REPORT: Tel Aviv's business and fintech landscape

We've launched our report on Tel Aviv's business and fintech landscape. In this report, you'll find out more about this fascinating region and get a better perspective of the initiatives in place that are furthering innovation in both business and technology. 

Below is an excerpt from the report - follow the button below to download the full version!


At the edge of the Mediterranean, in the heart of the Middle East, Israel, often honored with the nickname “Startup Nation,” is today considered a country with a promising future in technology and, more specifically, in financial technologies. As brought to the front by the Startup Ecosystem ranking, “the capital of Israel is Jerusalem, but the capital of the Startup Nation is undoubtedly Tel Aviv.”  The city has one of the highest startup densities in the world. Between 1999 and 2015, the country saw the creation of more than 11,585 startups inside its borders.

According to The Floor, an Israeli Global Fintech Innovation Center, more than 500 Israeli FinTech companies are engaged in the domain and this number keeps growing. Numerous financial institutions including Citibank to Barclays see in the Silicon Wadi, Tel Aviv’s High-Tech Hub, a bright future and establish, therefore, innovation labs and accelerators in the region.

The last proof of Tel Aviv’s hub as a big player on the international scene is the purchase of the Israeli startup Mobileye by the giant Intel for $15.3 billon. This purchase represented the biggest high-tech business deal in Israel's history.

Israel has a technologically advanced free-market economy. The workforce is mainly active in services (81.6%), industry (17.3%) and a small part deals with agriculture (1.1%). Its leading exports include cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and pharmaceuticals. The country mostly imports crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. The discovery of natural gas fields in 2009 on Israel's coast has brightened Israel's energy security outlook.

At the heart of Israel’s DNA lies an instinctive understanding that the challenge facing every developed country in the twenty-first century is to become an idea factory, which implies both generating ideas at home and taking advantage of ideas generated elsewhere.

Moreover, Israel’s lack of natural resources, political situation and precarious security environment has forced the nation to compensate with ingenuity. Due to an ongoing boycott by Israel’s Arab neighbors, Israel has been cutting off from most regional markets. With a population of nearly 9 million, Israel’s domestic market was also too small to generate sufficient internal demand. To bypass such geopolitical isolation and natural resources limitation, many Israeli companies focus on high-tech industries such as software and the internet, where scalability is not restricted by borders or transportation costs. In 2015, foreign and local companies spent $9.2 billion to acquire Israeli tech companies.