3 Israeli start-ups reach final of 2011 TechCrunch

Over the next three days, they will compete against 30 other companies in the Battlefield for the Best Start-up title.

By ROY GOLDENBERG / GLOBES
September 13, 2011 23:20
2 minute read.
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Three Israeli start-ups are participating in the biannual startup TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield competition in San Francisco: Farmigo, Shaker and Tonara.

Over the next three days, they will compete against 30 other companies in the Battlefield for the Best Start-up title.

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Farmigo CEO Benzi Ronen and CTO Yossi Pik, both former SAP employees, founded the company two years ago. It has developed a platform that shortens the supply chain by skipping over food retailers that act as an intermediary. Farmigo’s Internet platform enables the end-user to purchase food directly from farms, fishermen, or whoever caught or prepared the food.

The platform enables growers to manage their stock and to create an ordering and distribution system, which also benefits buyers since they can choose which foods to purchase.

Ronen says that more than 100 farms and food producers in the US are currently using his platform, and that two-three new producers join every week.

Farmigo’s average monthly revenue is $2.5 million. The company has raised $2 million to date from Darya Ventures and private investors.

Shaker, owned by Scene53, has developed a Facebook app called Shaker, which has received strong virtual publicity over the last few weeks on social networks. The idea behind the product is a virtual bar inside Facebook, where each person has a virtual character that moves around in a bar and can speak with other people and join existing conversations.

According to Israel Venture Capital, Scene53, founded by Yonatan Maor, Ofer Rondstein, Yonatan Kaseh and Gad Maor, has raised $3 million from Pitango Venture Capital.



Tonara, owned by Yair Lavi and Ivgeni Begelfort, has developed a complex iPad app that enables musicians to forego sheet music, and to use their iPad instead. The app is based on characters from special composers, some of which come free with the app, and others which can be downloaded for a fee of $1 from a built-in app store. The advantage of the app, on top of its ability to display musical notes, is its ability to listen to what’s being played, and to follow the notes and even to automatically turn pages. It can also show the notes for each instrument separately. Tonara raised funds from Index Fund, Lool Ventures and private investors.

At least one Israeli company has participated in each of the last three TechCrunch Disrupt competitions against 20 or 30 contestants. Four Israeli companies participated in the last conference in May.

The winner of the May 2010 competition was anti-frustration software company Soluto Ltd., founded by CEO Tomer Dvir and CTO Yishai Green. Soluto’s technology enables frustrated users to solve personal computer and browser problems.

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