April Edition 2022

5 What does the future hold and which sectors will produce the next batch of USD 1 billion companies? Israel accounts for some 8% of global unicorns, but for just 0.1% of the global population Ancient Greeks and Romans once described unicorns as extremely quick and light on their feet, with a horn that was highly prized by merchants and investors. It’s a characterization that can also be applied to today’s ‘unicorn’ companies – the term used since 2013 to describe private companies with valuations of over USD 1 billion. Then, there were only a few dozen such companies in the whole world. Today, barely a month goes by where we are not reading about another story of a start-up being a disruptor, turning markets and industries on their heads. In February 2022, Bloomberg reported over 1,000 unicorns globally and more than 500 of these companies became unicorns over the course of 2021 alone, a staggering number. That Israel has more unicorns per capita than any other country is not new but why, and especially why now? We caught up with the most prominent thought leaders to ask them to look through their economic looking glass and outline what developments they are witnessing in relation to Israel’s ever-growing club of ‘unicorns.’ Set against the backdrop of an ongoing pandemic, a conflict in Ukraine and a global economy plagued by uncertainty, the Israeli tech industry continues to adapt, innovate, even thrive. “Israel accounts for some 8% of global unicorns, but for just 0.1% of the global population. So, we are punching some 100 times our weight in the world,” said Aharon Aharon, a former CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority. Many of these Israeli founded unicorns are being set up in Israel and managed from Israel, which was not the case before when they would get a US manger and move their HQ to the U.S to be near investors.