Mor Assia, founding partner at iAngels, moderated a panel discussion amongst founders, investors and CEOs about the trends they’re observing in the Fintech space for 2018/2019
The 25 Most Innovative AgTech Startups In 2018
The problems facing America’s farmers in 2018 are as diverse as their crop varieties: Labor shortages. Soil health. Food spoilage. Trade wars. Lack of access to data on seed pricing, yield information, and even commodity forecasting.
The good news? There is a veritable army of technologists and entrepreneurs working hard to solve these issues—and an army of investors seeking to fund them. In 2017 alone, ag-tech funding through investment or acquisition increased 32% to $2.6 billion, and half of the top 20 deals in the space exceeded $50 million. One of the year’s highlights included the multi-billion-dollar multinational
The bad news? There is now so much money flowing into the space and so many entrepreneurial solutions coming to the market that it’s harder than ever to cut through the noise.
To that end, Forbes has taken to the fields and phones to come up with the top 25 most innovative startups in the ag-tech space. Just as we did last year, we surveyed the agricultural technology landscape by speaking with experts, venture capitalists and accelerators; then we examined financials and each company’s agricultural credentials. A special thanks goes to Seana Day at the Mixing Bowl for her comprehensive research on the ag-tech environment.
This year’s list features 12 alumni and 13 newcomers; the high degree of turnover is due in part to mergers and acquisitions, and also to a number of companies making big gains in both technology and dollars.
Here, in alphabetical order, is the fruit of that labor:
AgCode: Founded in 2002, this vineyard management company helps winegrowers track harvests, field conditions and grape maturity in order to maximize yields and manage labor. It also streamlines payroll, budgeting and billing. Ag cred: Seven of the country’s top ten wineries use the platform.
Apeel Sciences: Apeel is extending the shelf life of America’s produce by using lipids from fruits and vegetables to create an extra “peel” for avocados and citrus to slow the rate of spoilage-causing oxidation and water loss. Ag cred: Launched its longer-lasting avocados in Costco and Harps Food Stores earlier in June; counts the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as one of its earliest backers.
Aquabyte: Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Teach a computer to farm fish and you might feed the world. That’s Aquabyte’s hope, anyway—it uses computer vision hardware and AI software in fish farms to monitor food consumption, thereby minimizing waste and saving money. Ag cred: Aquabyte has raised $3.5 million with investors including New Enterprise Associates, Costanoa Ventures and Princeton University.
Bext360: Bext360’s blockchain software keeps track of commodities like coffee by identifying and making an electronic token for each one. This unique ID enables the company to trace it through the entire supply chain. By tokenizing commodities, the company is also able to provide payment to farmers up front. Ag cred: The company has raised over $3.35 million to date and is working with partners like Coda Coffee and Great Lakes Coffee.
Bright Farms: This indoor farming outfit aims to help consumers buy local produce by building greenhouses in the communities it serves. So far, this strategy has resulted in leafy greens that take 80% less water, 90% less land and 95% less shipping fuel than lettuce that is grown out west and shipped east. Ag cred: Supplies some of America’s largest grocers, like Walmart, ACME, ShopRite and Giant.
California Safe Soil: The startup with $14.8 million in funding transforms wasted food from supermarkets into a low-cost liquid fertilizer that it sells to farmers in an effort to combat declining arable land worldwide. Ag cred: The company claims the process is 720 times more efficient than composting, which usually takes around three months to complete.
CiBO Technologies: Field trials of new farming techniques are expensive and time consuming, so CiBO is making the process virtual. It uses data analytics, statistical modeling and artificial intelligence to simulate field trials and agricultural ecosystems under different variables, like weather conditions, so farmers, growers and even public policymakers can improve processes more quickly. Ag cred: Raised $30 million in its Series B round of funding for a valuation north of $100 million.
