The always-hot scenario of startups in Israel has recently hit the boom with many interesting startups coming into the market. Also, this year has received the biggest of the VC funding for the startups which has broken many records. Israeli startups have always been a hot spot for many international investors and valuation of young companies have hit sky-high.
The tiny weeny country of Israel is well-known for its innovative tech startups which has turned the head of many foreign investors. Many startups have been acquired by top companies in USA and Europe. Though the market is getting saturated with flocking of startups into the market, few fight the hardship and make way to the limelight. We have picked a list of startups that have made their way successfully to the limelight despite the tough competition in the market. The list consists of startups that are either breaking into the mainstream in their respective sectors or at the seed stage but is sure to make a significant different in the near future. The startups have been listed not on the basis of market valuation or customer traction but on the basis of popularity and the innovative ideas.
Founded in 2013 by Jonathan Medved, the startup OurCrowd is an equity-based investment crowd funding platform that operates in USA as well. It works to change the way the startups are funded. It functions to help ordinary, upper middle class people like doctors, lawyers, business owners to invest in startups with the same terms and benefit that top-tier VCs get. Through crowdsourcing the investment, the startups helps more investors tap into the early stage wealth creation for the startups. It brings a unique combination of angel investment and venture capital investments with the blend of flexibility, funds, vetted deals, ongoing mentorship and guidance for startups.
The functionality of the OurCrowd is quite simple. Accredited investors with net worth of more than $1 million can apply to participate in the OurCrowd’s private platform. Once joined, investors are given range of deals to choose from. Investors can then choose the startup they are interested to invest at a minimum of $10k. The startups are completely scrutinized by the OurCrowd team before adding them to the platform. The terms of the deal are all pre-negotiated. Till date, it has invested around $170 million in around 80 startups.
Founded in 2008, the startup CTERA Networks is a cloud storage and data protection hardware and software that specializes in cloud storage gateways which are integrated with a data center or cloud-side service delivery platform, CTERA Portal. It converts private or public cloud infrastructure into scalable, secure, business-critical data services focusing on the storage, data protection and collaboration needs of business users. Users have browser-based access to the backups and can access files locally using a “Virtual Cloud Drive.”
The CTERA v5.0 Enterprise Data Services Platform has had features added to fit the needs of data protections, file sharing and synchronization, remote and branch offices (ROBO) and mobile users. It consists of lot of interesting features like data loss prevention, optional LAN access, Azure and Softlayer support and many more. Managed storage solutions seems to the next big revenue opportunity for service providers. CTERA simplifies the whole task of creating, deploying and managing cloud storage services. The company exceeded its 2014 sales in the matter of six months of 2015. Backed by big VCs like Benchmark Capital, Venrock and Cisco, it is known to be “the Dropbox for the enterprise.” Till date, the company has raised three rounds of funding with $9 million at Series A, $11 million at Series B and $25 million in Series C round of funding.
Founded in 2011 by twin brothers Tal and Nimrod Moran, the startup Tomigo is an innovative social recruiting platform designed for this generation social media culture. It aims to facilitate corporate companies discover new talent and potential among their own employees’ social network connections. It blends advanced technology and social media expertise and offer companies to leverage their employee’ wide network to easily and quickly hire the talent they need. This startup’s business model fits well with most of the companies and its success attributes to successfully assisting clients in job recruitment.
The process is not complicated. Tomigo’s system notifies all the employees connected when the recruiter posts a job opening. The employees can see the job profile and share it through their social media accounts. They can either see who they know and refer or if they have little time, they can use the option of automatically sharing the job opening with all their contacts. Interested candidates can then apply for the job through the link shared.
Tomigo found striking results among the employees, engagement and involvement having increased by more than 200%.Its clients include Reuters and Siemens, L’Oréal, Matrix and many other pharmaceuticals companies. Tomigo raised a seed funding of less than %1 million from Tel Aviv Angel Group who is the solo investor of the company. The startup has not raised any other funds so far and claims to be generating profits.
Founded in 2015 by Ben Lang, Amir Zucker and Philippe Lang, the startup Mapme is the first interactive mapping tool that aims to showcase startup activity around the world. The platform empowers passionate people to build, launch and grow community maps and any organization to leverage crowd sourcing to visualize all the interconnected layers of a community. The result is a unique user experience that fuels engagement and promotes the community.
The user-generated maps help an organization to create a map based on an interest or topic and share it with customers who can then add new locations. They give a brief description of active tech firms, their precise addresses and a link to their websites and social media pages. Though similar to Foursquare, it is not limited to lifestyle events like shopping and dining. The platform is being beta tested in more than 30 countries and covers around 90 ecosystems.
Few months ago, Mapme has raised a seed funding of $1 million led by Israeli investors Gigi Levy-Weiss and Daniel Recanati. Though the startup is fully funded now, it is on talks with individual investors around the world.
Founded in 2013 and based in Northern Isreal, VoxDox is a text-to-speech app developed to help students with dyslexia, alexia and other learning disabilities. With this app, one can listen to ebooks or convert files papers, articles, contracts and web pages to quality speech using the best TTS voices available in the market today. It is a PDF reader and a PDF translator. It can also be used a document scanner with the help of device’s camera.
