To identify the Top 25 Israeli start-ups Informilo asked people who actively invest in Israeli companies to nominate companies outside their own portfolios. Some have moved their headquarters to the U.S. but all have Israeli roots. We’ve omitted established companies like Taboola, Outbrain, eToro and MyHeritage to make room for the next wave.
What it does: Cloud-based storage and data protection.
Why it’s hot: Managed storage solutions are the next big revenue opportunity for service providers. CTERA enables them to create, deploy and manage cloud storage services quickly and easily. The company exceeded its 2014 sales within the first six months of 2015. Backed by Benchmark Capital, Venrock and Cisco, it’s considered by some to be “the Dropbox for the enterprise.”
What it does: Global online marketplace offering tasks and services.
Why it’s hot: Fiverr provides a “living marketplace” for millions of micro-entrepreneurs in 196 countries. There are currently more than three million tasks on the site, and volumes have risen 600% since 2011. In 2015 Fiverr raised $30 million from Qumra Capital and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel Partners and individuals in a Series C round, bringing funding to $50 million.
What it does: Development and test environments.
Why it’s hot: Ravello delivers Software-as-a-Service that enables customers such as Deutsche Telekom, Red Hat, and Check Point to use public cloud services to develop and test their on-premises applications. Enterprises can encapsulate their multi-tier applications and run them anywhere without making any changes. Investors include Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners.
What it does: Event-planning platform for professionals.
Why it’s hot: HoneyBook is an invitation-only service that streamlines the elements of event planning — from proposals, to payments and design briefs. In March it raised $22 million in a Series B round led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Aleph and Hillsven, bringing total funding to $32 million. The company plans to bring its service to event professionals in every major U.S. city.
What it does: Web measurement and competitive intelligence.
Why it’s hot: SimilarGroup helps Internet users find and interpret web content. Its service helps companies benchmark performance against competitors, increase web traffic, and broaden their audiences, using the clickstream activity of tens of millions of global Internet users. In late 2014 it raised a $15 million Series D round from prior investors Naspers and angel investor Lord David Alliance, bringing total funding to $40 million.
What it does: Video marketing platform.
Why it’s hot: SundaySky’s SmartVideo lifecycle marketing platform generates hundreds of thousands of videos daily, powering customer acquisition, service, growth and loyalty touch points across a range of industries. Performance is measurable and optimized for incremental impact on key business metrics. Customers include AT&T, Office Depot and Allstate. More than 400 million videos have been delivered since the company’s launch in 2007.
What it does: Contextually-aware marketing platform.
Why it’s hot: Ubimo enables advertisers to use real-world, location-based context with programmatic media-buying technologies to reach their target audiences. In May it raised a $7.5 million Series B round from Pitango Venture Capital, OurCrowd and YJ Capital (Yahoo Japan’s VC arm — this was its first investment in Israel), bringing total funding to $9.7 million. Customers include Sprint, L’Oreal and Nike.
What it does: Mobile app measurement and tracking.
Why it’s hot: AppsFlyer is a mobile apps measurement platform that allows developers, brands and agencies to measure and optimize their mobile customer acquisition funnel from one real-time dashboard. The company has measured more than $1 billion in mobile ad spend. In 2014 it raised a $7.1 million round from Pitango Venture Capital and Magma Venture Partners, bringing total funding to $28 million.
Argus Cyber Security
What it does: Cyber security for connected cars.
Why it’s hot: The Argus Intrusion Prevention System enables car manufacturers to protect technologically advanced connected vehicles from current and future malicious attacks. The company was founded by cyber security experts from the Israeli Army’s elite 8200 unit. In 2014 it raised $4 million from Magma Venture Partners, Vertex Venture Capital and Zohar Zisapel, co-founder of the RAD Group.
What it does: Cloud security company.
Why it’s hot: CloudLock’s unified cloud security platform helps organizations protect their sensitive data in public cloud applications such as Google Apps, Salesforce, Dropbox, Box, ServiceNow, Office 365 and other apps. It supports more than 10 million users at customers such as BBVA, HBO and Whirlpool. In 2014 the company raised $23 million in two rounds, reaching close to $35 million in total funding.
What it does: Pocket-sized molecular sensor.
Why it’s hot: The company’s SCiO, shipping now, is a tiny spectrometer that allows users to get relevant information about the chemical make-up of things around them, sent directly to their smartphones. Its Kickstarter project raised £2.7 million from 10,000 backers last year. Also funded by Khosla Ventures and angel investors, it was recently named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.
What it does: automated conversion optimization tools.
Why it’s hot: Its SaaS platform delivers personalized website experiences automatically. It currently delivers more than three billion optimized page views per month. Customers include the New York Times, NBC and eToro. The company has raised $15 million to date from the New York Times Company, ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Bessemer Venture Partners, Marker LLC and Innovation Endeavors.
What it does: Tool to visualize the brain’s neural activity.
