The Top-10 Biggest Startups in Israel by Funding
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With a population that’s just 2.64% the size of the U.S., Israel has made quite a name for itself by building one of the most technologically advanced military forces in the world. According to an article by the New York Post earlier this year, Israel is one of the world’s top weapons exporters with approximately $6.5 billion in annual arms sales. They are also the world’s largest exporter of military drones with a 60 percent global market share, and they’ve even developed some pretty scary looking ground drones that look more like autonomous vehicles – because they are:
Why do we see so much technological innovation in Israel? Maybe the answer lies in an interesting study that points to Ashkenazi Jews as having a higher average intelligence out of a typical human population, but we’re not going to talk about that because then all the stupid people out there will get offended. Instead, we’ll attribute it to their mandatory military enrollment. There’s nothing like a little bit of discipline to get people motivated so they don’t just sit around all day talking about how the world owes them something.
We tried to find a list of the top 10 startups in Israel and didn’t have any luck so we decided to create our own. These lists are always tough because sometimes you miss a startup and someone’s feelings get hurt (we always try to make these situations right so if that’s you, just email us and we’ll sort you out). In order to make this process completely objective, we simply went to Crunchbase and took the top-10 startups that have taken in the most total funding over the past 10 years. Based on the results of that query, we’re happy to present 10 of the biggest startups in Israel.
|Company Name||Total Funding (millions)||Category Groups||Description|
|Hardware||INFINIDAT provides next generation enterprise proven flash-optimized storage at a disruptive price point.|
|Hardware||Compass-EOS is a company that enables data transfer between microchips.|
|Agriculture and Farming||Kaiima is an agro-biotech startup company that increases crop productivity by using Clean Genome Multiplication (CGM) technology.|
|Hardware||ColorChip designs and manufactures optical sub-systems and components for the datacom and telecom markets.|
|Financial Services||OurCrowd breaks barriers to startup investing, providing global, VC-level dealflow, due diligence and terms to accredited investors.|
|Internet Services||SimilarWeb offers research tools that help users understand insights about any websites or mobile app.|
|Professional Services||Fiverr is a freelance services platform for creative and professional services.|
|Internet Services||Conduit is a leading cloud-based software innovation company.|
|Hardware||Celeno Communications develops components and subsystems for high performance carrier-class Wi-Fi systems and networks.|
|Health Care||EarlySense, a company developing signal-processing technology, offers EverOn, a contact-free and early detection patient supervision system.|
Let’s look at each one a bit closer.
Founded in 2011, INFINIDAT is one of two unicorns in our list with a $1.2 billion valuation having taken in $230 million from investors so far to develop their data storage solution called the “InfiniBox”. With a downtime of just 3 seconds a year, these pieces of hardware use a state-of-the-art self-healing architecture. They recently announced their “Faster than All-Flash” challenge where they claim they’ll beat any of their competitors using flash storage arrays in a speed test or donate $10,000 to charity if they lose. Here’s a look at the hardware being put to the test:
One of the reasons they’re faster than anyone else is because they’re using machine learning to make real-time intelligent caching decisions.
Founded in 2006, Compass-EOS has taken in $176 million from investors that include Cisco. Their last round was a Series G in 2014, and since then, they’ve changed their name to Exaware without saying anything about what that means. Prior to their rebrand, Compass-EOS was said to be taking on Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) with a chip for routers that integrates optical and electronic components on a single chip. Very little news has been released about what they’ve been up to over the last 4 years and even less information is available about what this rebrand means. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Founded in 2006, agro-biotech startup Kaiima has taken in $133 million in funding from some big names like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and the World Bank to develop a non-GMO plant breeding technology that increases yield by around 10%. The technology is called “EP” and it’s being used on all kinds of crops from wheat to tomatoes. Here’s how it works:
The technology works with all major crops and plant species and their customer list includes some big names like world leading chemicals company BASF (ETR:BAS) and German life sciences company Bayer (ETR:BAYN).
Founded in 2001, ColorChip has taken in $128 million in funding from a variety of investors that include Motorola (NYSE:MSI) and Bessemer Venture Partners with their latest round of $17 million closing in April of this year. The company’s SystemOnGlass technology is a glass-based photonic integration platform that is being used to create devices for access networks. They have two product lines; high speed optical transceivers for the Datacom/Telecom markets and PLC splitters for the FTTx markets. In case you’re wondering, an “optical transceiver chip” transmits and receives data using optical fiber as opposed to electrical wire and “PLC splitters” distribute or combine optical signals.
