7 Israeli Startups You Should Know

A startup paradise in Tel Aviv

Startup Nation

Although it’s relatively easy to launch a startup in Israel, it is often difficult to grow that company. With a small domestic market of just 8 million people, Israeli startups often relocated to the States or sold to American or European companies that could leverage larger markets.

But lately, the Israeli startup scene is maturing, and business owners are choosing to stay on to grow their businesses at home. They’ve got plenty of support too – last year, Israel tech raised a record $4.8 billion, according to the Times of Israel.

What makes the Holy Land such a hotbed for startups?

Dan Senor, the co-author of Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, believes the country’s required military service has helped breed plenty of entrepreneurs by giving every citizen exposure to teamwork, leadership, and new technology.

And of course, that famous Israeli chutzpah hasn’t hurt the startup economy, either.

“Somewhere along the way–either at home, in school, or in the army – [Israelis] learn that assertiveness is the norm, reticence something that risks your being left behind,” Senor told Freakonomics.

Lior Vaknin, the founder of Israeli Startups NYC, put it this way to Quartz: “We don’t fear authority and question everything. I think this is inherited in Jewish life.”

Whether they relocated to the states (New York is a particular favorite), opt for an early sale, or stick it out in Tel Aviv, Israeli startups are growing.

Here are seven hot Israeli startups with chutzpah.

1. Fiverr

Ah, the gig economy. Depending on whom you ask, it’s either the best or worst thing to happen to the workplace. Whatever your opinion, the gig economy is here to stay, and Fiverr helps freelancers make the most of it with listings for gigs in programming, resume writing, graphic design, and a whole host of fields. Freelancers can earn anywhere from $5 to over $500 a pop on projects. Results vary, but at least three people on Fiverr are making six figure incomes, Forbes reports.

2. Cimagine

Will that couch fit into your living room? Wonder no more. Cimagine uses an augmented reality platform that enables users to virtually visualize purchases, such as couches, in their intended location. Cimagine works with Shop Direct and John Lewis, both UK retailers. Cimagine also works with Coca-Cola; the company’s tools help stores determine if that new Coke vending machine will fit in the corner. Late last year, Cimagine was acquired by Snapchat for a reported $30 to $40 million.

3. Waze

Waze was a cult favorite map app before Google bought it in 2013, reportedly for $1 billion. The mapping and turn-by-turn navigation app also crowdsources data on accidents, traffic cops, and bottlenecks in real time. Now over 50 million drivers help share information while on the road.

4. Wix

Everyone needs a website these days, but not everyone can build one or can afford to hire a pro. Enter: Wix. The company makes it easy to create websites with drag and drop tools. Since launching in 2006, they’ve added features like photo portfolios and AI assistance. The company, which went public in 2013, boasts 90 million users.

5. StoreDot

Think of StoreDot the next time your phone battery dies. The company has raised $66 million to fund its work harnessing the power of organic compounds to improve products like battery chargers. StoreDot’s proprietary battery chargers can completely power up a dead cell phone battery in about five minutes. In the future, the company could use its technology to recharge car batteries, but for now, we’re stuck with the same old chargers on the market. The company’s FlashBattery Case and FlashCharger won’t be out until the end of the year.

6 & 7. Outbrain and Taboola

Ever clicked on a related link? Chances are Outbrain or Taboola recommended it to you. These companies serve up sponsored content on publishers’ web pages to boost traffic to the likes of CNN, New York Magazine and the Washington Post. When companies like Outbrain or Taboola first hit the scene, they were supposed to help save the floundering media business, but today, many publishers have moved away from sponsored links after inappropriate or misleading content has been served up one too many times. And more recently, Taboola has come under fire for helping fund the alt-right movement. Investors don’t seem to be deterred, yet. Taboola has raised $160 million, while Outbrain has raised $194 million.


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