The UK edition of the renowned American tech magazine WIRED published its yearly round-up of Europe’s 100 “hottest startups” for 2019, featured in the August/September issue out on newsstands (and airports!) this month. This edition’s cover features Demis Habassis, CEO of London-based company DeepMind on which WIRED does a deep dive.
Among those 100 companies are 10 “hottest startups” from Tel Aviv (and Israel generally). In an article highlighting “success stories” from the Startup Nation, WIRED UK’s business editor Katia Moskvitch emphasizes that Israel’s tech capital – Tel Aviv – has “the highest number of startups per capita in the world…with more than 6,000, of which 18 are unicorns…more than 100 venture capital funds, plus hundreds of accelerators and co-working places.”
The article cites Amit Gilon, an investor at Kaedan Capital VC fund, as saying that “Israel is not just about successful B2B [business-to-business] companies anymore, such as Checkpoint, Nice and Amdocs, but also about ‘big B2C [business-to-consumer] success stories like Playtika, Wix, Fiverr and others.'”
WIRED has slowly been rolling out its top 10 lists from cities across Europe (and Israel, which is technically in Asia) this past month. The “hottest startups” in London, Berlin, Dublin and Helsinki, are already available online.
Here are the top 10 from Israel:
Founded in 2011 by Oren Kaniel and Reshef Mann, AppsFlyer is a mobile attribution and marketing analytics firm headquartered in Herzliya with offices in the US, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The company develops software products that help marketers and developers measure and analyze ad spending and maximize marketing investments.
AppsFyler’s platforms are integrated with major social media companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snap and its clients include major companies like HBO, Waze, and Alibaba. AppsFlyer says it works with over 12,000 brands worldwide.
The company recently announced the rollout of a new feature and protection layer aimed at combatting global app install ad fraud. The AppsFlyer 2019 State of Mobile Fraud Report found that $2.3 billion in ad spend was exposed to app install fraud in the first half of the year.
“We often refer to fraud as a game of cat and mouse, and after massive bot attacks in the summer of 2018, protection solutions found ways to counter the attacks,” said Mann, serving as CTO, in a statement. “But in April 2019, the wave surged again as app install fraud evolved from device farms with physical devices to device emulators and other sophisticated bots and schemes capable of unlimited scale. The speed at which fraudsters adapt is also accelerating, from one to two months in 2018 to as little as two to three days today.”
“Effectively combating fraud in this high-stakes arms race demands constant attention, innovation and the ability to crunch massive data sets across machine learning algorithms,” he added.
AppsFlyer has raised close to $85 million in funding to date.
Founded in 2015 by Kobi Marenko, Noam Arkind and Oz Fixman, Arbe Robotics’ 4D imaging technology provides Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), level 4, and 5 fully autonomous cars with high-resolution imaging radar that enables them to “see” the environment in any weather and lighting condition; in essence the future car’s “eyes and brain.”
The technology “can actually separate a child from a car, ‘see’ a bicycle near a track, and a motorcycle merging into the vehicle’s lane,” Marenko was cited by WIRED as saying.
According to the report, Arbe Robotics has “started shipping beta products to customers and expects to be delivering to car companies by the end of 2019.”
Arbe has offices in the US and China and recently raised $10 million, bringing its total funding to date to over $22 million.
Founded in 2016, Aurora Labs is an Israeli-founded startup that developed automotive software fixes and predictive maintenance for connected vehicles, dubbed “self-healing software.” Aurora says its machine learning algorithms uniquely address all three stages of an automotive maintenance system to detect, repair, and seamlessly implement over-the-air (OTA) updates to faults in the software.
“Our technology fills a crucial role, enabling innovation without compromising on safety in the increasingly software-reliant automotive industry,” said Aurora Labs CEO Zohar Fox in a statement last year when the company announced an $8 million funding round.
Aurora Labs has offices in Tel Aviv and Munich.
Boom25 is an e-commerce startup that looks to game-ify online shopping by disrupting the cash-back customer reward scene. With its nontraditional cashback opportunities, Boom25 offers the 25th customer a full refund on their purchase for shopping through the site.
Founded in 2017 by Giora Mendel and Zachi Zach, the company is headquartered in Tel Aviv with an office in London.
According to WIRED, “Mandel had the idea when he overheard his children play a game called ‘7-Boom,’ a counting game where players say ‘boom’ instead of seven or its multiples.”
