The 21 coolest tech startups in Israel REUTER/ Nir Elias
Israel continues to produce an impressive number of highly successful tech startups for a country with a population of just 9 million people.
The Middle Eastern country is sometimes referred to as "Startup Nation" thanks to the sheer number of entrepreneurs building businesses there, particularly in the coastal city of Tel Aviv.
Multinational tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft all have research centres in Israel but some of the local companies are arguably more interesting, with investors keen to get behind many them.
The startups have been ranked based on interviews with multiple investors on the ground in Israel and what the startups have achieved over the last year.
Founded in 2014 and backed by the likes of Salesforce billionaire Marc Benioff with $20 million (£16 million), this Tel Aviv-based company says it has
taught an algorithm to identify early signs of breast cancer with the help of thousands of previous mammograms.
That constantly improving algorithm — trained using a technique known as machine learning, which is a type of AI that equips computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed — is now better than radiologists using the best computer aided detection (CAD) methods for mammography, the company claims.
Drone safety startup ParaZero was incorporated in 2012 in Be’er Sheva, which is in southern Israel.
The company was founded by a group of aviation professionals, together with veteran drone operators, to help address drone safety.
Today, ParaZero develops customised safety systems for a wide variety of manned and unmanned platforms. ParaZero says that its R&D engineers work closely with drone manufacturers to create systems that are tailor made for their specific needs and attributes.
MyHeritage is a family-oriented social network service and genealogy website. It allows members to create their own family websites, share pictures and videos, organise family events, create family trees, and search for ancestors and historical records.
With over 85 million users, MyHeritage is one of the largest sites in the social networking and genealogy field.
Brayola.com is a personalised online bra shopping platform. Instead of using perfect-looking models and generic measurements, the site uses crowd-sourced information and real women, to find the right bra for each user’s specific body shape.
In addition, Brayola offers men a tool for buying the right bra as a gift to their significant others.
Cortica was founded in 2007 by a team of researchers from Israel's renowned Technion University.
The company has reverse-engineered the cortex in our brains to enable what it claims is a new generation of biologically inspired computational technologies.
Today the company's technology can identify what's in photos. It will index and tag images in real time, enabling users, advertisers, and publishers to understand them better.
Windward has built a big data platform that captures data from maritime sources. It can track a single ship and shipment to analysing worldwide trade patterns.
The company has raised more than $15 million (£12 million) from a network of investors that includes venture capital firm Horizons Ventures, which invests money on behalf of Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka-shing, who has an estimated net worth of $27.1 billion (£22 billion).
15. Argus Cyber Security
15. Argus Cyber Security
Founded in 2013 by a team of security enthusiasts, Argus develops technology for vehicles that can prevent them from being hacked.
An increasing number of automotive manufacturers are choosing to connect their cars to the internet. But the more vehicles become connected, the more vulnerable they are to cyber attacks. Indeed, hackers were able to
successfully "kill" a Jeep travelling on a highway last summer.
Argus' R&D is based in Tel-Aviv, while the company also has offices in Michigan, Silicon Valley, Stuttgart, and Tokyo.
14. Arbe Robotics
14. Arbe Robotics
Arbe Robotics has developed technology that could prove to be fundamental in helping autonomous delivery drones to get off the ground.
Based in Tel Aviv, Arbe Robotics has
built a radar system that combines hardware and software to allow autonomous drones to detect and avoid objects up to 1km away.
Founded in 2015, Nexar is on a mission to rid the world of car crashes with its vehicle-to-vehicle technology.
The Tel Aviv-based company has created a smartphone app that records what's on the road in front of you when mounted to the dashboard and alerts you to potential incidents ahead of time. In the event of a collision, the Nexar app can provide drivers with evidence of events as they occurred to help them with their insurance claim.
Vroom has built a website that allows people in the US to buy and sell cars.
The company employs a network of scouts who travel around the US looking for cars that can be snapped up and refurbished. It claims to have over 150,000 customers and hundreds of car makes and models on offer.
