Despite pandemic, Israeli tech raises $7.6 billion so far this year

Country on track to break record of $8.3 billion in 2019 as investors remain bullish on Israeli technology.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Despite the global pandemic and a battered economy, Israeli tech companies have raised $7.6 billion so far this year, Globes reported Thursday.

After a record $8.3 billion of new investment was raised in 2019 and with three months still left in 2020, the country is on track to set a new record, showing high investor confidence in Israeli technology.

Even with COVID-19 on the rise over the summer, investors pumped $1.1 billion into Israeli startups in August alone, with the Start-Up Nation Central website reporting that the total might actually be higher due to some companies operating in “stealth mode” – maintaining secrecy as they develop new products that they do not want to reveal publicly yet.

While traditional industries, especially tourism, have been savaged by the pandemic, the coronavirus has prompted more investment in companies that specialize in healthcare, cybersecurity and especially technology that enables companies, organizations and governments to better utilize remote working. One example is Tyto Care, which produces a home health diagnostic device and telemedicine consultation app raised $50 million in April.

Companies that had investment rounds in September include Next Insurance with $250 million, cybersecurity company Snyk with $200 million, digital payments company Melio raised $80 million, cancer profiling company NovellusDX raised $57 million, facial recognition company AnyVision raised $43 million and payroll platform Papaya Global raised $40 million, Globes reported.

Investment also targeted existing companies that realized their technology could be used in battling the pandemic.

“In the beginning of the pandemic, I heard from many investors and entrepreneurs about companies that are repurposing their technology to address COVID-19,” tweeted tech marketing guru Hillel Fuld. “In other words, these are companies with otherwise ‘regular’ tech that now realized they can do some good in the war against coronavirus.”

Another investment area opened this year came from the recent peace treaties Israel signed with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. While the crowd funding investment firm OurCrowd established a $100 million pandemic technology fund earlier this year, it sees the peace process as boosting investment during the global crisis.

“If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is this: Never have cooperation and peace been more urgently needed – and achievable,” tweeted OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved.