The state of California is now home to 22 Israeli-founded businesses worth over $1 billion, after five such companies reached or surpassed that valuation since January 2021 alone, according to the United States-Israel Business Alliance (USIBA), a New York-based organization that promotes economic opportunities between individual states and Israel. Last week, the organization put the number of Israeli-founded unicorns (private companies with $1 billion valuations or more) in New York state at 21.
Nearly all of the 22 Israeli companies with global or US headquarters in California are located in Silicon Valley and San Francisco itself, USIBA indicated. Each of them has at least one Israeli founder.
“California continues to attract many of the best and brightest innovators in the world,” said USIBA president Aaron Kaplowitz in a statament. “We’re seeing today a new generation of Israeli entrepreneurs contribute to northern California’s innovation ecosystem and benefit from a deep bench of venture capitalists.”
“Israelis are not new to Silicon Valley, and they tend to live and work among other Israelis,” Kaplowitz tells NoCamels via email. “This community mentality helps build a culture of mentorship that allows newcomers to make progress much quicker and more efficiently. As such, 18 of California’s 22 Israeli-founded unicorns achieved the billion-dollar valuation within the last three years. Before you know it, many of them will be the wise elders offering advice and connections to the next wave of Israeli game-changers.”
Eight of the 22 companies call San Francisco home, including global payroll startup Deel, which recently raised $156 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion; ironSource, an app monetization and distribution pioneer, that recently announced plans to merge with Thoma Bravo Advantage at a valuation of approximately $11.1 billion; mobile marketing analytics company AppsFlyer, which recently raised funds from Salesforce Ventures at a valuation of over $2 billion; Otonomo, the cloud-based software startup that helps companies capture and monetize connected car data, which recently agreed to merge with special purpose acquisition company Software AcquisitionGroup Inc. II at a valuation of $1.4 billion; Trax, the computer vision-based firm transforming retail, which recently secured a whopping $640 million Series E funding round; fintech company Fundbox, which offers small-business owners data-driven loans to solve cash flow issues, and is valued at roughly $1.5 billion; Gusto, formerly ZenPayroll, which offers cloud-based payroll, benefits, and human resource management solutionsand is valued at $3.8 billion; and WalkMe, the Israeli-founded digital guidance and navigation tool that is preparing for IPO.
Another seven are based in Palo Alto: insurtech company Next Insurance, which recently raised $250 million and reached a $4 billion valuation; Hippo Insurance, also an insurtech company, that recently announced a definitive agreement to merge with Reinvent Technology Partners Z, a SPAC on the NYSE, at a company valuation of $5 billion; travel tech company TripActions, with a valuation of $5 billion; cloud security startup Wiz, which recently closed on a second funding round of $130 million in March 2021 at a company valuation of $1.7 billion; Houzz, the online home design platform founded by Israeli designers Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen in 2008 and is now valued at $4 billion; Gong, the AI sales company that raised $200 million last year at a $2.2 billion valuation; and Israeli IoT security firm Armis, acquired by Insight Partners last year for $1.1 billion.
Mountain View is on the letterhead of global fintech-as-a-service provider Rapyd, with a valuation of $2.5 billion, Israeli endpoint security firm SentinelOne SentinelOne at $3.1 billion, and database management company Redis Labs at a valuation of $2 billiion. Coursera, left the unicorns behind last month, when it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange.
Cloud-based payment automation startup Tipalti, valued at $2 billion, calls San Mateo home. Further south of that city, Israeli cybersecurity company Orca Security has offices in Lod Angeles.
Innoviz Technologies, the Israeli provider of solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software, is based in Santa Clara and announced this month that it completed its merger with Texas-based special purpose acquisition company Collective Growth Corporation and will begin trading under the ticker symbols INVZ and INVZW at a valuation of $1.4 billion. It is technically no longer a unicorn following this transaction. Big data curation company Dremio is also based in Santa Clara
“Silicon Valley lives by the ‘move fast and break things’ mantra,” Kaplowitz said. “The Israelis, of course, have a word for that: chutzpah.”
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