Israel

Analysts: Israel Set For Unprecedented Year of Startup IPOs

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that, in contrast to previous years in which successfully Israeli startups had focused on mergers and acquisitions, 2014 is shaping up to be a year in which similar companies attempt to go public.

“I think 2014 will be the year for more IPOs,” said Nimrod Kozlovski, a partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners. “The home run in Israel is if you go IPO on Nasdaq, and I think that more companies in Israel now are lining up, trying to go to Nasdaq.” Mr. Kozlovski said the Israeli startup industry has matured to the point of creating 15 to 20 companies that could launch an IPO next year on New York, London or Tel Aviv exchange.

2013 saw more Israeli startups acquired by foreign companies than any other year since 2006, with The Tower assessing in October that “announcements of multi-million and even billion-dollar acquisitions of Israeli startups [had become]… routine.” The news site specifically referenced Google’s billion-dollar acquisition of maps application Waze and Facebook’s $100 million acquisition of data compression technology Onavo. The Journal projected that 2014, in contrast, will see Israeli startups switch to an IPO strategy. The outlet quoted Nimrod Kozlovski, a partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners, describing how “more companies in Israel now are lining up, trying to go to Nasdaq.” The story also described a recent IPO by website development platform Wix.com, which last month debuted in the U.S. and raised about $127 billion. After a 70% increase in its stock, Wix.com now has a market valuation of over $1 billion. Wix.com had recently been in the news for non-financial reasons after an investigation discovered that many websites advocating anti-Israel boycotts were built on the Israeli-created platform.

[Photo: guspim / Flickr]