New York City is now home to nine Israeli-founded unicorns after four firms joined the club of private companies valued at over $1 billion this past year alone, according to a new report by the New York – Israel Business Alliance (NYIBA), an organization that promotes economic opportunities between New York state and Israel.
The four companies that joined the unicorn club in 2019-2020 are Riskified, a fraud prevention company with headquarters in Tel Aviv and Manhattan that in November 2019 raised $165 million at a $1 billion valuation; Sisense, a business analytics company that in January 2020 announced a $100 million round that pushed its valuation over $1 billion; Via, the public transport tech company that raised over $200 million in March at a valuation of $2.25 billion; and VAST Data, the flash storage startup that closed a $100 million round in April based on a $1.2 billion valuation.
They join Israeli-founded companies Compass, Lemonade, Payoneer, Taboola (merged with Outbrain), and The We Company (WeWork) in the unicorn club.
“It’s remarkable that the number of Israeli-founded unicorns based in New York has nearly doubled over the past year,” said NYIBA president Aaron Kaplowitz in a press statement. “As Israel transforms from the Start-Up Nation to the Scale-Up Nation, New York is becoming more and more indispensable to Israel’s innovation ecosystem.”
Last year, NYIBA released a report that identified 506 Israeli-founded companies across New York state that generated $33.8 billion in total revenue, representing 2.02 percent of the state’s GDP in 2018. These companies directly employed close to 25,000 New Yorkers.
The study was published prior to a state visit to Israel by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo where he announced a $2 million partnership agreement with the Israel Innovation Authority for new programs to strengthen economic ties between New York State and Israel.
“As we contend with a global pandemic, I expect to see more collaborations in life sciences, bolstered by the three medical partnerships Gov. Cuomo announced in Jerusalem last year,” Kaplowitz added. “Still, I think the areas even more ripe for bilateral growth are AI and drones, sectors that offer audacious long-term solutions to challenges created by the coronavirus.”