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Why 2019 was a record-breaking year for Israel’s economy

Why 2019 was a record-breaking year for Israel’s economy

Israel 21C        by Brian Blum  January 15 2020

In technology, digital health, tourism, exports and other verticals, Israel has seen steady growth through the past decade.

The year 2019 broke records across Israel’s economy. From tourism to tech, exports to the illusive “unicorn,” Israel scored higher in many categories than it ever had.

Below, ISRAEL21c breaks down the numbers.


Unicorns are a good place to start. We’re not talking about mythical one-horned beasts. Rather, a technology unicorn refers to a privately held company with a valuation of over $1 billion.

Among the high-profile new companies Israel welcomed into unicorn playground last year: taxi-hailing company Gett, cybersecurity experts Cybereason, and team management systems developer Monday.

Additional companies are on their way to unicorn status: 3D sensor company Vayyar Imaging, fraud protection firm Riskified, software developer JFrog, and insure-tech c According to a list compiled by TechCrunch, out of some 500 unicorns around the world, 30 were founded by Israelis though not all of them are based in Israel.ompany Lemonade all had financing rounds of over $100 million in 2019.

Mergers, acquisitions and IPOs

The most common model for valuable Israeli startups has been an “exit,” — to merge, be acquired by an international partner or go public on the stock market. That figure grew, too, in 2019, although the amount depends on which analytics firm you follow.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Israeli exits in 2019 totaled $9.9 billion, twice the number as in 2018.


Israeli exports rose from $109 billion in 2018 to $114 billion in 2019, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Economy Ministry.

Most of the increase was in services exports (things like software, computing and R&D), which grew by nearly 12%. That helped to offset weakness in goods exports, which have been hurt this year by a slowing of global trade, a weak diamond market and a strong shekel.



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