A record 4.6 million tourists visited Israel in 2019 - 12% more than in 2018. Most were from the US, followed by France, Russia, Germany and Britain. Tourism contributed some NIS 22.5 billion ($6.6 billion) to the economy in 2019. Tel Aviv is one of Google’s top trending destinations.
Israel’s foreign currency reserves soared in December by a record $3.64 billion to end the year at a new all-time high of just over $126 billion. In 2019, the Israeli Shekel appreciated against all major Western currencies and became the world’s strongest currency.
The 580 Israeli digital health startups raised $662 million in 2019 - a 32% increase on 2018. Israel is unique, as all citizens are members of a health company, each with some three decades of (anonymized) digitized data, available for startups to develop breakthrough systems and devices.
Just one of many articles summarizing Israel’s economic achievements of the last 10 years. It highlights that there are more than 6,400 startups and 362 multinational companies operating in Israel today.
Every airline seems to want to fly to Israel. The latest is Moldovan low-cost airline FlyOne, which in April launches a twice-weekly route between Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport and Moldova’s capital Chisinau. Air Moldova, Israel’s Arkia and Israir already fly the route during peak season.
Israel has 20 Unicorns, privately-held companies worth more than $1 billion. Only the US, China and the UK have more. The new ones are Riskified, InMode, Monday.com, Vayyar, Fabric, Lemonade, Next Insurance, Lightricks, Hippo, Trax and SentinelOne. .
US electric carmaker Tesla has opened a store in the Ramat Aviv mall for shoppers to register for a new Tesla car. Tesla Motors Israel has been registered as a fully owned subsidiary company in Israel and a 2000 sq. meter Tel Aviv showroom already has several Tesla Model 3 cars.
The Italian Embassy in Israel and Italian Bank Intesa Sanpaolo has selected 7 startups to join its first accelerator program for Italian startups in Israel, based in Eilat. The Italian Ambassador praised “the Startup Nation’s extraordinary and dynamic ecosystem”.
Israel’s Armis , maker of Internet of Things (IoT) security software, is being acquired by US-based Insight Partners, a venture capital and private equity firm, in a cash deal that values the Israeli firm at $1.1 billion. The deal is the largest ever for a private Israeli cybersecurity company.
Israeli-Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has bought a beach-front office building in Tel Aviv for NIS 200 million. The property could be converted into a hotel or a residential building. Abramovich is also building a $27 million mansion in Neve Tzedek.