Israeli entrepreneurs, operating both in Israeli and overseas, have founded more unicorns per capita than any other nationality, according to a survey published by the strategic consulting division of accountants BakerTilly Israel. Unicorns are privately owned startups with an estimated value of more than $1 billion for the purposes of raising money in financing rounds.
BakerTilly Israel strategic and management consulting division head Yaki Baranes said that they had found 183 unicorns and attributed each company to the nationality of its founder.
He said, "According to these figures, among the unicorns that we identified, two were founded in Israel, and there were five others with Israeli founders and two more with a connection to Israel."
The two unicorns founded in Israel were traffic navigation app Waze (acquired by Google for over $1 billion) and Internet company ironSource. The highest value unicorn found by the researchers was shared workspace developer WeWork, which was founded by in the US by its Israeli CEO Adam Neumann and chief creative officer Miguel McKelvey and has major operations in Israel. WeWork is worth an estimated $17 billion.
Other valuable startups with Israeli founders and a connection to Israel are Tango, Houzz, Tanium, Compass, Actifio and Magic Leap.
Baranes added, "It's no simple matter to found a unicorn. It's no coincidence that unicorns were named after a mythical animal that nobody believes ever existed. Many countries don't even have a single unicorn such as technologically-strong Japan. Britain has 30 and the US has 100, while China has 30, mainly set up by Chinese companies.
Baranes expects more companies to join the list of unicorns in 2017, which will increase Israel's place on the global unicorn map.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 2, 2017
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