WIRED’s 100 Hottest European Startups 2015: Tel Aviv
by Oliver Franklin-Wallis, Assistant Editor, WIRED on 5th August 2015
This article was first published in the September 2015 issue of WIRED magazine. Be the first to read WIRED’s articles in print before they’re posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online
Tel Aviv is where the money is. The startup nation became the exit nation in 2014, with Israeli tech sales and IPOs hitting $15 billion (£9.5bn) according to analysis by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Expect 2015 to be another huge year, with $910 million raised in one January week alone and Outbrain and IronSource preparing IPOs. “What sets Israel and Tel Aviv apart is its openness,” says Naomi Krieger Carmy, director of the British embassy’s UK-Israel Tech Hub. “You can meet almost anyone, and everyone knows and talks to — and about — each other.”
The next step, says Windward CEO Ami Daniel, is scaling up. “Entrepreneurs will focus not only on innovative technologies,” he says, “but on building disruptive companies out of Israel.”
11 Galgalei Haplada Street,
Consumer Physics wants to build a molecular map of the world. Founded by Dror Sharon and Damian Goldring in 2011, it makes the $250 USB-sized SCiO molecular spectrometer that can identify the chemical make-up of objects. It raised $2.7m on Kickstarter, and says it will be ready to ship its first SCiO this autumn, with 1,000 developers signed up.
7 Menachem Begin Street,
Tel Aviv 65220
PlayBuzz is an app and tool for creating listicles and personality quizzes. Founded in 2013 by Shaul Olmert — son of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert — the company now claims 80 million unique users per month. In March 2015, it announced $16m in funding to expand, and has hired 60 staff. It has also opened an office in New York.
16 Menachem Begin Street,
Ramat Gan 5270003
Spun out of Tel Aviv University in 2012, StoreDot has developed a smartphone battery that can be charged in one minute. It has raised $42m in Series B funding from private investors to develop the battery, which uses bio-organic compounds to create ultra-fast charge storage. It is now working on partnering with smartphone makers and plans a 2016 launch.
Har Sinai Street,
Tel Aviv 65816
Founded in 2010 by former Israeli Navy officers, Windward analyses commercial satellite feeds and maritime data to track the location and contents of every major seafaring vessel in the world. The company secured £7m in funding led by Horizon Ventures in April 2014. Its aim: real-time updates and insights for maritime markets and intelligence agencies.
3 Pinhas Sapir Street,
Ness Ziona 74063
Moovit‘s transport app provides real-time public navigation on buses, trains and tubes. Using a combination of public-data feeds and feedback from users, it claims to provide travel times more accurately than its rivals. Founded in 2011, the company had 15 million users worldwide and, in January 2015, raised $50m from investors including Nokia Growth Partners and BMW.
23 Menachem Begin Street,
Tel Aviv 6618356
SimilarWeb is a tool that lets you analyse the performance of websites and apps. It provides traffic rankings and insights by analysing a pool of data from various sources. In November 2014, it raised $15 million in series D funding with plans to expand into app analytics and to open a New York office, having already expanded to London and Dubai.
ZEBRA MEDICAL VISION
Shefayim Commercial Centre
Zebra Medical teaches computers to diagnose diseases. Founded in 2014 by Eyal Gura, Eyal Toledano and Elad Benjamin, the startup has partnered with Israeli imaging centres and universities worldwide to build a database of images. “We have millions of diagnosed MRIs, CT scans and X-Rays,” says Gura. In April it secured $8m in funding led by Khosla Ventures.
85 Medinat Hayehudim Street,
More than 5,000 advertisers use AppsFlyer‘s analytics platform to measure campaigns and user acquisition on their smartphone apps — for example, tracking the impact of a Super Bowl ad on downloads in real time. Founded by Oren Kaniel and Reshef Mann in 2011, it tracked two billion app installs in 2014 and claims it is now found on nine out of ten smartphones.
1 HaBarzel Street,
Adallom provides security to companies using software such as GoogleApps and Office365 by detecting potential security breaches in real time. Founded in 2012 by former members of the Israeli Intelligence Corps, it counts Netflix and Pixar as clients. Since appearing in last year’s list it has raised a further $30m in series C funding, led by Rembrandt and HP Ventures.
22 Maskit Street,
Calling itself “the Robin Hood of fees”, FeeX identifies hidden charges in investment and retirement funds and suggests ways for users to save money. Founded in 2012 by Yoav Zurel, David Weisz and Waze co-founder Uri Levine, it claims to have saved $277m to date. In August 2014, it raised $6.5m in series B funding, with plans to expand further in the US.