To identify the most promising Israeli start-up companies Informilo asked angel investors and VCs who actively invest in Israeli companies to nominate and vote on companies outside their own portfolios. Some on the list have moved their headquarters to the U.S. but all have Israeli roots. We’ve covered the most famous late-stage companies elsewhere. This year’s Top 25 list focuses on the next wave. Some are already making a name for themselves, others are below the radar but unlikely to stay there for long.
What it does: Cloud storage and data protection. Why it’s hot: CTERA offers its services to telecom operators, ISPs, and companies to help them create, deploy and manage cloud storage services quickly and easily. In July it raised $25 million, bringing total funding to $45 million. Backed by Bessemer Partners, Benchmark Capital, Venrock and Cisco, it’s considered by some to be a candidate to be “the Dropbox for the enterprise.”
What it does: Global online marketplace offering tasks and services, usually for $5. Why it’s hot: Fiverr provides a “living marketplace” for millions of micro-entrepreneurs in 196 countries. So far it has enabled more than three million tasks. In August Fiverr raised $30 million from Qumra Capital and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel Partners, and individuals in a Series C round, bringing funding to $50 million. The funds will be used for global expansion, and to improve Fiverr’s mobile offering.
What it does: Pioneer of broadcast-quality, video-over- cellular solutions that allow live video transmission from any location. Why it’s hot: LiveU’s 3G/4G LTE bonded uplink solutions are used by the world’s leading broadcasters, news agencies and online media in over 60 countries; services have been used for the London 2012 Olympics, 2012 U.S. Presidential Campaign, 2011 British Royal Wedding, Hurricane Irene, Japanese Tsunami, Super Bowl, and many other events. Now based in New Jersey.
What it does: On-demand development and test environments in the cloud. Why it’s hot: Ravello delivers Software-as-a-Service that enables customers to use public cloud services such as Amazon Web Services or Rackspace to develop and test their on-premises applications. Enterprises can encapsulate multi-tier applications and run them anywhere without making any changes. Last year Ravello raised $26 million from Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners.
What it does: Web measurement and competitive intelligence. Why it’s hot: SimilarGroup helps Internet users find and interpret web content. Its SimilarWeb service helps companies benchmark performance against competitors, increase web traffic, and discover opportunities to broaden their audiences, using the clickstream activity of tens of millions of Internet users around the world. This year it raised a large Series C round from Naspers, the South African media group; the investment is Naspers’ first in Israel.
What it does: Advertising monetization for social entertainment applications on web and mobile. Why it’s hot: Supersonic runs video, brand engagement, and direct response campaigns across a network of over 500 leading games, publishers, and social networks in 200 countries. First virtual currency monetization platform to focus on the European market; has processed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of virtual currencies since 2009. The only company that runs both CPA and video brand engagement campaigns in social games.
What it does: Marketing platform that helps brands tell compelling stories that matter to the consumer. Why it’s hot: SundaySky’s SmartVideo lifecycle marketing platform generates hundreds of thousands of SmartVideos daily, powering customer acquisition, service, growth and loyalty touch points across a range of industries. Customers include AT&T, Office Depot, and Allstate. Revenues tripled in 2012. In October 2013 raised $20 million in a Series C round led by Comcast Ventures.
What it does: Cybersecurity focused on mitigating attacks targeting the Active Directory. Why it’s hot:W Most companies use Microsoft Active Directory services in some way. Aorato detects suspicious activities by analyzing Active Directory-related traffic, and learning, profiling and predicting entities’ behaviors. In January the company raised $10 million from investors including Accel Partners, Glilot Capital Partners, Innovation Endeavors and the co-founders of Trusteer. Customers include Trusteer, NICE Systems and Matrix.
What it does: Mobile app measurement and tracking. Why it’s hot: AppsFlyer is a mobile apps measurement platform that allows app developers, brands and agencies to measure and optimize their entire mobile customer acquisition funnel from one real-time dashboard. The company’s SDKs are installed on more than 800 million mobile devices, measuring more than $500 million in mobile ad spend annually. In March it raised a $7.1 million round from Pitango Venture Capital and Magma Venture Partners.
What it does: Free credit and debit card protection; scans statements for fraudulent charges. Why it’s hot: Uses crowd-sourced big-data analytics to harness the collective knowledge of millions of consumers reporting billing complaints online and to their merchants and banks. Since its launch in 2012 months ago, BillGuard claims to have saved its users nearly $60 million in unwanted or fraudulent charges. It was the first financial service to integrate with the new iPhone Passbook Wallet; it also launched on Android in May.
What it does: World’s first affordable molecular sensor that fits in the palm of the hand. Why it’s hot: The company’s SCiO is a tiny spectrometer that allows users to get instant relevant information about the chemical make-up of things around them, sent directly to their smartphones. With every scan, SCiO learns more, enabling the device to get smarter. Its Kickstarter project was successfully funded in June, raising £2.7 million from 10,000 backers (the goal was $200,000). Also funded by Khosla Ventures and angel investors.
What it does: Automated conversion optimization tools. Why it’s hot: Dynamic Yield’s proprietary SaaS platform delivers personalized website experiences automatically. It currently delivers more than three billion optimized page views per month, and 120 million website visitors see personalized content. Customers include the New York Times, NBC, and eToro. The company has raised $15 million to date from the New York Times Company, ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Bessemer Venture Partners, Marker LLC and Innovation Endeavors.
