December 24, 2019 / 9:04 AM / 6 months ago

Israeli tech exits in 2019 doubled to nearly $10 bln

TEL AVIV, Dec 24 (Reuters) - The total value of exits for Israeli technology startups in 2019 jumped by 102% to $9.9 billion, according to a report released on Tuesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The exits - acquisitions and initial public offerings - do not include follow-on transactions for companies that were previously acquired or already public such as chip designer Mellanox, which is in the process of being bought by Nvidia for $6.9 billion. Including such deals would have boosted the total amount to $22.9 billion.

IPOs, including that of online marketplace Fiverr, accounted for $2.2 billion of the exits, up sharply from $888 million in 2018.

The United States remains the largest investor in the Israeli market, accounting for 60% of the number of deals.

Yaron Weizenbluth, high-tech partner at PwC Israel, said that in contrast to the start of the decade, Israeli entrepreneurs are more willing to wait before selling their startups.

"As we enter a new decade, it does not feel like the boom is about to end," he said. "On the other hand, we must not overlook the fact that the very high valuations of tech firms raise doubts. This is coupled by a trend whose impact is not fully known at this time of a worrying drop in funding raised by early-stage startups." (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)

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