After Mobileye and Forescout - Who Will Be the Next Israeli Unicorn?

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Credit: Rebecca Blackwell/אי־פי

Some of the most talked-about unicorn IPOs in 2018 are undoubtedly Dropbox and Spotify. Investors in both firms have been waiting to cash out in a big liquidity event. Other tech giants, like Uber for instance, seem to be doing just fine with private VC cash -- especially from the likes of Softbank and the Saudis --and so are choosing to stay private for longer, maybe even indefinitely?

Spotify, the world’s leading music streaming service, was founded in 2006, and is reportedly going public in 2018, a full 12 years after it was established. Their SEC filing shows a valuation of $12 billion.

Dropbox, a consumer file storage company pivoting to enterprise collaboration software, was founded in 2007. It went public last week 11 years after it was founded, at a valuation of around $12B, according to Bloomberg.

What can we here in Israel learn about the way our own unicorns [or at least companies that are widely considered to be unicorns] approach their global growth, and which route they’ll take: M&A, IPO, or stay private for as long as they can?

In Israel, our two tech champions --Mobileye and CheckPoint--have taken very divergent paths: Mobileye sold to Intel, while CheckPoint went public, meaning M&A vs IPO. Waze, perhaps the world’s best known, and most-used, unicorn, sold to Google in 2013 for $1B. Forescout, not that well known outside of cybersecurity circles, IPO’d last year at a billion dollar valuation.

We’ve gathered data on Israeli tech companies that have raised over $100M and are either widely considered to already be unicorns [private companies with a valuation of $1B and over] or widely considered to have the potential to become unicorns. We of course cannot be sure that the funds they have raised have been at a valuation of $1B or over, but these are the companies widely perceived to be in that range, or heading into that range.

Have we forgotten someone? Is there a company that should be on our list? Get in touch and let us know.

The DataNation series is published in collaboration with Start-Up Nation Central and is based on information and insights collected and analyzed by the organization. Start-Up Nation Finder maps the Israeli high-tech industry and connects the world to Israeli start-ups, investors and innovation programs