Nine months ago, we were standing in our best clothes, ready to kick off our 20th anniversary party. The red carpet and stage were ready, the excitement was felt in the air. But then COVID-19 hit. No one likes it when their birthday gets cancelled at the last minute, but oh boy… who would have imagined what would come next.
2020 has been a memorable year, no doubt. This is the time to say kudos to the Israeli entrepreneurs who showed great resilience and innovative thinking in times of great uncertainty.
But before 2021 knocks on our door, we’re taking a brief moment to celebrate this journey that you all have been part of – entrepreneurs, investors and our long-time friends in the global and Israeli tech ecosystem.
In many ways, the story of Viola is the story of the Israeli tech. When Viola was founded in 2000, we made a commitment to the idea that global category leaders can grow out of Israel. Back in 2000, the local tech ecosystem was relatively small and young. But as Israel grew from startup to scale up to unicorn nation, Viola grew with it, expanding from early stage venture capital to a comprehensive investment platform that provides the funding needed for a growing ecosystem, including a growth, credit and global Fintech funds.
20 years later, we are witnessing our vision for Israeli tech becoming a reality. Today, the country is home to an incredible number of unicorns (32!), and thousands of tech companies disrupting every industry – from financial services to automotive, semiconductors, agriculture and healthcare.
This would not have been possible without the exceptional Israeli entrepreneurs, many of whom we’ve had the privilege of partnering with. Entrepreneurship is about taking the long and difficult road, staying optimistic and agile. The people we met along our journey inspired us and taught us a great deal. We enjoy every minute of these partnerships.
So what lies ahead for the next 20 years? As investors, we always strive to look through the front windshield and not the rearview mirror.
We believe this is the age of going beyond: sectors that are still lagging behind (such as healthcare) will experience an innovation leap via AI and other tech breakthroughs. Startups will scale faster than ever due to agile tech platforms and go-to-market best practices and the Israeli ecosystem will go beyond unicorns, building “decacorns” and creating global companies with thousands of employees.
Holding true to the commitment we made 20 years ago, we’re dedicating this celebration to the visionaries who choose the entrepreneurial journey.
May you stay safe and healthy.
(Stick around for the end of the video – you don’t want to miss the B-day singing!)