Israeli Startups Rake in Record $15 Billion in Exits in 2014


This year’s deals are double those of 2013, which reached $7.6 billion, accounting firm PwC says

Israeli high-tech companies reached a record number of exits totaling nearly $15 billion in 2014, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Wednesday, citing accounting firm PwC.

This year’s deals are double those of 2013, which reached $7.6 billion. According to the report, tech companies raised $9.8 billion in 18 initial public offerings, a significant rise over last year’s $1.2 billion.

Mobileye, a company that develops anti-collision technology, sold for $890 million with its Wall Street IPO in August, making a record-breaking IPO for an Israeli company.

Mergers-and-acquisitions deals decreased this year, with startups bringing in $5 billion in comparison to $6.45 billion from the year before, PwC said.

“Over the past year the stars were aligned perfectly for Israel high tech,” PwC noted, referring to 2014 as a “record year of Israel high tech.”

Last year, Google acquired the navigation app Waze for nearly $1 billion.

According to the report, one of the reasons Israeli startups had such a successful year in 2014 was due a surge in technology stocks in the US and Britain, which in turn helped tech companies get a higher valuation through IPOs.

Because of this, many Israeli tech companies turned to IPOs as the preferred means of exit.

“Companies that in the past were able to sell themselves and earn big returns for investors are going to the end with a share offering and building big companies,” PwC’s Rubi Suliman, head of high-tech practice, was quoted by Haaretz as saying.

However, critics said that despite Israeli high tech’s success, the country’s economy has not really benefited because companies tend to sell abroad to multinationals before building their businesses back home.

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