10 Israeli start-ups to watch closely in 2015

Of the thousands of Israeli start-ups vying to become global businesses, only a small percentage will make it to the big leagues.

By BEN LANG
December 29, 2014 23:19
4 minute read.
A marketing and hi-tech job fair

A marketing and hi-tech job fair run by Gvahim at the Google TLV Campus in December.. (photo credit: MICHAEL ALVAREZ-PEREYRE/GVAHIM)

Of the thousands of Israeli start-ups vying to become global businesses, only a small percentage will make it to the big leagues. So which ones are on the verge of greatness? Here are some up-and-comers I believe you should watch closely in the upcoming year. These are all “hot” start-ups that have investors chasing after them. They’ve raised significant rounds of funding recently and are growing rapidly. Most importantly, they’re building topnotch products that people want to use. Of course, aside from these 10 there are many other worthy Israeli start-ups to keep an eye on.

StoreDot

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StoreDot is developing next-generation, self-assembled nanodots of biological origin. The breakthrough technology has been used to develop a fast-charging smartphone battery technology.

A few months ago StoreDot revealed a prototype device that fully charged a phone within 30 seconds. The technology can be utilized for smartphones, TVs, energy storage devices and more.

It has the potential to make a radical impact on a vast number of industries. The company is based in Ramat Gan, and recently raised a monster $42 million in a series B funding round.

PlayBuzz

PlayBuzz is an open network for publishers, bloggers and brands to create quizzes, lists and polls. After creating the content, publishers can embed it on their website. PlayBuzz was the secondmost shared website on Facebook in September. In under two years, the social quiz company has reached over 50 million unique visitors per month. It’s one of the fastest growing websites in the US according to Alexa. The company was created by Shaul Olmert, son of former prime minister Ehud Olmert. It recently raised $3m. from Carmel Ventures.

Consumer Physics

Consumer Physics is behind the handheld molecular scanner “SCiO.” The futuristic device lets you scan materials or physical objects and instantly provides you information on their chemical make-up. The company raised over $2.7m. in a hugely popular Kickstarter campaign.

They’ve also raised additional funding from Khosla Ventures and Ourcrowd.

OrCam

OrCam is developing a device that consists of a smart camera mounted on the frames of eyeglasses, which can see text, recognize objects and whisper in your ear. The artificial vision company is helping blind people understand the world in a new way. The company recently raised a whopping $15m. from Intel Capital. OrCam is based in Jerusalem.

Air

Air provides an app that allows people to broadcast and watch live videos of their friends and themselves. Their platform is exploding in countries around the world, as video broadcasting becomes more popular. The company was formerly known as Yevvo. In February it raised a $3.7m. in series A from Aleph and Entree Capital.

SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb offers research tools that helps users understand the traffic of the websites they visit and to discover related sites.

It also allows users to monitor website traffic, discover valuable insights about competitors’ sites, and identify growth opportunities.

The company recently added mobile analytics and app engagement insights to their product.

With offices in Tel Aviv, London, Dubai and soon New York City, the company is turning into an analytics power house. It recently raised $15m. from Naspers and Lord David Alliance.

Bringg

Bringg is bringing the Uber effect to every business out there.

It gives businesses the ability to show you where your pizza, package, or cable guy is in real time, which can save people huge amounts of time. The company raised a $2.5m. in a seed round this past year. Founded by Ra’anan Cohen and Lior Sion, Bringg is based in Tel Aviv.

EatWith

EatWith is a community that invites people to dine in homes, connect with hosts, share stories and enjoy home-made cuisine.

The company is known as “Airbnb For Home-Cooked Meals.” Some meals include “Secrets of magical Arabic Cuisine” and “New Year’s vegetarian feast.” The start-up recently raised $8m., led by Greylock.

EatWith has a presence in Tel Aviv and San Francisco.

Roomer


Roomer is a peer-to-peer marketplace for non-refundable hotel rooms. The company lets users sell unwanted hotel rooms to avoid paying a cancellation fee.

This massive market is a huge opportunity for this young startup.

The company recently raised a series A round of $5m. with Uri Levine, cofounder of Waze among the investors.

HoneyBook

HoneyBook provides professional event organizers with the modern tools they need. The invite-only platform claims 100 percent customer retention. The company participated in UpWest Labs, an accelerator in Silicon Valley for Israeli start-ups. The company raised a $10m. series A in September.

Investors included Evan Williams, cofounder of Twitter, and Naval Ravikant, cofounder of Angel List.

The writer is the cofounder of Mapme and creator of Mapped In Israel.


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