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New York City Is Now Home to 21 Israeli-Founded Unicorns

·5 min read

New York trails Tel Aviv as the city with the most Israeli-founded unicorns in the world

NEW YORK, April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a flurry of investment activity in recent months, New York is now home to 21 Israeli-founded unicorns – privately held companies valued at $1 billion or more – according to the United States – Israel Business Alliance. Each of these companies' global or U.S. headquarters is based in Manhattan, establishing New York as the city with the second most Israeli-founded unicorns in the world, behind Tel Aviv.


"The numbers we're seeing in New York are unprecedented," USIBA president Aaron Kaplowitz said. "Despite a year filled with challenges and uncertainty, New York remains a global hub for growth industries that Israeli entrepreneurs continue to disrupt."

Over the past six months, 10 Israeli-founded companies based in New York have achieved unicorn status: Axonius, BigID, Forter, Kaltura, K Health, Melio, Papaya Global, SimilarWeb, Talkspace, and Yotpo. They joined Gett, Monday.com, OrCam, Outbrain, Payoneer, Riskified, Sisense, Taboola, The We Company, VAST Data, and Via.

"There's no doubt that Covid-19 disoriented the investment community," Kaplowitz said. "Once investors and growth-stage companies got their bearings, and some technologies gained more relevance from the pandemic, investment activity picked up in a big way – especially in 2021."

Since the beginning of the year, seven New York-based Israeli-founded companies crossed the $1 billion threshold. In January, Talkspace announced a $1.4 billion merger agreement with Hudson Executive Investment Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, that will take the online therapy provider public. Melio, an accounts payable tool for small businesses, closed a $110 million round to boost the company's valuation to $1.3 billion. Soon after, K Health, an AI-driven telemedicine app, announced a $132 million raise based on a $1.5 billion value.

After a brief February respite, Axonius led another unicorn charge. On March 1, the cybersecurity asset management firm, with its U.S. headquarters located on the top floor of 330 Madison Ave., closed a $100 million funding round that cemented a $1.2 billion valuation. That same week, Papaya Global, a workforce management platform, completed a $100 million round, pushing its valuation above $1 billion. Yotpo, an e-commerce marketing platform, raised $230 million for a $1.4 billion valuation, And, most recently, Kaltura, a live and on-demand video platform service, set terms for its forthcoming initial public offering that will give the Gramercy-based company a $2 billion valuation.

These deals helped drive a record-setting first quarter for Israeli-founded companies, which raised $5.37 billion total – double the capital they raised over the first quarter of 2020.

The 2021 activity extended a late 2020 trend, when a trio of unicorns took flight. SimilarWeb, a market intelligence platform that monitors website and mobile app traffic, reached a $1 billion valuation after closing a $120 million round in October. The following month, Forter, a pioneer in fraud detection for retailers, secured $125 million, which more than doubled its valuation to $1.3 billion. And to close out the year, SoHo-based BigID, a data privacy and protection platform, completed a $70 million round that increased its valuation to $1 billion.

"The real story here is the impact Covid-19 has made on accelerating the widespread adoption of specific technologies, such as telehealth and platforms that enable smoother remote work experiences," Kaplowitz said. "These forward-thinking companies will create more jobs at home and contribute much-needed commercial activity to a recovering local economy."

Newest Israeli-Founded Unicorns Based in NYC






$1.0 billion

October 2020

Market intelligence


$1.3 billion

November 2020

Fraud detection for retailers


$1.0 billion

December 2020

Data privacy and protection


$1.4 billion

January 2021



$1.3 billion

January 2021

Accounts payable tool for small businesses

K Health

$1.5 billion

January 2021



$1.2 billion

March 2021

Cybersecurity asset management

Papaya Global

$1.0 billion

March 2021

Workforce management


$1.4 billion

March 2021

E-commerce marketing


$2.0 billion

March 2021

Live and on-demand video solutions

In 2019, when the United States – Israel Business Alliance released the findings from the first-ever New York – Israel Economic Impact Report, only five Israeli-founded unicorns maintained headquarters in New York City. Over the past year, two of those businesses shed the unicorn status by going public: Lemonade, the online insurance provider, enjoyed a scintillating debut on the New York Stock Exchange in July, and, earlier this month, Compass, the real estate tech company, also IPO-ed.

Each of the three remaining unicorns from the original 2019 list announced earlier this year a merger agreement that will take the company public via SPAC. Those deals valued Payoneer at $3.3 billion, Taboola at $2.6 billion, and The We Company at $7.9 billion.

"SPACs have introduced a new investment tool to the market that can accelerate the billion-dollar valuation while initiating a rapid transition to an initial public offering," Kaplowitz said. "In the coming months and years, we should expect blank-check companies to play a prominent role in helping the Start-Up Nation mature to the Scale-Up Nation."

About the United States – Israel Business Alliance
The mission of the United States – Israel Business Alliance is to strengthen the economic relationship between individual states and Israel. Headquartered in New York, USIBA recently opened its second office, in Miami. Learn more about the impact Israeli companies are having on local communities at www.nyisrael.org.


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SOURCE United States - Israel Business Alliance