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The hottest startups in Tel Aviv
This Israeli city has the highest number of startups per capita in the world – and its startup hub is constantly expanding
Tel Aviv is the city with the highest number of startups per capita in the world, according to the 2018 Global Startup Ecosystem report — more than 6,000, of which 18 are unicorns. The city’s tech cluster, dubbed Silicon Wadi, is home to more than 100 venture capital funds, plus hundreds of accelerators and co-working places. “Tel Aviv is transitioning from startup nation to scale-up nation,” says Eyal Gura, co-founder of Zebra Medical Vision. Amit Gilon, an investor at Kaedan Capital VC fund, agrees – adding that Israel is not just about successful B2B companies anymore, such as Checkpoint, Nice and Amdocs, but also about “big B2C success stories like Playtika, Wix, Fiverr and others”.
Founded in 2015, Arbe has built a 4D ultra-high-resolution imaging radar for cars. It “can actually separate a child from a car, ‘see’ a bicycle near a track, and a motorcycle merging into the vehicle’s lane”, says CEO Kobi Marenko. Arbe has started shipping beta products to customers, and expects to be delivering to car companies by the end of 2019. Co-founders Marenko, Noam Arkind and Oz Fixman originally focused on developing radar sensors for the robotics and drone industries, but pivoted to automotive and autonomous driving. “This is where we have the biggest impact on society, as over 90 per cent of car accidents are caused by the human driver,” says Marenko. Arberobotics.com
A marketing analytics company founded in 2011 by high-school friends Oren Kaniel and Reshef Mann, AppsFlyer’s technology allows app developers and marketers to measure the effectiveness of their mobile advertising spend without selling data. “If you picture a homeowner looking to purchase a house, they bring their own lawyer to the table to represent and protect their interests,” says Kaniel. So he and Mann decided to be that “same trusted ally” – the “unbiased software truly protecting companies’ interests in the market”. The data that firms gather then helps them determine the best marketing strategy. Clients include Facebook, Google, eBay, Coca-Cola, Adidas, NBCUniversal and Hyundai. Appsflyer.com
Israeli entrepreneur and computer science engineer Ben Reuveni has always had a passion for match-matching: so he created Gloat, a match-making platform, he says, “between individuals and opportunities.” Formerly known as Workey, Gloat’s app works similarly to Tinder, with jobseekers anonymously putting in data, matching them with potential companies. “The initial idea focused more on the anonymity aspect of allowing companies and candidates to match completely blind to race, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status, purely based on merit,” says Reuveni. Today, more than 300 companies use Gloat, including WeWork, Oracle and Dell. Gloat.com
A music education startup founded in 2010, Joytunes aims to be the Netflix for learning music. The company creates music learning apps, such as Piano Dust Buster, a game-ified introduction to piano; Simply Piano, which helps people with no experience learn to play; and Piano Maestro, an app for motivating piano practice. Co-founder Yuval Kaminka created the startup after watching his nephew play tennis on his Nintendo Wii while avoiding music lessons – so he decided to make music learning fun Joytunes.com
An online marketplace, Givingway is a free social platform where volunteers, donors and non-profit organisations can connect to work together towards a cause – be it healthcare, education or the environment. Founded in 2015, Givingway is “an impact company changing how people volunteer globally”, says co-founder Gigi Levy-Weiss, one of the top marketplace investors in Israel. To avoid fees and miscommunication, Givingway does not work with third-party intermediaries. Givingway.com
Launched in 2014 by Elad Benjamin, Eyal Toledano and Eyal Gura, Zebra Medical Vision is an AI platform that can accurately interpret medical scans, detect anomalies and provide a diagnosis. It has recently raised $30 million and received FDA clearance for chest X-ray triage product HealthPNX, which uses machine learning. The tool triggers an automatic alert for pneumothorax – accumulation of gas between the lung and the chest wall that can lead to lung collapse. It is typically diagnosed by chest X-ray scans, which are tricky to interpret. Zebra-med.com
The startup says it has created the world’s first deep-learning framework purposely built for cybersecurity: artificial intelligence to detect and prevent hacking attacks in real time, on any mobile device or operating system. The platform predicts and detects known and unknown malware, preventing cyberthreats. Founded by 2015 by Eli David, Guy Caspi and Nadav Maman, Deep Instinct relies on artificial neural networks, modelling its approach on the way the human brain learns. Deepinstinct.com
Game-ifying online shopping is at the core of Boom25, launched in 2017 by Giora Mandel. Typically, shoppers on cashback sites get a small percentage back from whatever they buy, but Boom25 offers the 25th customer a full refund on their purchase. Mandel had the idea when he overheard his children play a game called “7-Boom”, a counting game where players say “boom” instead of seven or its multiples. The startup works with about 700 retailers, including M&S, Boohoo and Argos. Boom25.com
Founded in 2017, Upstream Security promises to protect both current and future vehicles such as autonomous cars. The startup sends alerts if something seems wrong, such as a potential cyberattack. Founders Yoav Levy and Yonatan Appel were inspired by the infamous Jeep Cherokee hack in 2015 – and decided to use cloud computing and AI to boost automotive cybersecurity. Upstream.auto
This startup has developed what it calls “self-healing software” that uses machine-learning algorithms to fix software bugs in cars. It also detects potential faults and runs automatic software updates. In 2017, some 15 million vehicles were recalled worldwide to fix software glitches, says the company. The software is still at pilot stage, but the company already has customers among German and South Korean car manufacturers, says Roger Ordman, the EVP of marketing. The software could be especially useful for connected and autonomous cars, ushering in, says Ordman, “the era of the self-healing car.” Auroralabs.com