Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, Israeli companies raised a record amount of capital in 2020, according to a new report by an Israeli NGO.

According to the report, released by Start-Up Nation Central (SNC) on Monday, as of the beginning of December, Israeli companies had raised $9.5 billion in capital, putting 2020 on course to break the $10 billion threshold for the first time—a 20 percent increase over the $7.7 billion raised by Israeli companies in all of 2019.

The amount of capital already raised is nearly 20 percent more than the $7.7 billion, and well above the amount of high-tech investment recorded this year in Europe, Asia or the United States, the report notes.

“The impressive investment figures are remarkable at this time of global crisis,” says SNC CEO Eugene Kandel. “They indicate global investors’ trust in the maturing ‘Start-Up Nation,’ and that support for the Israeli tech-innovation sector over the last decade has paid off,” he said.

SNC director of research Aviv Alper attributes the excess performance of the Israeli tech ecosystem to the “growing demand for Israel-led technologies and the unique qualities of the Israeli innovation industry.”

These qualities include “rapid response to change, cumulative technological experience and Israel’s branding as a global high-tech hub,” according to the SNC.

However, warns Kandel, “The impressive growth figures must not divert our attention from the worrying decline in the number of new start-ups and the relative scarcity of early-stage rounds.”

JNS

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