Microsoft gives boost to Israeli start-ups
Petach Tikva firm RotaryView reveals plans for a 3D photography platform for e-commerce to 'The Jerusalem Post.'
Petach Tikva firm RotaryView Photo: RotaryView
Microsoft’s increasing involvement in Israeli hi-tech has given a boost to many
local start-ups, including Petach Tikva firm RotaryView – which revealed its
plans for a 3D photography platform for e-commerce to The Jerusalem Post
RotaryView has been shortlisted to participate in Microsoft’s
first-ever incubator program for early-stage start-ups, which will take place at
the US multinational’s Israel Research & Development Center in Herzliya
Pituach. This follows its acceptance last week into Microsoft’s BizSpark Plus
program, which gives it two years’ access to open cloud computing platform
Windows Azure in a package worth roughly $60,000.
Founders and serial
entrepreneurs Gev Rotem, Gal Rotem and Ofir Shefer are developing products which
they believe will strengthen e-commerce – an industry JP Morgan estimates will
be worth $963 billion a year by 2013 – for both online vendors and
They released their first product in March: a platform which
allows even the smallest businesses to present a 360-degree view of their
product, by simply photographing the subject from all angles and uploading.
Large companies have been employing 360° vision of their products for quite some
time, but until now the product has been expensive and time-consuming as it
requires knowledge of code.
Next on RotaryView’s agenda is
three-dimensional photography, which it has been working on since securing a US
patent in 2011. The company believes the time is ripe for this innovation, with
more 3D-capable computers, tablets and smartphones being launched onto the
market all the time.
“We believe every company that shows its products in
2D will move to 360° or 3D very soon, in order to let the customer view their
product from all angles,” CEO Gev Rotem told the Post.
Citing a 2010
Adobe survey which found that 91 percent of online shoppers prefer seeing a
product in 360°, Rotem said it was no longer sufficient for companies to prevent
their customers from being able to fully see and learn about a product. He added
that providing 360° or 3D views would help reduce return rates significantly,
particularly in the United States where customers take advantage of relaxed
RotaryView’s founders are in many ways typical of young
Israeli entrepreneurs. Gev Rotem made a successful exit from his
diamond-purchasing company in November, while Gal Rotem and Shefer are owners of
animation studio Visual3D. Their latest project was entirely self-funded, until
Microsoft stepped in.
Gev and Gal Rotem’s fathers – who are brothers –
instilled the spirit of entrepreneurship in their children from a young age. In
1985, a decade before the introduction of the Palm Pilot, they invented a device
combining a calendar and a phone book.
“They were a little bit ahead of
their time,” Gev Rotem admits, but he said their experience taught him and his
cousin to seize a good opportunity when it presents itself.