Israel is a leader not just in tech, which is home to the highest number of startups per capita in the world. According to IVC Research Center and Meitar Law Offices, Israeli fintech startups raised $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2021 and holds over a dozen fintech unicorns in sectors such as payments, insurtech, lending, banking and more.

Over the last two years, 70% of Israeli FinTech funding was funneled into three prominent subsectors: Payments, Anti-fraud and Insurtech.

There are now several hundred unicorns globally and according to Tech Aviv, which tracks the industry, Israel has a total of 71 tech unicorns founded by Israelis, 35 of which were formed this year – the most unicorns per capita in the world!

Although Israel is placed a respectable 12th in Findexable’s 2020 Global Fintech Rankings, it has leapt over the competition to secure a place in the top three, behind only the US and UK. Tel Aviv was no less impressive: it rose from 18th to 5th in the fintech hub rankings. Israel has more unicorns per capita than any other country – with a population of just 8.9 million, that’s 1.58 unicorns per capita and makes Israel No. 1 in the world.

So what is it about Israeli-founded fintech startups that stand out from their scaling neighbors across the pond? Israeli founders first and foremost have brought to the table a distinct perspective and understanding of where the gaps exist within their respective focus industries —  whether it was Hippo and Lemonade in the world of property and casualty insurance, Rapyd and Melio in the world of business-to-business payments, or Earnix and Personetics in the world of banking data and analytics.

This is even more compelling given that many of these Israeli founders did not grow within financial services, but rather recognized those gaps, built their know-how around the industry (in some cases by hiring or partnering with industry experts and advisers during their ideation phase, strengthening their knowledge and validation), then sought to build more innovative and customer-focused solutions than most financial institutions can offer.

For further information on FinTech innovations from Israel and visiting Israel for FinTech scouting, contact the Economic and Trade Department at the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai.

Siddhant Gupte; Trade Officer, Mumbai