As Rosh Hashanah nears, it also brings new hopes, wishes and dreams, besides memories of gratitude for all we have been through to be here in this moment today. Mainly now, after these turbulent pandemic times, and having ahead a new Jewish year, the team at ScaleUp inBrazil would like to reflect on our journey until here and the many opportunities coming ahead.
Israel and Brazil may not seem to be obvious partners, but I assure you, they are. The history of friendship and business relationships between Israel and Brazil dates back to the creation of the Israeli State and continues up to today stronger than ever.
Business between Brazil and Israel is up and running, as you can see in the table below that highlights 20 years of trade between the countries. In 2020 trade between the countries totaled US$ 1.4 billion and in the first semester of 2021 this amount summed up to US$ 894 million.
Israel and Brazil do not compete among themselves – they are complementary economies. Israel is known as the Startup Nation, while Brazil is undoubtedly the ScaleUp Nation. Israel is an avid tech producer but with a small domestic market. However, Brazil is a tremendous tech consumer with a huge market to be explored. Israel produces innovation and Brazil adapts to fit its necessities.
In addition to that, Israel and Brazil share some similarities, such as tech savvy and entrepreneurial talent, multi stage capital financing availability, multinational presence and strong academic institutions.
Israeli ecosystem is tremendously disruptive. Ranked 13th in the Global Innovation Index of 2020, with around 7000 startups, the country has the largest concentration of startups per capita, which attracted around 400 multinational companies to establish their R&D centers there. Currently, 13% of the GDP comes from the high tech industry.
So much technology needs room to expand. Once Israeli market is very small, entrepreneurs think global from day one. Today, it is estimated that more than 200 Israeli companies operate in Brazilian market, and the interest is growing as much as the opportunities, such as ScaleUp inBrazil program, and others, are getting to the market.
How it all started
In 2015, Israel Trade & Investment (entity of the Foreign Administration of the Ministry of Economy and Industry of Israel entitled to foster business relationship between Israel and Brazil), assisted Apex-Brazil (The Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency) and ABVCAP (Brazilian Association of Venture Capital and Private Equity), in their first mission to Israel to explore business and investment opportunities between the countries. Since then, the entities continued a great relationship in many aspects, developing projects together.
In 2018, Israel Trade & Investment was willing to create a program to accelerate the entrance of Israeli companies in the Brazilian market. When sharing this idea with Apex-Brazil and ABVCAP, they were already taking steps towards this direction having in mind a market gap and the willingness to attract innovative tech companies to Brazilian market. Perfect match! We started designing a joint program, which excelled our expectations. The rest is history!
Scaleup inBrazil´s third edition, aimed to launch in the first quarter of 2022, will continue fostering innovation from Israel and now from other highly innovative markets. Stay tuned. Soon there will be some great news to share.
Shaná Tová! May we all have a sweet, happy and healthy new year ahead of us!