California now boasts 32 ‘unicorns’ founded in Israel

Of the entire United States, California has the largest number of “unicorn” companies founded in Israel. 17 private firms were valued at $1 billion or more in the past year – bringing the total count of ‘unicorn’ companies to 32 in the state, the latest report released by the USIBA (United States–Israel Business Alliance). There were 22 tech “unicorns” founded by Israelis in California last year, seven of which went public.

The organization released a report on Wednesday detailing the presence of Israeli “unicorns” in New York City, where there are currently 26.

In its California report on Thursday, the USIBA said the vast majority of Israeli-founded tech ‘unicorns’ were in the Silicon Valley region and that the estimated 32 total in the last count, represented a cluster unprecedented number of “unicorns” founded by Israelis in a single US state.

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These companies must have at least one Israeli founder and must have their global headquarters or US headquarters in California.

“When you say that there are 32 companies founded by Israelis with an estimated valuation of a billion dollars or more, you are looked at with astonishment,” comments USIBA President Aaron Kaplowitz in a message accompanying the report by email. “And if you add that these 32 firms are in California alone, then the astonishment quickly turns to disbelief. »

“I know it’s a familiar refrain, but Israel is still a very small country,” Kaplowitz told the Times of Israel in a text message sent Thursday. “For these entrepreneurs, settling in Silicon Valley, which is the heart of global technological innovation, and taking the initiative to anchor themselves ever more firmly in this particular ecosystem, testifies to the excellence of the companies they are developing. to develop. »

“And keep in mind that this report only looks at unicorns. There are hundreds of smaller Israeli-founded startups in California whose names may appear in next year’s report. And all of these activities have a dramatic and massive economic impact,” he added.

California’s 32 “unicorns” represent about one-third of all Israeli “unicorns.” According to Tech Aviv, which tracks the industry in Israel, as of April there were 92 “unicorns” founded within the Jewish state with a combined value of $255 billion. Of these, 36 have set up their headquarters in Israel and others have established themselves in New York, Silicon Valley, Boston, London, Singapore, Chicago or Los Angeles.

Among the 17 new “unicorns” added since last year is business management software company HoneyBook, which raised $250 million in November, six months after raising $155 million and becoming a technological “unicorn” in May. There’s also cybersecurity startup Salt Security, which secured a new $140 million investment in February, led by CapitalG, which is the independent growth fund of Google’s parent company Alphabet. . There’s also Viz.ai, developer of an artificial intelligence-based healthcare platform that can detect strokes and became a “unicorn” in April after raising 100 million dollars in new investment. Also worth mentioning is Wiliot, a maker of Bluetooth-enabled chips for consumer products that raised $200 million in a funding round last year led by SoftBank’s Vison Fund 2; data architecture startup Firebolt, which became a “unicorn” in January after raising $100 million, and Big Panda, a data science platform for information technology alerts that raised $190 million in January and is headquartered in Mountain View.

Cybersecurity firm Cato Networks, valued at over $1 billion, is also on the list after relocating from Alpharetta, Georgia, to San Jose.

These companies are therefore joining the start-up Deel, which offers a platform for payment and hiring services; travel technology company TripActions; the firm Tipalti, which works in financial technologies; cybersecurity start-up Wiz, and payment platform Rapyd. All of these firms have been on the USIBA list for the past several years, and their stock market valuations have skyrocketed over the past year. Thus, Deel’s valuation jumped from $1.3 billion in the month of April 2021 to $5.5 billion today. Wiz, meanwhile, is now valued at $6 billion from $1.3 billion a year ago, according to the report.

However, California has lost several Israeli-founded “unicorns” following an IPO, such as the insurance technology company Hippo; Innoviz, maker of sensors for autonomous vehicles, and cybersecurity firm SentinelOne.

The company specializing in security in the cloud Orca Security, whose valuation rose from $1.2 billion to $1.8 billion, moved to Portland, Oregon in December, according to the report.

In San Francisco specifically, “unicorns” founded by Israelis have grown from eight last April to twelve this year. It is now the city in the United States with the largest number of “unicorns” founded by Israelis after New York (not including Tel Aviv).

2021 has been a banner year for Israeli tech companies with a total of over $25 billion raised in different funding rounds, and with nearly 200 tech exits (including M&As and IPOs).

However, a large number of publicly traded companies have since struggled, as technology valuations have tended to fall in recent months.

Analysts have warned of a stock market correction in 2022.

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California now boasts 32 ‘unicorns’ founded in Israel


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