The UK tech industry can boost its global reach and encourage growth by striking new trade deals with Israel, according to leading figures in Israeli tech.
Since the UK’s exit from the EU, trading relations with Europe have become more complex. The government has been seeking new trade deals to plug the gap of losing free market access to its largest trading partner.
International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan announced in July that the UK was in talks with Israel to expand its trading relationship, with a particular focus on increased cooperation between the nations’ tech industries.
This is an important step in developing the global reach of UK tech, according to eToro’s Daniel Moczulski.
“By improving relations between the UK and Israel’s tech scene on a broad level, we can hopefully encourage more of these promising companies to choose the UK as the first rung of the ladder when it comes to international expansion,” Moczulski told UKTN.
The digital stock trading company was founded in Tel Aviv in 2007 and has since established a significant presence in the UK, with its European business being run by its secondary HQ in London.
Moczulski said that the UK tech industry has a significant appeal internationally given its “very well-established financial and tech sectors”, but that it could benefit from improved cooperation with foreign tech hubs like Israel.
“Israel, by nature, has had to have a global approach to solutions, and this approach can help the UK to look wider than just the local market.”
Moczulski also said that by opening itself more to the international tech community, “the UK tech and fintech scene can also gain exposure to new ideas and products, improving competition and innovation”.
UK a launchpad for Israeli startups
There are more than 150 Israeli startups with offices based across Europe, according to a Silicon Valley Bank report citing Dealroom data.
Israel has become a leading tech hub in its own right and is home to more than 90 unicorn companies. But increasingly Israel’s startups are establishing a presence in the UK: transportation management startup Gett and fintech company Plus500 were both founded in Israel but now have headquarters in London.
Investors in Israel are also increasingly backing tech startups across Europe and vice versa, with the combined value of rounds with one or more European investors in Israel-based startups hitting $4.5bn in the first half of 2022.
London is seen as an attractive option for Israeli tech firms to establish a presence in, according to fintech unicorn Rapyd, an Israel-founded company that has since moved its HQ to the UK capital.
Sarel Tal, VP EMEA at Rapyd, told UKTN that “Rapyd chose London for its great combination of technology and financial regulation”.
He said: “Since day one, we’ve recognised the strategic value in uniting and fostering cross-border collaboration between British and Israeli tech.”
Tal added that “by fostering collaboration between the booming British and Israeli tech communities, the entire world can benefit from hi-tech innovation” and that UK tech could benefit from the “availability of talent on both the technology and business sides”.
Trevelyan said on the increased cooperation between the two tech industries: “The UK and Israel are both modern, hi-tech services superpowers, but our current trading relationship is based on an agreement from 1995.”
She added: “We want a deal that will play to British strengths while stimulating innovation and increasing opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK.”