Why it’s hot: ElMindA was just named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. It enables high-resolution visualization of the neuro-physiological interconnections of the human brain at work. The device has potential for treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, concussion, ADHD, pain, stroke, depression, and other conditions. Currently being used by leading pharmaceutical companies to monitor the effect of drugs on the brain.
Zebra Medical Vision
What it does: Medical imaging research platform.
Why it’s hot: Co-founded by serial entrepreneur Eyal Gura, the company is in private beta, but it’s aiming to improve the quality of life for billions by building the world’s largest medical imaging insights platform — bringing together computer vision researchers, huge clinical data sets and vast computational resources to identify diseases faster and more accurately than current methods. In April Khosla Ventures led an $8 million seed round.
What it does: Advances payments for invoices.
Why it’s hot: Fundbox focuses on B2B-oriented SMEs. Its tens of thousands of customers connect their accounting packages to Fundbox’s risk engine, which examines data on the company’s financial health and customer base before offering a loan. Funds arrive the next day. In March the company raised $40 million in a Series B round led by General Catalyst, bringing total funding to $57.5 million.
What it does: Transportation app
Why it’s hot: Moovit is a navigation app for buses, trains and the subway; it helps users avoid delays and more smoothly navigate public transport systems in 600 cities across 55 countries. The company raised $50 million in a Series C funding round earlier this year from investors that include BMW i Ventures, Keolis (the largest French transportation group) and Sequoia Capital.
What it does: Syndicated content like quizzes and lists.
Why it’s hot: PlayBuzz’s ad-free content can be embedded in websites to boost engagement metrics such as page views, ad impressions, time spent online and sharing rate. It has more than one billion users across its network and generates more traffic on Facebook than Huffington Post or BuzzFeed. In March the company raised $16 million in a Series B round; total funding is close to $20 million.
What it does: Nanotechnology company.
Why it’s hot: StoreDot has discovered self-assembled nanodots of biological origin, and has put these at the core of several patented innovations. Its flash battery can recharge mobile phones in minutes rather than hours. It’s developing an electric car battery that could recharge in just six minutes. StoreDot has raised $66 million, including an $18 million Series C round from Samsung Ventures, Norma Investments and existing investors.
What it does: Video creation platform.
Why it’s hot: Wibbitz’s natural language processing algorithms re-package textual content into rich video summaries that can be watched on the web or mobile devices. It generates thousands of videos each month for customers such as The Telegraph and The Times of Israel. In March Wibbitz raised an $8 million Series B round to expand in the U.S.; total funding is $11 million.
What it does: Maritime tracking and big data analysis.
Why it’s hot: Windward aggregates and analyzes maritime data to provide an accurate and actionable picture of what’s happening at sea. Its services are used by intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies worldwide. In April it raised $10.8 million from Hong-Kong based Horizon Ventures; it previously raised $5 million. The new funds will be used to launch FORESEA, a platform for traders, investors and analysts.
What it does: Freemium customer content marketing platform.
Why it’s hot: Yotpo is a plug-and-play social review and content solution for e-commerce websites. The service includes reports and analytics, giving its 100,000 customers actionable insight to improve merchandising strategy. Yotpo claims its services generated an additional $50 million for its customers in 2014. In June the company raised $15 million for U.S. expansion. It has raised a total of $30 million.
Below The Radar
What it does: Network security platform.
Why it’s hot: Current in stealth mode, Cato Networks was founded to make network security work for the distributed, mobile and cloud-enabled enterprise. The company says it is building a platform that will change the way network security is delivered, managed and evolved. Its management team comes from companies that include Check Point Software, Imperva, Incapsula and Trusteer.
What it does: Makes life harder for cyber attackers.
Why it’s hot: Illusive’s solutions focus on the weakest link in a targeted attack: the human team. It takes attackers who breach a user’s network into an illusive world where the data is unreliable. This disrupts the attack, but not the customer’s business. Illusive is the first company to come out of the Team8 accelerator, which in June announced $5 million in funding for Illusive.
What it does: Cyber-security.
Why it’s hot: SentinelOne uses predictive execution modeling to protect organizations against advanced threats. The company was formed by a team of cyber security experts from Intel, McAfee, Check Point, IBM and the Israel Defense Forces. It has raised more than $15 million from Accel Partners, Data Collective, Granite Hill Capital Partners, Tiger Global Management and The Westly Group. Customers include Netflix and Amazon.
What it does: Full stack enterprise mobility platform.
Why it’s hot: SkyGiraffe’s platform securely integrates with a company’s back-end systems, enabling enterprises to build mobile CRM, ERP, finance, inventory and other data-driven applications for iOS, Android or Windows Phone. There is no coding required. In February the company closed a $3 million Series A round from 500 Startups and Trilogy Equity Partners. Total funding is $4.5 million; Microsoft Ventures is also an investor.