There has been a lot of buzz recently around Unicorns (companies valued at $1 billion or over) and, while it is true that historically, Israel has created fewer unicorn investments than the US, we wanted to highlight Israel’s strong history of consistently producing smaller startup companies that have provided quick and highly profitable exits – what we like to refer to as phoenixes.
Phoenixes are startup companies that are smaller than unicorns, more nimble, less rare, but quite valuable to venture capital and angel investors. Israel’s ability to generate Phoenixes is one of the reasons why we believe there is a distinct advantage to making angel investments in Israeli startup companies.
Since the beginning of the year, Israel has generated several phoenixes including:
- Viber (almost a unicorn investment) which has raised $30m and was acquired by Rakuten for $900m in less than 4 years
- House of Fun which raised $3.5m and was acquired by Caesars for $90m in less than 3 years
- Cyvera which raised $13m and was acquired by Palo Alto Networks for $200m in less than 2 years
- NSO which raised $1.7m and sold to Francisco Partners for $130m in less than 4 years.
Using public information and IVC’s database, we evaluated the most profitable exits Israel investors have seen since 2011 by looking at the size of the exits vs. the amount of funding prior to exit factoring in the average time it took to exit since the first investment:
(Size of Exit / Amount of Pre Exit Funding)^(1/Average Time to Exit)
Based on the ranking of this list which included 200 observations (of the total ~300 exits) we came up with a list of the top 20 most capital efficient exits (excluding life sciences companies). One of the most interesting observations arising from the analysis is the strong presence of of Israel’s top angel investors in these exits – 45% of the exits were backed solely by angels and 75% were backed by VCs and angels
This demonstrates Israel’s angel investor community’s indisputable impact on Israel high-tech
In light of the above, we see great potential in Israeli startup companies that have an outstanding founding team with a great idea that are backed by strong angels. The key is being able to cherry pick the standouts that have a great chance of developing into either a full-fledged unicorn or a phoenix. Here at iAngels, we strive to provide you with a portfolio that does exactly that – by working hand-in-hand with top tier angels to do the initial groundwork, we seek to give you early exposure to the unicorns and phoenixes of tomorrow.
iAngels research on this subject was originally published by Globes
Shelly Hod Moyal
Founding Partner, iAngels