The numbers for venture capital funding for the first half of 2020 show that the startup nation of Israel has bucked a global downward trend. North American investments in startups were down 10 percent compared to the same period in 2019 and European venture funding is down 20 percent. The amount raised in the first half of 2020 in Israel, however, represented a 40 percent increase over the first half of 2019. The number of VC deals in Israel reached an all-time record in the second quarter of 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Leadership is not achieved when the tide is high—it is obtained when a crisis occurs,” says Erel Margalit. “You become a leader when you continue running when others stop running. That’s what Israel is good at.”
According to IVC, the number of Life Sciences investments in Israel is on pace for a record year, with 70 deals in the last six months. Artificial Intelligence startups have raised funds in 100 deals since the beginning of the year and cybersecurity startups benefited from 45 deals over the same time period. VC investors in Israeli startups, both Israeli and foreign (52% of investments in Q2 of 2020 were made by non-Israeli investors) “did not shy away from either first or follow-on investments,” says the IVC report.
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