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The country does not appear in rankings around start-up funding or entrepreneurship even though it appears that Israel is a true hidden gem. Silently, the country grew its total funding volume for start-ups from year to year, showing slow but steady growth:

  • 2015: $1.8 billion (479 rounds)
  • 2016: $2.2 billion (497 rounds)
  • 2017: $2.4 billion (546 rounds)
  • 2018: $3.7 billion (624 rounds)

First place goes to Israel

There is one metric where Israel is actually beating all other countries: the unicorns per capita. A start-up that reaches a valuation of more than $1bn is considered a unicorn. And not many people know this, but Israel is the country with the highest concentration of unicorns per capita, with 1.91 unicorns per million people (compare that to the US’s 0.81 unicorns per million people.)

 

For a small country like Israel, this is astonishing. The reason could be that the Israeli government is quite progressive in entrepreneurial support: The Israel Innovation Authority, an independent publicly funded agency, was created to provide a variety of practical tools and funding platforms aimed at effectively addressing the dynamic and changing needs of the local and international innovation ecosystems.

A prime example to support start-ups

The Israel Innovation Authority has established 6 divisions to let entrepreneurship and innovation thrive. Quoted from their website, those divisions are:

1. The Startup Division offers unique tools to support the early developmental stages of technological initiatives at the pre-seed or initial R&D stages, thus helping transform their ideas into reality while reaching significant funding milestones.

2. The Growth Division operates a wide range of incentive programs that assist hi-tech companies in the sales growth stage as well as mature hi-tech companies that utilize growth channels based on technological innovation and/or seek assistance in funding innovative research and development.

3. The Technological Infrastructure Division focuses on funding applied R&D infrastructure, promoting applied research in academia, technology transfer, Leveraging R&D for Dual Use Technologies, exchange of knowledge and experience and developing of groundbreaking innovation by an integrated group of researchers from academia and industry.

4. The International Collaboration Division
5. The Advanced Manufacturing Division
6. The Societal Challenges Division

The most notable funding rounds 2021

Oosto, formerly AnyVision, is a software and hardware company for facial recognition which closed its series C round and collected $235m.

Memic Innovative surgery has created robot-assisted solutions for surgery and raised $96m in a series D round.

Rapid Medical is another healthcare related company, that develops safe and effective neurovascular medical devices and closed its series D round by raising $50m.

The Israeli start-ups overall convince with strong business models, experienced teams and a strong value proposition.

The other side: Investor activity in Israel

Where start-ups flourish, investors gather. Therefore it is of little surprise that there are several very active VC funds operating out of Israel. We want to mention especially the ones with a sector-focus on healthcare.

Pitango Venture Capital is investing in early-stage, growth and healthcare and operates out of Tel Aviv.

eHealth Ventures is a tech incubator with a focus on early-stage digital health start-ups with headquarters in Tel Aviv.

RAD BioMed Accelerator invests in early-stage digital health and medical device Israel based ventures.

Aescuvest goes Israel

We are following Israel for some time and are amazed by this rising star. Especially healthcare start-ups founded in Israel have a lot of substance. Therefore we can proudly mention here that Aescuvest just onboarded a start-up from Israel that is revolutionizing morphology and made it investable through our exclusive 10x Health Investment Club. Scopio Labs is the first start-up in the Aescuvest portfolio coming from Israel! We did not start a public campaign but through the 10x Health Club members Scopio collected a substantial amount of funding with Aescuvest.

The 10x Health Investment Club

Based on our deep expertise in healthcare and life sciences and our unique access to medical breakthrough ventures we provide our club members highly attractive, selected investment opportunities. Our superb selection process makes it possible to provide investors with a higher than average survival rate of start-ups. The 10x Health Investment Club is a joint venture by Aescuvest, Medical Valley and Volitan. Members commit to a fixed yearly investment sum and Aescuvest is presenting deals to pick on a quarterly basis. Like this 10x Club Members are gradually building their healthcare Venture Capital portfolio over time to participate in the growth of this exciting industry.