The hottest startups in Tel Aviv

Europe’s 100 Hottest Startups 2017

Deep links with the US market and expertise from Israel’s defence industry make Tel Aviv a startup powerhouse

The hottest startups in Tel Aviv

Silicon Wadi – as the tech hub in Tel Aviv is known – remains the exit capital. Intel, Apple, Snapchat and Huawei have all made big-money Israeli acquisitions in the last year; most notably, Intel’s $15.3 billion (£12bn) acquisition of autonomous-driving startup Mobileye. However, the trend towards large IPOs has fallen in recent times, with the startup-and-exit mentality being replaced by a trend for scaling companies.

World-class technical universities, plus expertise developed by Israel’s defence industry and deep links with the US market, has led to a wealth of startups in security and computer vision. But there’s breadth, too: “Tel Aviv has never been so cosmopolitan and open,” says Adam Fisher from Bessemer Venture Partners. “This means that Israelis are becoming more worldly to compete at an international level.”

Dapulse

As remote working becomes more commonplace, tools for online collaboration are having a moment – see the rapid growth of Slack and Trello. Launched in 2012 by Roy Man and Eran Zinman, Dapulse’s project-management software lets teams centralise emails, documents and presentations. Its simplicity has led to word-of-mouth growth: clients include adidas, Uber and the WeWork co-working community. In April, it raised $25 million to expand further into the US. dapulse.com

As remote working becomes more commonplace, tools for online collaboration are having a moment – see the rapid growth of Slack and Trello. Launched in 2012 by Roy Man and Eran Zinman, Dapulse’s project-management software lets teams centralise emails, documents and presentations. Its simplicity has led to word-of-mouth growth: clients include adidas, Uber and the WeWork co-working community. In April, it raised $25 million to expand further into the US. dapulse.com

JFrog

JFrog builds open-source software distribution tools including Bintray, which automates software distribution, and Artifactory, which manages binary code. This is huge for developers, which explains why JFrog’s clients include Google, Amazon, Netflix and Adobe. In 2016, the company raised $50 million for rapid expansion – including acquiring complimentary startups in order to own the exploding DevOps market. The company says its revenues grew eightfold in 2016. jfrog.com

A startup guide to Tel Aviv


WHERE TO DRINK
Bell Boy, Berdyczewski St 14, Tel Aviv-Yafo, 64258. This speakeasy-style bar serves some of the finest cocktails in the city, presented with 50s flair – come for the sculptural creations, stay for the next pass through of the shot trolley.
WHERE TO WORK
Mindspace, Rothschild Blvd 45, Tel Aviv. The Israeli-founded co-working chain has two spaces in the heart of the city on Rothschild. It benefits from a thriving community and has now expanded to six international locations.
WHERE TO STAY
Poli House, Nahalat Binyamin St 1, Tel Aviv. This new 40-room boutique hotel is housed in a Bauhaus building that dates back to the 1930s.

Airobotics

The industrial market for drones is taking off. Founded in 2014 by Meir Kliner and Ran Krauss, Airobotics has built an early lead, building autonomous quadcopters for industrial inspection, mapping and security. Its drones launch and land from a toolshed-sized box for charging and maintenance, and its clients pay a monthly fee for their use. The company has raised $28 million to date, has former Waze CEO Noam Bardin on its board and already has industrial clients in the chemicals industry. airobotics.co.il

Taranis

Farmers worldwide lose up to 23 per cent of their annual yield – worth $300 billion – to crop disease. Taranis, founded in 2015, uses an array of farm data – including aerial imagery, sensors, weather stations and a smartphone app, to map farms and predict crops at risk of blight. The company is now working with industrial farms in Russia, Brazil, Argentina and the US. “To farmers who have small margins, a two per cent yield increase is a 20 per cent profit increase,” says co-founder Ofir Schlam. taranis.ag

The hottest startups in Tel Aviv

Taranis co-founder Eli Bukchin, co-founder Ofir Schlam, senior software engineer Asaf Horvitz and co-founder Ayal Karmi

Twiggle

Twiggle wants to make online shopping easier with smarter search. Founded in 2014 by former Google employees Amir Konigsberg and Avi Avidor, the company’s natural-language search lets e-commerce sites search with granular detail. For instance, rather than saying “chair”, a customer could type “red art deco chair with wooden legs”. Crucially, the company says it works within existing search engines. It has raised $33 million from investors to date. twiggle.com

OrCam Technologies

Ziv Aviram and Amnon Shashua – who in March sold Mobileye to Intel for $15 billion – founded OrCam in 2010 to provide computer-assisted vision for the blind. Using a frame-mounted camera that is connected to a pocket-sized base unit, the $3,500 glasses can read text aloud and recognise faces and common objects. In February, the company raised $41 million, at a $600 million valuation, from investors including Intel. An IPO is next. orcam.com

Bringg

Logistics startup Bringg promises to let any business compete with Amazon when it comes to last-mile delivery. Founded in 2013 by Raanan Cohen and former Gett CTO Lior Sion, the Tel Aviv- and Chicago-based firm lets companies interact online with delivery drivers equipped with an Uber-style app to manage routes and keep abreast of orders. It’s raised $21 million from investors including Aleph Venture Capital and Coca-Cola. bringg.com

Deep Instinct

Deep learning enables machines to recognise cats on YouTube and hear the word “Alexa” in a crowded bar – so why not spot cyberattacks? Founded in 2014 by Eli David and Guy Caspi, Deep Instinct has trained a neural network with hundreds of millions of malicious files. The result is an AI that Deep Instinct claims can detect zero-day exploits. The company has won several industry awards, and plans to expand into the US market in 2018. deepinstinct.com

Beyond Verbal

“Research shows that about 40 per cent of a conversation’s meaning is taken from the tone of voice,” says Yuval Mor, CEO of Beyond Verbal. Launched in 2012, the startup’s voice-recognition software can sense emotional content. It’s so accurate, the firm claims, that it could be able to detect conditions including Parkinson’s and heart problems, just from long-term changes in “vocal biomarkers”. “With Parkinson’s and autism, you can hear that something is wrong,” says Mor. The company has raised more than $12 million to fund further research in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic. Early results, Mor says, look promising. beyondverbal.com

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The hottest startups in Tel Aviv

Beyond Verbal CEO Yuval Mor

Nexar

Nexar is a car dashcam with a difference. Its smartphone app analyses video in real time to detect potential dangers that could lead to collisions, automatically recording dangerous incidents and, crucially, issuing real-time alerts to nearby cars. Founded in 2015, the company has already raised $14.5 million from investors such as Mosaic Ventures and has partnered with companies including navigation app Waze. getnexar.com

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-startups-in-tel-aviv-2017