Clear Labs: Former software engineers and genomic scientists launched this food safety startup in 2014 with an aim to help brands make sure their suppliers are selling what they advertised, while also testing for allergens and other contaminants. Ag cred: More than $24 million in funding comes from Silicon Valley elites including Khosla Ventures, Menlo Ventures and Alphabet’s GV.
Concentric: Concentric focuses on making “microbial consortia”—combinations of bacteria and fungi that, when put together, improve crop yields while decreasing the need for fertilizers and pesticides. Ag cred: The company has raised over $64 million to date, from investors such as Pontifex AgTech and TPG Capital.
EIO Diagnostics: The global dairy business loses $10 billion worth of production every year due to undetected udder infections. Young startup EIO Diagnostics is helping catch these infections using multispectral imaging on iPad-like devices that can be handheld or mounted on automated milking machines. Ag cred: It’s a member of the Yield Lab accelerator, which has in its portfolio the likes of Arvergenix and AGERpoint.
Farmer’s Business Network: With a network of more than 6,500 farms that pay to access its database of seed prices, yields and marketing information, FBN is one of the most dominant forces in the ag-tech space. The company is projecting $200 million in revenue this year, nearly three times its 2017 top line. Ag cred: GV, T. Rowe Price and Kleiner Perkins are among the investors that have given FBN nearly $200 million in venture funding. (For more on FBN, see Amy Feldman’s June profile of the company.)
Farmers Edge: This hardware and software startup based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, uses satellite imagery and precision technology to help growers identify, map and manage farmland variability. Ag cred: The company has raised close to $100 million.
FarmLead: The grain trading industry is taking a hit as commodity farmers sign up with FarmLead, an online marketplace for grain that eliminates the need for middlemen like
FoodLogIQ: 7,000 food companies around the world depend on FoodLogIQ’s supply chain analytics to ensure their products are safe to consume. After securing a fresh $19.8 million in financing from investors (including
Indigo Agriculture: Using machine learning and data analytics, Indigo agriculture has compiled a database of which types of microbes work best to promote higher crop yields. The company sells seeds coated with those microbes to farmers to improve the health of plants and increase yields. Ag cred: Indigo has raised over $370 million to date.
Pivot Bio: Before the advent of chemical fertilizers, microbes in the soil would provide nitrogen to crops. Using a proprietary process, Pivot has figured out a way to reawaken the genes of those microbes, enabling crops to be fertilized without the need for chemicals. Ag cred: Over the past year, Pivot has doubled the number of employees and expanded its leadership team to include a number of industry veterans.
Plenty: Plenty is an indoor farming company utilizing machine learning, artificial intelligence and crop science to optimize yields and give produce exactly what it needs to achieve optimal freshness and taste. Ag cred: Bezos Expeditions, SoftBank Vision Fund and the Data Collective are among investors that have given Plenty and its vision $226 million in venture funding.
Produce Pay: This supply chain startup with $12.5 million in funding connects wholesale buyers with produce sellers. The platform fixes cash-flow problems by paying for product the day after it is shipped, rather than the typical 30-to-45-day waiting period. Ag cred: ProducePay has provided liquidity to over 200 farmers and 50 distributors, financing over $500 million of produce in its 3 years of operation.
SWIIM: Developed over five years with the USDA, the patented Sustainable Water and Innovative Irrigation Management system monitors water budgets and computes data to help large-scale farms better manage usage. Ag cred: In June 2018, SWIIM acquired Fresno-based OnFarm Systems, a leading Internet of Things data integrator for an undisclosed amount which will give the startup 500 new clients.
Soft Robotics: Soft Robotics is exactly what it says on the tin—the company manufactures robotic arms with soft grippers that can be used to gently handle delicate items like fruits and vegetables in processing facilities. Ag cred: The company has raised over $50 million to date and counts Taylor Farms among its customers.
