The growing wave of Israeli tech company IPOs on Wall Street has generated billions of dollars ‘on paper’ for a range of entrepreneurs at these companies, as well as for individual investors who believed in those companies in their early stages.
“Globes” has found that following the IPOs of six Israeli tech companies on Wall Street in 2020 and 2021, 15 entrepreneurs and individual investors from Israel hold shares worth a combined $5 billion, and the list is only expected to lengthen in the coming months.
Since the start of 2021, four Israeli tech companies have held IPOs on Wall Street, while others have filed prospectuses ahead of future flotations – all of the companies worth billions of dollars.
The most recent of these IPOs was last week when work operating system company monday.com (Nasdaq: MNDY) raised $574 million, which is likely to grow by an additional $57.4 million, if the underwriters exercise their options within 30 days at the IPO price.
monday.com’s IPO was completed at a company valuation of $6.8 billion and the share price subsequently rose 22%, giving a market cap of $8.3 billion. The company’s cofounders and co-CEOs have much to smile about – Roy Mann’s shares are now worth $1.1 billion and Eran Zinman’s shares are worth $436 million.
One of the early investors in Monday.com was Wix.com Ltd. (Nasdaq: WIX) CEO Avishai Abrahami. He invested privately back in 2012 and now finds himself with shares worth $294 million. Abrahami continues to hold Wix shares worth $492 million.
Another private investor in monday.com is Entrée Capital cofounder and managing partner Aviad Eyal who holds shares worth $140 million, while Entrée Capital itself has shares worth $910 million. As far as is known, Entrée Capital and Eyal together invested just $13 million in monday.com, and have earned astonishing returns on their investment.
Three Global-E founders worth $900 million
monday.com reached Wall Street a month after international e-commerce platform Global-E (Nasdaq: GLBE) and web behavior and traffic analytics company SimilarWeb (NYSE: SMWB). Over the past month, Global-E’s share price has jumped 86% and its three founders CEO Amir Schlachet, COO Shahar Tamari and CRO Nir Debbi each hold shares worth about $300 million.
SimilarWeb’s share price has slipped slightly since the IPO and the company is ‘only’ worth $1.6 billion but CEO and founder Or Ofer still holds shares worth $124 million, having sold shares worth $11 million. Serial entrepreneur Yossi Vardi, who invested in SimilarWeb’s seed financing round in 2007 and increased his stake in subsequent financing rounds, has shares in the company worth $84.5 million.
The largest-ever IPO of an Israeli company took place in January 2021 when gaming company Playtika (Nasdaq: PLTK) held its flotation. Playtika is controlled by a Chinese company, which bought it in 2016 from an American company, which in turn had bought it from founder and CEO Robert Antokol in 2010. Playtika went public at a valuation of $11.1 billion and today is worth slightly less at $10.6 billion. Antokol currently has shares worth $258 million.
Lemonade’s founders have shares worth $650 million
Last year there were only two major IPOs by Israeli tech companies – digital insurance company Lemonade (NYSE: LMND in July 2020 at $29 per share and) automatic software updating company JFrog (Nasdaq: FROG) in September 2020 at $44 per share.
Lemonade’s share price soared to $183 at its peak but has since fallen back to $106, giving it a market cap of $6.5 billion. Cofounders CEO Daniel Schreiber and CTO Shai Wininger hold shares worth $287 million and $359 million respectively.
Schreiber sold shares for $49.5 million several months ago, as part of a secondary offering at a price $165 per share. Wininger, who was also a cofounder of freelance platform Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR), which held its IPO in 2019, currently holds shares in Fiverr worth $346 million, although he is no longer a party-at-interest in that company.
JFrog’s share price is currently $47.3, slightly above its IPO price, giving it a market cap of $4.4 billion. The company’s three cofounders have sold shares worth $63 million while JFrog CEO Shlomi Ben Haim still has shares worth $242 million, Chief Data Scientist Fred Simon has shares worth $266 million, and CTO Yoav Landman has shares worth $345 million.
Israeli tech companies expected to conduct Wall Street IPOs in the coming months, having filed prospectuses with the US SEC, include cybersecurity company SentinelOne, which has yet to report an expected valuation, but could be one of Israel’s largest-ever IPOs with founder and CEO Tomer Weingarten holding a 4% stake. Digital adoption SaaS company WalkMe is planning an IPO at a company valuation of $2.5 billion, which would give cofounders CEO Dan Adika, and president Rephael Sweary stakes worth more than $60 million each.
SPAC mergers worth $40 billion await
Alongside these IPOs, a long list of Israeli tech companies with a combined value of $40 billion have agreed to go public on Wall Street through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), a blank check company, which raises money and then seeks a promising tech company to merge with.
Among the SPAC mergers due to be completed in the coming few weeks are: app monetization company ironSource at a company valuation of $11.1 billion and content recommendation company Taboola, at a company valuation of $2.6 billion.. ironSource founder and CEO Tomer Ben-Zeev has a stake of between 5.7% and 7.3%, while other founders Tamir Karmi and Arnon Harish each have stakes of 2.1%-2.7%. Taboola founder and CEO Adam Singolda has a 6%-6.6% stake.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on June 14, 2021
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