In comparison with other similar apps in the market, VoxDox is has an inbuilt test-to-speech app and an electronic reader which means that the user does not have to use two apps simultaneously. In a matter of two years, the app boasts 200,000 downloads with most of its users based in USA, Germany and Brazil. It has been running pilot programs with a range of educational institutions around the world. Apart from this, it is also working to build a vast online library.
Voxdox is privately funded at the seed level but is in discussions with investors in Tel Aviv for additional funds to finance and launch the online library very soon.
Founded in 2013, the startup SwarmBuild is a platform that connects designers, makers and startups to engineers and machine shops working in CNC, 3D printing and laser cutting. Hackerspaces, makerspaces and desktop 3D printing technologies are major ways people learn to think in design terms. Boris Kogan, the founder of Swarmbuild strongly believes that his company stands apart from other competitors like Shapeways and BriteHub by targeting on the relationship between the design and production.
The SwarmBuild process works like this – one can upload his or her design, choose his material, technology and deadline and set up with a manufacturer. The startup brings together innovators, startups and designers, from to engineers and manufacturers in order to make their prototype and the first production run. The company has a network of partners in the USA, Canada and Israel and the partners offer engineering and advanced manufacturing in a wide range of materials.
Swarmbuild received an initial funding of $20,000 from Iowa Startup Accelerator. Now, with a 15-month runway at $40,000 per month, the company projects the cash needs to be around $600,000 plus a onetime IP acquisition fee of $200K. Discussions with the prospective investors are currently on.
Founded in 2014, the startup Zutalabs develops a mobile printer that one can carry in pockets like mobile phones. It makes tiny palm-sized printers that slides on the paper printing words as it slides. With this printer, one can print in all sizes of paper and it works without drivers and can print from Macs, PCs, iOS and Android. The size of the printer which is just 10.2 cms in diameter is the biggest selling point of the product.
The printer uses an omni-wheel that enable it to accurately move around the page that it is printing on. It prints at a speed of 1.2 pages per minute and the current model can reach up to 96 x 192 dpi and the upgraded model is expected soon. It is targeted at the users who only need a printer infrequently and in places where the access to the printer is not available.
The printer was a hit at CES 2015 with a Best of Innovation Award and has attracted many investors. The device raised $500,000 in the Kickstarter last year and has raised an undisclosed funding from venture capitalists.
Founded in 2012, the startup Fundbox is a small business solution designed and developed by a small business. Built by few technological innovators and financial professionals, the startup offers short-term loans to help the businesses keep going while they are waiting for the outstanding payments. Instead of depending on the credit scores and FICO scores like traditional lenders, the company plugs into a company’s existing accounting software and assesses each invoice separately. The algorithm of the company is able to build a risk profile of the specific transaction, the business in question and the market its operating.
Founder Eyal Shinar claims that the registration process does not take more than 15 seconds and not more than 50 seconds for Fundbox to underwrite an invoice. It does not charge setup fees or subscription fees but only an invoice clearing fee. The money will be credited into the customers’ account the very next business day and the customers would be rewarded if they pay back the loan before the invoice is due.
Fundbox has raised another $50 million after raising $40 million in April this year which raises the total funding to $108 million in just a year and a half. The company’s investors include Spark Capital Growth, Bezos Expeditions, Sound Ventures, Entrée Capital, Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, Blumberg Capital an Shlomo Kramer.
Founded in 2012 by Doron Myersdorf, the startup StoreDot develops quantum dot-utilizing fast charging smartphone battery technology. The ground breaking technology of the startup is based on its discovery of new generation, self-assembled Nanodots of biological origin. The system of StoreDot uses a different chemical makeup to traditional batteries that go from 15% battery to 100% in a little under two minutes.
The nanodots, the technology relies on is comprised of organic peptides whose raw materials are abundant in nature and also self-assemble, giving way for an affordable product. These forms the basis of a multi-function electrode that allows for super capacitor-like rapid charging, with a slow discharge more like a lithium-ion battery.
With the recently raised funding of $18 million, the total funds raised by the StoreDot raise to $76 million. The investors in the startup include Gonzalo Martinez de Azagra, Roman Abramovich, Samsung Ventures and Singulariteam.
Founded in 2012, the startup Webydo is a code-less web design platform for freelance web designers and agencies. The startup aims to change the tide from developers to individual creative designers by empowering them to take control over the full creative process. This service startup allows web designer to avoid codes by automatically converting their design into a hosted HTML5 website. The software’s drag and drop website creation tools are free to use but the designer pays a hosting fee once the user hit publish button to transform the web design into an active website.
Led by a community of more than 120K professional designers, design studios and agencies, Webydo has interesting features like built-in CMS, a full white label solution and personal support with which designers can truly create their web design empire. The startup competes with Adobe wed design tools like Dreamweaver but its differs with the offering of both the tools and the management and hosting of the resulting websites in one service offering. In contrast to other big players in the code-free website marketplace like Wic, the startup’s approach is strictly B2B.
In June last year, Webydo raised a funding of $7 million in Series B round of funding followed by another round of funding this year for $5 million which raises the total funding of the company to $14.7 million. The investors of the company include Magna Capital Partners, OurCrowd and Singulariteam.