When we talk about technological startups, often the first thought in people’s heads is Silicon Valley. Even though that image is well deserved, it is a mistake to overlook other booming startup scenes globally and Israel is one not to miss.
Israel has a deep entrepreneurial spirit, with one of the highest numbers of engineers in the world. From age 13, Israel’s students acquire advanced computing studies, making it even more attractive to pursue a career in tech. For a country with a population of 9 million people (for comparison, California’s population is over 39 million), Israel has over 45 startups with unicorn status this year. That is 15 more than in 2020.
If you are as old as me, you likely remember ICQ and used it to chat with friends in the 90s. Not many know that ICQ was founded in Israel by five friends. It was sold to AOL for $287m in 1996, and to many entrepreneurs, it served as a catalyst for the local tech scene.
Fast forward to today, startup funding in Israel has broken records in 2021. Even if you missed the ICQ era, there is no way you have not heard of brands like Wix, Viber, or MyHeritage but let’s have a deeper dive into some more great brands that come from the Holy Land.
Wix was founded in 2006 by Israeli developers Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami, and Giora Kaplan. They launched in 2007, offering a platform for developing websites based on Adobe Flash. By April 2010, they have already acquired over 3,5 million users. The platform continued improving, offering new features and updates. In September 2021, Wix announced the completion of a $200 million share repurchase program. The business operates on Wix.com
Established in 2016, Aidoc develops advanced healthcare-grade AI-based decision support software. Aidoc’s is offering is one of the most comprehensive in the field, enabling diagnostic aid to a broad set of pathologies. Since its launch, the company has raised a total of $140M, developed 9 product lines, created an install base of over 500 global hospitals, and grown its team to more than 200 workers. They operate on the exact brand match domain name Aidoc.com
Founded in 2007 by Igal Raichelgauz, Karina Odinaev, and Yehoshua Zeevi, Cortica utilizes unsupervised learning methods to recognize and analyze digital images and video. Cortica’s offerings have application in the automotive industry, media industries, and the smart city and medical industries. Today Cortica has more than 200 patents and has raised a total of $69.4M in funding over six rounds. The brand operates on an exact brand match domainCortica.com
Windward is a predictive intelligence company fusing AI and big data to digitalize the global maritime industry. Founded in 2010 by Ami Daniel, Matan Peled, Windward has raised $32.3M in funding over three rounds. The brand operates on Windward.ai; they have also secured the short WNWD.com. There is a different business on Windward.com providing IT solutions.
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance services. Founded by Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger, the platform launched in February 2010. The name communicates the idea behind it – hiring freelancers for small jobs at affordable prices. Fiverr has raised a total of $111M in funding over six rounds. In June 2019, Fiverrheld an initial public offering of shares on the New York Stock Exchange, and at the time firm had a market capitalization of $10 billion. Fiverr operates on the exact brand match domain name Fiverr.com; they also secured Fiver.com back in 2011 to avoid any confusion and traffic leaks and secure their brand.
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