovate or last for long. The entire industry is fired up after this push. Even though the specter of inflation has caused stocks on Wall Street to take a beating, experts believe that the overall picture remains positive for tech firms in the long run.
On Tuesday, manufacturer of high-speed chips for the automotive and audio-video markets, Valens announced that it will merge with PTK Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition firm, in a transaction that will push its valuation to $1.16 billion. On the very same day, an e-commerce fraud prevention company called Forter that was launched in February 2013 announced that it had managed to raise a sum of $300 million at a valuation of $3 billion from its investors.
Earlier this month, provider of an e-commerce platform based in Israel, Global e-Online Ltd had its debut on Nasdaq at a value of $3.55 billion. Nayax, a fintech firm, also had its initial public offering and started trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at a value of $930 million. This has made it the largest in the history of IPOs in the tech sector, in terms of the amount raised and the company value. Meanwhile, SimilarWeb, a digital analytics firm, also had its initial public offering at a value of $1.6 billion in New York IPO.
Walmart also announced this month that it would purchase Zeekit, an Israeli startup that developed an app for allowing users to try on clothes virtually when they are shopping online. However, the purchase amount was not disclosed. Maker of networking hardware and software-based in the U.S., Cisco Systems Inc. stated that it would be purchasing manufacturer of purchasing technologies in Israel, Sedona Systems for a value of $100 million.
New York-based investment giant, Blackstone also announced last month that they were establishing an office in Tel Aviv for tapping into the country’s growing number of tech firms, which are now grown enough to receive the large investments of the company.