The United States is now home to 88 privately held, Israeli-founded companies that have reached or surpassed a $1 billion valuation, according to the United States – Israel Business Alliance. The number has gone up from 80 a year ago.
Each of these unicorns has at least one Israeli founder and its global or regional headquarters in the United States.
“The rising number of Israeli-founded unicorns in the United States is a testament to the strategic value that this market continues to offer Israeli entrepreneurs,” USIBA president Aaron Kaplowitz said. “In recent years, there’s been better product-market fit between Israeli technological solutions and American enterprise challenges.”
A record 11 states now host Israeli-founded unicorn headquarters: California (35), New York (30), Massachusetts (10), Illinois (3), New Jersey (3), Florida (2), Georgia (1), Minnesota (1), Oregon (1), Texas (1) and Washington (1).
Competing for Israeli startups
“States are competing harder than ever for Israeli knowhow,” Kaplowitz said.
“Governors are well-aware that attracting Israeli tech companies can strengthen their respective state’s reputation as a tech hub, boost the local innovation ecosystem, and position their communities for economic growth.”
USIBA estimates that these 88 unicorns have collectively created 61,858 direct jobs worldwide. Armis, a device security unicorn based in San Francisco, tops the list with some 5,000 direct jobs created.
The estimated total valuation for all 88 unicorns amounts to $233.7 billion.
Payments platform Rapyd, located in California, heads the list with a $15 billion valuation, followed by HR-tech startups Deel ($12 billion) and Gusto ($10 billion), cloud security startup Wiz ($10 billion) and corporate travel management platform Navan ($9.2 billion).
Kaplowitz noted, however, that investments have slowed dramatically and many of the companies announced layoffs in recent months.
Liquidity Group, headquartered in Manhattan, is the only Israeli-founded unicorn in the US to cross the billion-dollar threshold so far in 2023.
While Boston-based Cybereason recently won a $100 million investment from SoftBank, its $400 million valuation is down from a $2.8 billion valuation in 2021.
According to Kaplowitz, while global economic uncertainty explains the dearth of new Israeli-founded unicorns in 2023, it also helps explain why there are so many unicorns now.
“Late-stage companies are no longer rushing to claim stock tickers,” Kaplowitz said. “They would rather optimize efficiencies and go public when the market environment is more favorable.”