What it does: Android launcher that adds contextual capabilities. Why it’s hot: EverythingMe delivers appropriate apps, contacts and information to the user’s homescreen, according to context. The company’s algorithms combine machine learning, statistical modeling, and domain knowledge expertise to identify specific scenarios. Raised $37 million in funding from BRM Group, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Horizons Ventures, Telefónica Digital, Singtel Innov8, and Mozilla.
What it does: The “Robin Hood of Fees.” Why it’s hot: FeeX shows users how much they pay in investment fees on IRAs and 401(k)s and helps them reduce those expenses. It has more than 60,000 users with $1 billion in assets under management. In August FeeX received $6.5 million in Series B funding from Horizon Ventures and existing investor Blumberg Capital, bringing the total raised to $9.6 million so far.
What it does: User-generated sports content platform. Why it’s hot: FTBpro is the largest fan-generated media platform in online football, engaging millions of users across the web, mobile apps and social networks. It receives 200 million page views and over 500 million Facebook and Twitter impressions monthly; half its traffic comes from mobile. In March it raised $18 million in funding to support global expansion, mobile and video product development, and a drive to reach one billion fans in Asia.
What it does: Payments for outstanding invoices to small businesses. Why it’s hot: Fundbox focuses on B2B-oriented SMEs. Customers connect their accounting packages to Fundbox’s risk engine, which examines data on the company’s financial health and customer base before offering a loan. Funds arrive the next day. Customers pay fees ranging from less than 1% to 3% of the money received. In April the company raised $17.5 million in Series A funding from Khosla Ventures and others.
What it does: Enables users to embed syndicated content such as quizzes and lists in their sites. Why it’s hot: Playbuzz’s ad-free content, created by its network of partners and editorial staff, can be embedded in websites to boost engagement metrics such as page views, ad impressions, time spent online, and sharing rate. The company, founded by Shaul Olmert, plans to offer its partners several revenue-share models “in the future.” In July it was the 29th most popular website in the U.S.
What it does: Nanotechnology. Why it’s hot: StoreDot has discovered self-assembled Nanodots of biological origin. Representing elementary biological building blocks, these multifunctional Nanodots are at the core of several patented innovations. The company says the Nanodots could enhance smartphones and TV displays, batteries, bio-LEDs, and bio-lasers. StoreDot raised $6 million from a group of investors in 2013. It’s currently working on a mobile phone battery that charges in less than a minute.
What it does: Text-to-video platform that can automatically turn any text-based article, post or feed into a short video. Why it’s hot: Wibbitz re-packages textual content into rich video summaries that can be watched on the web or mobile devices. In 2012 the company raised a $2.3 million Series A round from Horizons Ventures (Li Ka-shing’s investment fund) and previous investors Initial Capital and lool Ventures. It launched its mobile app in June 2013, and a browser plug-in this year. It generates 10,000 clips per day.
What it does: Freemium online customer review platform. Why it’s hot: Yotpo is a plug-and-play social reviews solution for e-commerce websites. The service includes reports and analytics, giving online merchants actionable insight to improve merchandising strategy. Yotpo is used by more than 30,000 companies and gets more than 200,000 reviews each month. In January the company raised a $10.7 million A round led by Blumberg Capital to expand its U.S. operations.
Below The Radar
What it does: GPS watch for kids. Why it’s hot: Following over three years of development and numerous design prototypes, HereO has created an advanced GPS watch for children and an app that enables families to stay connected and safe. Watches, which cost $149 plus monthly subscription, are available for pre-order now, with estimated delivery in December.
What it does: Makes “the devices around us cognizant of the users they serve.” Why it’s hot: Neura aims to make Internet of Things devices work together, regardless of brand, and anticipate users’ requirements. It pulls data from sensors into its Harmony platform, creates rules based on user behavior, and applies that intelligence to anticipate what devices should know or do. It currently works with more than 40 partners. In April Neura raised $2 million from a group of VCs and angels.
What it does: Cybersecurity. Why it’s hot: SentinelOne uses predictive execution modeling to protect organizations against advanced threats. The company was formed by a team of cyber security and defense experts from Intel, McAfee, Checkpoint, IBM and the Israel Defense Forces. It has raised more than $15 million from Accel Partners, Data Collective, Granite Hill Capital Partners, Tiger Global Management and The Westly Group. Customers include Netflix and Amazon.
What it does: Full-stack enterprise mobility platform. Why it’s hot: SkyGiraffe’s platform securely integrates with a company’s back-end systems, enabling enterprises to build mobile CRM, ERP, finance, inventory, operational information, and other data-driven applications for iOS, Android, or Windows Mobile. There is no coding required. The company is backed by Microsoft Ventures, 500 Startups and enterprise software industry veterans. It’s headquartered in the Bay Area with R&D in Israel.
Zebra Medical Vision
What it does: Medical imaging research platform. Why it’s hot: The company is still in stealth mode but it’s aiming to be the boldest attempt ever made to crack real clinical big data to improve healthcare. Co-Founder and CEO Eyal Gura was a venture partner with Pitango and co-founder of PicScout (acquired by Getty Images), PicApp (acquired by Ybrant Digital) and The Gifts Project (acquired by eBay).
This article is one of a bigger pool of stories appearing in a DLD Informilo special edition print magazine that has been distributed at the DLD Tel Aviv festival 2014. This story also appears on www.informilo.com