Israeli cybersecurity firms broke a number of new records in 2021, according to Israel’s National Cybersecurity Directorate, including financing, exports and acquisition values.
Homegrown companies raised a record $8.8 billion in more than 100 deals last year and 11 of them became unicorns, or private companies valued at more than $1 billion, it said. management on Thursday.
The amount raised by cybersecurity firms in 2021, $2.9 billion, was nearly triple the amount in 2020, itself a banner year. The 2021 annual figure represents 40% of the total funds raised by cybersecurity companies globally this year, according to the data.
Eleven new cybersecurity unicorns in a year also marked a new high, according to the cybersecurity leadership, which added that one in three cybersecurity unicorns globally is now an Israeli company.
According to data from the Israel Export Institute, Israel’s overall cybersecurity exports were estimated at $11 billion in 2021.
Last year, there were also 40 deals for the acquisition of Israeli companies by local and foreign companies worth an estimated $3.5 billion. Notable purchases include cybersecurity firm XM Cyber, co-founded by former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, by Germany’s Schwarz Group for around $700 million, and Israeli cybersecurity startup Guardicore by state-owned Akamai Technologies. cybersecurity company listed on the Nasdaq, for around 600 million dollars.
Additionally, four Israeli cybersecurity companies went public in 2021, including SentinelOne, which held an initial public offering of shares on the New York Stock Exchange in June 2021, raising $1.2 billion at a massive valuation of 9 billions of dollars. It was billed as the biggest IPO by a cybersecurity company.
SentinelOne joined six other Israeli-based and Israeli-based cybersecurity companies listed on US markets, including Check Point Software Technologies Ltd, which has a market value of approximately $16 billion, and CyberArk Software Ltd, with a valuation of 5. $7 billion.
Cybersecurity companies that raised major funding rounds in 2021 were startups Wiz, which raised some $400 million in multiple rounds in 2021, and Orca Security, which raised over $550 million in investments separate last year, including by Capital G, Google’s parent company’s growth fund. Alphabet, Redpoint Ventures and Singapore-based investment firm Temasek.
According to a cybersecurity report released earlier this month by US-Israeli venture capital firm YL Ventures, which specializes in early-stage cybersecurity investments, at least 15 Israeli cybersecurity startups have raised more than a funding round in 2021.
The YL Ventures report also found that the bulk of funding in 2021 went to growth-stage cyber ventures, with around $6 billion of the annual total allocated to Series C and above. This is compared to $1.63 billion for subsequent rounds in 2020.
“Today’s cybersecurity market has limited patience, and a ‘go big or go home’ mindset has taken hold as founders focus on laying the groundwork to achieve unicorn status. , building multi-billion dollar companies, going public, and more,” wrote Yonit Wiseman, Partner at YL Ventures. “Cybersecurity in Israel has become a polarized market that accepts only two types of startups: potential unicorns and actual unicorns.”
With funding for larger rounds readily available, “the founders are making their goals clear in the investment boardrooms. They need more funding to get a good head start and later to enter the unicorn club at record speed,” Wiseman said.
Roi Yarom, director of economics and growth at Israel’s National Cybersecurity Directorate, said the local industry “concluded another banner year in which it showed that it was not not just a premier economic growth engine in Israel, but also a pillar of the global cybersecurity innovation ecosystem.
Shoshanna Solomon contributed to this report.