The company has
raised $218 million (£175 million) from investors like General Catalyst who have backed companies like Snapchat, Airbnb, and Stripe 11. SalesPredict
Founded in 2012, SalesPredict is an analytics startup that was
acquired by eBay in July.
SalesPrecit claims that its platform can help B2B companies increase revenues by identifying who their best potential customers are.
Founded in 2006, Wix is a web development platform that allows people to build HTML5 web sites and mobiles sites. The company's platform boasts 90 million users in 190 countries, according to the Wix website.
Wix IPO'd in November 2013 in a stock market listing that saw it raise $127 million (£101 million). The company's revenues came in at $205 million (£163 million) in 2015.
Via is a ride-sharing startup that helps people to move around cities. The company's app allows people to book a ride on their phone and get picked up on a nearby corner by a driver who may also be carrying other passengers.
The company, founded in 2012 by Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval, has raised over $100 million (£80 million) from the likes of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, Hearst Ventures, and Israeli venture fund 83North.
Mobileye develops vision-based advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). The systems can provide drivers with a warning if they are about to have a collision and help them to avoid the incident.
Mobileye's HQ and main R&D centre is in Jerusalem but it also has offices in New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Dusseldorf.
Founded by Ziv Aviram and Ammon Shashua in 1999, the company is one of Israel's more established technology companies and arguably not a startup anymore. But given the interesting nature of its work we thought we'd include it anyway.
Airobotics is developing autonomous drones that can be used for surveillance, mapping and other industrial uses by companies operating in areas such as mining or oil and gas.
raised a $28.5 million (£22.7 million) funding round in June and it currently has around 100 employees. 6. Viber
Viber is an instant messaging app that competes with the likes of WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger.
The company. which was acquired by Japan's Rakuten for $900 million (£716 million) in February 2014, boasts over 250 million active users per month and is the most widespread app in Israel,
according to Haaretz.
StoreDot's founder and CEO told Business Insider Doron Myersdorf that the batteries his company is making can charge a smartphone in one minute, compared with an hour and a half for the average device.
The company is using proprietary amino acids in place of some of a typical battery’s lithium components in order to achieve the battery breakthrough.
The batteries are due to go into mass production in 2017,
according to Bloomberg. 4. Flytrex
Flytrex is building personal delivery drones that can transport small packages from A to B, taking on UPS, Fedex, and DHL in the process. The company's drones, which can be controlled via an app, come with a "loading bay" for small parcels.
Flytrex was founded by Yariv Bash, who is best known as the cofounder of SpaceIL – Israel’s entry for the Google XPrize to put a spacecraft on the moon.
Backed by Joey Low, the angel behind WeWork and Taboola, Flytrex has already sold $700,000 (£555,000) worth of connected devices for drones to track flight paths, weather conditions and statistics like speed and distance over the cloud.
3. Sirin Mobile Technologies
3. Sirin Mobile Technologies
Sirin is a mobile phone company headed by serial entrepreneur and investor Moshe Hogeg.
The company has
raised $97 million (£77 million) to build a new $16,000 smartphone called Solarin, which was launched at a party in London earlier this year that was attended by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, Hogeg, who is also the founder of a social media network called Mobli, was an officer and company commander in the Israeli Defense Force where he led 150 soldiers in an "elite unit."
He's also the entrepreneur behind the Yo! app. Its sole function was to send the user's friends the word "Yo" as a text and audio notification.
Waze, a mobile satellite navigation application, was
acquired by Google in June 2013 for around $1.15 billion (£1 billion).
It was the first Israeli consumer-app company to be bought for over $1 billion and
helped to set the tone for building large tech companies in Israel.
Founded in 2007 by Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar, Uri Levine, the company's platform allows millions of drivers to share real-time traffic and road info that can save others time and gas money on their daily commute.
Gett is a startup that has developed an app that allows people in the UK, Israel, Russia, and the US to hail a taxi and get things delivered to them on demand via a courier service.
The Uber rival became a unicorn (or a startup with a valuation in excess of $1 billion (£770 million)), in May, when German automotive giant
Volkswagen invested $300 million (£231 million) in the company.
plans to double the size of its R&D team in Israel this year from around 100 to more than 200 by the end of 2016.