After Waze – Who’s Next? Six Israeli Companies To Watch
Now that Google has reportedly agreed to buy Israeli crowd-powered navigation app Waze for $1.3 billion, many other “Silicon Wadi” startups are daring to dream big. Below are six that could potentially follow in Waze’s footsteps.
Thirty-four million users have created an online presence through this freemium web publishing platform, which employs a drag-and-drop editor that Internet experts and novices alike can operate. Users are offered hundreds of designer-made templates and can boost their site’s functionality with Wix-developed and third-party applications.
Founded in Tel Aviv in 2006 by graduates of the Israeli military’s elite intelligence unit “8200,” Wix has offices in San Francisco and New York City and has raised $61 million from VC funds. It is reportedly planning to raise $75 million in an IPO on Wall Street.
“Everyone knows that a standalone, professional website is still the Internet Gold Standard,” says CEO and cofounder Avishai Abrahami. “With Wix, you don’t need lots of cash and technical knowledge to create an awesome site.”
Wibbitz’s text-to-video platform uses advanced language processing to allow anything published online to be instantly turned into a video clip. Its publisher solution–which boasts a clientele of 50,000 websites and 17 million monthly viewers–will soon be available for iPhone.
“The Internet is about enabling personalization, yet to this point content has largely come in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ text format,” says the startup’s CEO and cofounder, Zohar Dayan. “Wibbitz is about making content accessible through a rich new experience that makes more sense when getting information on-the-go and on a small screen.”
Battery drainage is one of the biggest problems faced by consumers as they increase their reliance on smartphones. Enter Powermat, whose wireless power solutions help millions charge their devices between home, car, and office.
“After all,” says CEO Ron Poliakine, “if our devices are wireless then why should we still be tethered to an outlet for power?”
Powermat sells a wide range of retail products through a joint venture with Duracell and has placed its technology at 1,500 locations in the U.S. including Starbucks outlets, Madison Square Garden, and Jay-Z’s 40/40 nightclub. In May 2013 it acquired Finnish rival PowerKiss for an undisclosed sum, settling a conflict over wireless power standards in the process.