Founded in 2013, crowd investing platform OurCrowd has taken in $112.5 million which they’ve used to create a global platform for accredited investors to participate in funding rounds for some pretty decent startups. So far they’ve raised over $440 million which they’ve used to invest in 120 different startups. More than 20,000 accredited investors use the platform which has made investments in some companies we’ve covered before like Zebra Medical Imaging, Hyperloop One, and Intuition Robotics. They even invested in one of the largest cannabis startups in the world, Syqe Medical, which is building a cannabis inhaler.
Update 11/20/2020: OurCrowd has raised $60 million in strategic funding to bring the best of Israeli tech to Japan’s large industrial and financial sectors. This brings the company’s total funding to $172.5 million to date.
Founded in 2007, internet services startup SimilarWeb has taken in $112.2 million, some of which they’ve used to make three acquisitions so far. The startup describes their product as “market intelligence solutions that provide customers with insights to help them understand, track and grow their digital market share“. Essentially, you can use their product to look at various quantified data for websites like the below example:
We use it to track our growth here at Nanalyze and have found their numbers to be a bit off when compared to Google Analytics (a free tool websites use to learn about their traffic and visitors). This could be because they’re processing more than 5 billion events daily using machine learning in order to come up with their numbers. One of the best features SimilarWeb offers is the ability to compare your website with other websites.
Founded in 2010, freelance services startup Fiverr has taken in $111 million to provide a platform that lets people sell things for $5 and up. There are more than 3 million services on offer including things like writing, logo design, programming, and pretty much anything you can think of that’s legal. Each task performed is called a “gig”, and since 2010 they’ve completed more than 30 million gigs with a current velocity of 950 gigs per hour. That would equate to a run rate of about $41 million a year, but it’s actually much more than that since they offer “pro gigs” which can be priced at up to $500. Fiverr makes their money by taking 20% of each transaction.
Founded in 2005, cloud services startup Conduit has taken in $109.8 million in funding so far with their last round of $100 million taking place back in 2012 as a private equity investment by JP Morgan. Conduit claims to be “Israel’s first billion-dollar internet company” but they aren’t presently blessed with unicorn status by CB Insights so we’re a bit confused. Today, they’re known as Como (formerly Conduit Mobile) and they offer Como Sense, “the leading end-to-end customer engagement solution for small and midsize retail and hospitality chains“:
Businesses with Como Sense inside their point of sale (POS) systems have shown a +48% increase in purchase frequency, and a +41% jump in monthly purchase amounts.
Founded in 2005, fabless semiconductor company Celeno has taken in $107 million in funding from investors that include Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) to develop high performance Wi-Fi chips which have been “integrated into numerous OEM Wi-Fi devices and have been deployed in tens of millions of homes around the world by over 75 leading service providers worldwide“. There is an ever increasing need for such chips. According to Celeno, in the home alone, the number of connected devices is expected to jump from 9 to 25 by 2020 with Wi-Fi being the main enabler.
Founded in 2004, medical device startup EarlySense has taken in $106 million so far from investors that include Samsung to develop a patient supervision system. The company’s lead product, EverOn, is a contact-free early detection patient supervision system that measures, records, displays, and alerts heart and respiration rates, as well as bed entries and exits, patient motion, and quality of sleep from under the mattress.
EarlySense’s integrated sensor utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics to provide actionable health insights and improve clinical outcomes. You can pick one up on Amazon for $199.
Update 01/10/2019: EarlySense has raised an additional $39 million from investors that include Wells Fargo Strategic Capital to fuel the company’s vision of ‘an EarlySense sensor in every bed.’ This brings the company’s total funding to $145 million to date.
If you happen to be counting, we’ve already looked at 10 startups but we’re going to throw in a freebie. With $105 million in funding so far, a startup called ironSource is only one of two Israeli startups that has made it to the CB Insights unicorn list (the other was INFINIDAT which we discussed earlier). ironSource builds monetization, engagement, analytics and discovery tools for app developers, device manufacturers, mobile carriers and advertisers. Their company culture seems pretty cool and they even have their own band, ironBand.
With all the focus on Silicon Valley these days, you don’t see a whole ton of press coverage on what’s going on in the Israel startup community. As we’ve seen here, this tiny country has managed to do quite a lot with quite a little.