After the year of COVID, the Israeli ecosystem celebrated a record year in terms of acquisitions, exits and stock issues with an inconceivable 40 percent increase of capital that flowed into Israeli high-tech and countless new unicorns, issues, and exceptional valuations. Now that the year is over, we decided to look back to see what start-ups, investments and exits interested you the most in this crazy year.
Less than a year after raising capital for the first time, the Israeli HR start-up Spetz.io announced its acquisition by an American start-up that is also from the human resources world. Although the amount of the purchase was not reported, it is estimated that it sold for about $ 5 million - not a particularly high amount, but it makes sense considering that the Israeli start-up raised only $ 750,000 until the purchase.
In a conversation with us, the CEO of Spetz Yam Dvir said that most of the conversations between the company and the buyers were done on zoom, but in the more advanced stages, Spetz's founding team flew to the US for a period to get to know each other better and have more in-depth discussions. “It was totally worth the quarantine we had to do after.”
One of the hottest names in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Israel is, Assaf Rappaport, who co-founded Adallom and brought it to an exit of hundreds of millions of dollars; Led Microsoft's Israeli Development Center; Set up another start-up and brought it to unicorn status; And became an angel on the road.
Therefore, it is not surprising that the interview we conducted with him has become one of the most read articles in the past year. In an interview, Rappaport talks about the decision to leave one of the most prestigious positions to take a ride on the crazy start-up roller coaster. In an interview, Rappaport made it clear that his new baby was not available for purchase: "If anyone is looking to purchase Wiz, it is irrelevant and will not be called."
8: A start-up that was established just this year and has already raised $60 million
Dazz is a cloud security start-up, which on paper sounds like dozens of others in the field. However, it is headed by several prominent and well-known figures in the cyber field, including the former Deputy CEO of the Microsoft Research and Development Center in Israel - Meirav Bahat. In a conversation with us, Bahat talks about the uniqueness of the start-up and says: "In the worlds of Cloud Security, Einstein was wrong - identifying the problem is really no more essential than solving it, and untreated security problems are your next breach."
The modern lifestyle has meant that the batteries in our cellular devices, laptops and especially in electric vehicles are our oxygen. The Israeli start-up Addionics works to improve these batteries - usually lithium-ion batteries - by changing their physics, instead of changing their chemical composition, which most of its competitors in the field do. In a conversation with Geektime, the company's CEO and one of the founders - Dr. Moshiel Bitton - said that the battery that the company is developing could cut the charging time of batteries in half and increase its capacity by tens of percent.
Many who hear the term "search giant" think of Google. But in the field of development, many are also familiar with Shai Benon's Israeli-Dutch Elastic, which develops in open-source one of the largest search engines in the world - Elasticsearch.
Elastic acquired a one-year-old start-up this year, build.security, which raised $ 6 million in 2020 and is estimated to have sold several tens of millions of dollars. It was a quick and beautiful exit. The acquisition came as part of the expansion of Elastic, an $11.4 billion company, into the field of security and making the Israeli start-up its R&D center here in Israel - headed by Amit Kanfer, CEO of Child Security.
Just two years after its inception, the Bridgecrew cloud security start-up was sold this year to Israeli American security giant Palo Alto Networks. Despite its young age, the Israeli start-up was very interested in the Palo Alto people - who agreed to pay more than $ 200 million for it.
The acquisition embodied a significant multiplier for investors in Bridgecrew, which raised only $ 18 million prior to the acquisition. Among the winners: Gigi Levi-Weiss' Battery and NFX Fund. In addition, several senior figures from Silicon Valley's security and cyber worlds benefited from the deal, including Kevin Mahaffy, founder of Lookout; David Hannigan, Spotify's Information Security Manager; David Tsao, Netflix Security Director; And Eli Kahn, a senior AWS security official.
4: The unnamed start is becoming one of the fastest funders in the history of Israel
Although it operates in a field that lacks competition, API security, the Israeli start-up Noname Security announced two weeks ago its entry into the unicorn club with a $ 135 million fundraiser. The start-up of 8200 graduates (the Israeli intelligence corps), managed to overtake the prominent Israeli competitor - Salt Security - in terms of market value, and in a conversation with us at the time, CEO Oz Golan said that “the growth is completely driven by the market. There is demand, there is a need, and therefore the company must grow to meet needs and demand. "
The origin of the name, by the way, comes from a meeting of the developers with Gili Raanan from the Cyberstarts Fund - when they did not have a name yet. "When he got to the point where he wanted to validate the idea with the foundation's CISO network about our idea and approach, he sent an email calling us 'Noname Security.' Among the feedback that came back: 'Great name!’” The rest is history.
3: The developer that wants to solve one of the problems that bother men most
The Israeli start-up Virility Medical is not a unicorn and did not announce any unusual recruitment or exit this year. But its development is of interest to many. Virility Medical has developed a sticker for men who suffer from premature ejaculation, which they apply to the skin before * eggplant emoji * meets * peach emoji *, * donut emoji * or any of your favourite emoji. In the moment of truth, the patch produces an electrical stimulus designed to prevent premature ejaculation, one of the most troublesome problems for men around the world.
The Virility sticker has successfully undergone clinical trials in Israel and Italy, and the start-up has also received CE approval for marketing the sticker in EU countries. This is a significant regulatory hurdle and is the European equivalent of receiving FDA approval for the distribution of medical products - in the 27 EU countries. The company's plan is to market the sticker as an off-the-shelf product, without the need for a doctor's prescription (OTC), just like buying Advil. Next step: the long-awaited FDA approval.
Exit announcements aren’t all that exceptional, but on one hot and sticky Israeli day in July, four Israeli start-ups announced that they were about to be acquired. A huge acquisition of start-up IntSights for $ 400 million; Acquisition of control of an Israeli start-up by the venture capital fund Court Square Capital Partners; A start-up that was unveiled about a year ago was acquired; And even a blue-and-white exit - when Cybereason announced the acquisition of empow.
We told you that Assaf Rappaport is one of the most intriguing characters to the readers. Just by chance, the most-viewed article this year when it comes to start-up stories and venture capital was Wiz’s huge fundraising announcement last October. It was Wizz's second round of recruitment in less than half a year, and one that set it to a monstrous valuation of $ 6 billion - less than two years after the start-up was formed.
Featured photo: Assaf Rappaport. Credit: Nathaniel Tobias