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Top-25 Israeli startups

Israel is a hotbed for startups developing new drone technologies and automotive software systems. Israel continues to produce an impressive number of highly successful tech companies 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 cities like 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 many of them specialising in drones, cybersecurity, and autonomous driving technology.  Take Mobileye, for example. The company's autonomous driving technology was so interesting that Intel paid a whopping $15.3 billion (£11.8 billion) for it in March when it acquired the company. The tech companies have been ranked based on interviews with multiple investors on the ground in Israel and what the firms have achieved over the last year.

25. Zebra

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. 

In December, the company launched a service that allows people to upload their medical imaging scans such as CTs and mammograms to Zebra's platform, and receive an automated analysis for key clinical conditions.

24. OurCrowd

Founded by Jon Medved, OurCrowd is an equity crowdfunding platform that allows normal people to invest in pre-vetted startups alongside trusted venture capital investors and angel investors. The OurCrowd community has invested over $440 million (£339 million) into a range of companies, with $80 million (£62 million) going to startups operating in the healthcare sector. 

OurCrowd already has thirteen exits to date, with two IPO's and eleven acquisitions. 

23. MyHeritage

MyHeritage is a platform for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. The company gives its community access to search and matching technologies, a library of historical records, and a wide collection of family trees.
With over 85 million users, MyHeritage is one of the largest sites in the social networking and genealogy field. "We believe we have a responsibility, a mission, to enable every single human being to be able to document his or her life story and safeguard it for generations to come," Golan Levi, a user experience expert at MyHeritage, told news site Israeli21C in January. 

Last year, MyHeritage launched MyHeritage DNA, which offers cheap DNA tests that reveal users' ethnic origins and previously unknown relatives.

22. Brayola 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. The website was hailed as the easiest way to shop for bras online by Observer in March. 

21. Windward

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 $22 million (£17 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). 

20. 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.

19. GlucoMe

Based in a small village north of Tel Aviv, GlucoMe has developed an app and a piece of hardware that allows diabetes sufferers to monitor their blood sugar levels and get insights that weren't previously possible. The information on their blood sugar levels is stored in the cloud so it can also accessed by their doctor. Interestingly, the company was cofounded by Dov Moran, who invented the USB Memory Stick. 

18. 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. 

The company raised a $2.5 million (£1.9 million) funding round in April that was led by Cannan partners and angels with participation of Taya ventures.

17. Nexar

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.

16. Dapulse

Founded in 2014, Dapulse has developed a team management platform that's designed to help people be more productive at work. The platform allows two people to work together on a project, or thousands of people to work together on a project. The company, which raised $25 million (£19 million) from investors in April, has sold its software to 11,000 customers, including teams at Adidas, AT&T, Discovery Channel, Samsung, Uber, WeWork, and Wix.

15. Secret Double Octopus

Despite its rather peculiar name, Secret Double Octopus has a credible mission: to eliminate passwords from our daily lives. The company's app allows people to use their smartphones to authenticate that they are who they say they are. Instead of typing a password, which can be forgotten, phished, or compromised, users simply tap a push notification that's sent to their phone when they try and access an account. 

Secret Double Octopus announced it had received $6 million (£4.2 million) from investors in January and it launched a new authenticator app for businesses called "Octopus Authenticator" in March.

14. Vroom

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 over $218 million (£175 million) from investors like General Catalyst who have backed companies like Snapchat, Airbnb, and Stripe.

13. 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. 

12. Wix

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 $290 million (£224 million) in 2016. 

11. Via

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 $130 million (£102 million) from the likes of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, Hearst Ventures, and Israeli venture fund 83North.

10. Airobotics

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. The company raised a $28.5 million (£22.7 million) funding round in June and it currently has around 100 employees. 

9. 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. 

8. 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.

7. Mindspace

WeWork rival Mindspace creates boutique coworking spaces for startups and corporates. Founded in 2014 by Dan Zakai and Yotam Alroy, the company has already opened creative coworking spaces across Europe and Israel, with spaces in Berlin and Hamburg, as well as two in Tel Aviv. It raised $15 million (£12 million) from private investors in January to help it expand to the US and further across Europe.

6. Waze

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.

5. Gett

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)), last May, when German automotive giant Volkswagen invested $300 million (£231 million) in the company.

4. Mobli

Mobli is a social media company headed by serial entrepreneur and investor Moshe Hogeg. The startup sold a geofilter patent to Snap for $7.7 million (£5.9 million) in March, according to TechCrunch. Hogeg also has a mobile phone company called Sirin, which has raised $97 million (£77 million) to build a new $16,000 smartphone called Solarin. The phone launched at a party in London last year that was attended by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy but the company laid off a third of its staff in March, suggesting sales have been poor. 

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Hogeg, 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. 

3. Cortica

Cortica was founded in 2007 by a team of researchers from Israel's renowned Technion University. Today it has over 100 staff in Israel, New York, and China. 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 can index and tag images in real time, enabling users, advertisers, and publishers to understand them better. 

"Most of the time users want to engage with their photos," said Cortica CEO and cofounder Igal Raichelgauz on a call with Business Insider. "The big challenge of AI here is to show them the photos that will surprise and delight."

2. Mobileye

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 more established company was acquired by Intel in March for $15.3 billion (£11.8 billion), making it one of Israel's largest tech exits. 

1. StoreDot

StoreDot's founder and CEO Doron Myersdorf told Business Insider 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. That could revolutionise people's lives. 

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. 
StoreDot has caught the eye of Korean electronics giant Samsung, which has helped the company to raise $66 million (£51 million).

Sam Shead