Boom25 says it works with over 700 retailers. According to a CTech report last year, “the company’s business model is based on revenue from affiliations from online payment companies such as PayPal and per-purchase commission from online retailers.” The lottery-based system makes Boom25’s activities a challenge in certain markets, including Israel, where there are strong anti-gambling regulations.
Boom25’s website is inaccessible in Israel.
Tel Aviv’s Deep Instinct claims to be the world’s first cybersecurity firm to apply Artificial Intelligence’s deep learning to its solutions for endpoint and mobile, raising some $65 million in funding since it was founded in 2015.
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The award-winning startup developed security solutions that protect against zero-day threats and APT (advanced persistent threat) attacks, and says it is able to identify malware from any data source in real-time.
Deep Instinct was named by US data processing chip maker Nvidia as the “most disruptive AI startup” out of over 800 ventures at the 2017 Inception Awards and a “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum.
The company has offices in Tel Aviv and New York.
GivingWay is a socially minded, for-profit tech company looking to reestablish traditional volunteering and travel in the digital era. With GivingWay’s free social platform, people and non-profits from all over the world can easily connect to work together toward a cause.
Potential volunteers can find the right opportunity by following three easy steps: using search filters to narrow down a cause and location, applying to work with interesting organizations generated by the search, and finalizing their plans.
GivingWay does not work with intermediaries and provides a free service to help create a mutually beneficial volunteering experience.
Based in Tel Aviv, was founded in 2015 by Israeli entrepreneurs Gigi Levy-Weiss, Alon Elish, and Orit Strauss Raz.
Tel Aviv-based company Gloat, formerly known as Workey, developed a career development platform that anonymously matches job seekers with personalized career opportunities.
Founded in 2014, Gloat “provides smart recommendations on what an individual’s next career steps could be by using advanced AI to analyze their unique and complex career history while simultaneously comparing the user’s information to the career paths of millions of other people,” according to its company description. Like Tinder for ambitious career people.
“The initial idea focused more on the anonymity aspect of allowing companies and candidates to match completely blind to race, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, purely based on merit,” Ben Reuveni, a Gloat co-founder told WIRED.
Gloat works with over 300 companies, including big names such as WeWork and Dell.
Last year, Gloat was named to Fast Company’s “World’s Most Innovative Companies” for 2018.
Founded in 2010, JoyTunes is a music education startup that develops music learning solutions and apps for those who want to learn how to play music. It aims to be the “Netflix of the world of music,” JoyTunes CEO and co-founder Yuval Kaminka has said.
It is currently known for three apps: Simply Piano, a mobile app released in 2015 that helps people with little to no experience learn how to play the piano; Piano Maestro, an iPad app for piano practice motivation released in 2013 that includes piano methods and ways to build up music sheet-reading skills; and Piano Dust Buster, a gamified introduction to piano released in 2012.
Kaminka “created the startup after watching his nephew play tennis on his Nintendo Wii while avoiding music lessons – so he decided to make music learning fun,” according to WIRED.
Last year, JoyTunes raised $10 million in a funding round.
Founded in 2017, Upstream Security offers the world’s first cloud-based security solution for connected and autonomous fleets. Using data analytics and powerful machine learning algorithms, Upstream’s Automotive Cybersecurity system is said to detect and prevent both cyber attacks and policy infringements.
The system provides fleet operators with a high-visibility platform security management platform for monitoring fleet and policy health and improving overall fleet performance.
Upstream has raised $11 million for its beta-stage services. It is based in Herzliya with an office in San Mateo, California.
Zebra Medical Vision
Zebra Medical Vision, founded in 2014 by Eyal Toledano, Eyal Gura, and Elad Benjamin, uses AI to read medical scans and automatically detect anomalies. Through its innovative development and use of 11 different algorithms, Zebra Medical can identify visual symptoms for diseases such as breast cancer, osteoporosis, fatty liver, and conditions such as vertebral fractures, aneurysms, and brain bleeds.
Zebra Medical has seven CE marks for its various algorithms and 510(k) FDA clearance for three of. It has raised over $50 million in venture funding since it was established five years ago.
In 2017, Zebra Medical partnered with multinational tech giant Google to provide its algorithms on Google Cloud, so hospitals and medical professionals in the US can access the service for $1 per scan. The company says its data and research platform has already yielded AI imaging insights for millions of scans.