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Israeli High-Tech Firms Raise $1.5 Billion in Q4 2023, Defying Economic Challenges

Preliminary data revealed that Israeli high-tech firms secured $1.5 billion in funding during the fourth quarter of 2023, signaling continued foreign investment in Israeli startups despite the ongoing conflict in the region.

The Israel Venture Capital (IVC) Research Centre and LeumiTech reported a 15% decrease in fundraising from the third quarter, but 75 deals were still executed by December 26. Notably, the war in Israel began on October 7.

Early-stage “seed” funding accounted for $220 million in 31 rounds.

Israeli

The report highlighted an increase in foreign participation during the fourth quarter, following a decline earlier in 2023. Foreign investors’ involvement is seen as a significant indicator of the availability of funds for investments. Recently, a group of 70 US tech executives visited Israel in a show of support.

LeumiTech CEO Mia Eisen-Tzafrir commented that the fourth-quarter data indicated the resilience of the Israeli high-tech industry, emphasizing its crucial role in the country’s economy.

High tech contributes to 12% of employment, over half of Israel’s exports, 25% of income taxes, and nearly a fifth of its overall economic output. Approximately 15% of the tech workforce has been called up for military reserve duty.

In 2023, Israeli startups raised about $7 billion, compared to nearly $16 billion in 2022. The decline in funding was influenced by economic factors and foreign investors’ concerns about Israel’s proposed judicial system overhaul, which has since been shelved.

Eisen-Tzafrir noted that 2023 represented a return to investment and activity levels seen in 2018 and 2019, before the anomalies of 2020 to 2022. In 2021, tech fundraising in Israeli startups reached $26 billion in 779 rounds.

IVC CEO Ben Klein acknowledged the challenges faced by the Israeli economy and high-tech sector in 2023 but expressed optimism, citing foreign investors’ continued participation as a clear sign of the attractiveness of Israeli high-tech companies even during difficult times.

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