Taranis: This Israeli precision agriculture company uses data science and learning algorithms to help farmers manage more than 20 million acres. In May, Taranis announced that it was acquiring Mavrx, a leading agriculture aerial imagery provider (and member of the 2017 Most Innovative AgTech startups list). Ag cred: Counts Marc Benioff as an angel investor; later-stage investors that have contributed to its $10 million in funding include Vertex Ventures and Finistere Ventures.
Terviva: An Oakland-based company that is cultivating the pongamia tree, which is native to Australia and India, in Florida, California and Hawaii. The trees produce an oilseed with 10 times more yield than soybeans and have the potential to create a biofuel alternative. Ag cred:Startup has raised more than $20 million.
TL BioLabs: Think “23&Me for cows”—TL Biolabs provides genomic testing of beef and dairy cattle using proprietary microarray technology. It also offers a cloud-based herd management software. Ag cred: The company’s cofounders are Forbes Under 30 alumni, and it has raised nearly $10 million in venture funding to date.
Trace Genomics: This machine learning startup uses genomic sequencing technology to work with farmers to identify pathogens that may be lurking in their soil, providing an advantage in maximizing yields and preventing crop diseases. Ag cred: Trace Genomics has worked with major growers like Driscoll’s, and according to Pitchbook has raised nearly $20 million to date.
Understory: Madison, Wisconsin-based Understory makes weather sensors for farms that collect hyperlocal weather data, particularly hail, wind, precipitation, and temperature. The company’s sensors have no moving parts and are solar-powered. The company also provides a real-time data platform and an API solution. Ag cred: Understory is collaborating with Monsanto, which is using its sensors in test fields in Argentina and Hawaii.
Leading Market Research Firm Highlights Grid4C’s “Ability to Differentiate with AI Over Competitors”
AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Grid4C, a leader in AI and Machine Learning solutions for the energy industry, announced today it has been named a Key Industry Player in Navigant Research’s IoT and Analytics for Utilities research report, published in Q2 2018. The leading research firm highlighted Grid4C’s “ability to differentiate with AI over competitors” and noted its prowess in AI, data science, and predictive analytics provides it the ability to solve problems for utility clients on both the grid and client side of the business.
“We are honored to be named a key industry vendor by Navigant Research, especially with the recognition for having unique capabilities that differentiate our offerings from some of the largest industry solution providers,” said Shane Fay, who leads sales and marketing efforts globally for the company. “It’s also encouraging to see Navigant Research state the market is large, and mostly untapped, for utilities who are looking to solve issues with AI.”
Ranked the #1 Predictive Analytics Solution for Utilities by GTM Research, Grid4C is working with the biggest utilities on four continents, delivering billions of predictions daily for millions of meters. The company’s analytics solutions leverage a prowess in AI and data science to provide utilities with accurate, real-time, and reliable predictions for their operations and customer-facing applications. The company’s capabilities use smart meter and IoT data to predict, detect, and diagnose faults and inefficiencies for grid assets and home appliances, without the need for hardware or sensor installations. The company’s solutions improve operational planning and load forecasting, reduce peak demand, increase energy savings, optimize demand response (DR), deliver new revenue streams, and increase customer engagement. Grid4C is currently working with the leading smart meter vendors to embed its algorithms inside the smart meters, at the edge of the grid, where the data is more granular, and predictions are even more accurate and timely.
“Many utilities are selecting us as their AI and Machine Learning partner, to solve use cases for both grid-side and customer facing applications, and are already embedding our algorithms into grid edge devices to push intelligence to the grid edge,” added Fay. “Navigant Research also recognized that as a software-only platform, our solutions enable scale without the expense of hardware or sensor installations.”
Grid4C empowers energy providers and consumers by enabling the power to foresee, leveraging advanced Machine Learning capabilities to deliver accurate, granular predictions, which are crucial for tackling the rising challenges of today’s energy industry. Grid4C’s plug-and-play solutions analyze the massive amounts of sub-hourly data collected from millions of smart meters and IoT data, and together with customer data, pricing information and more, delivers new revenue streams, enhances customer value, improves the efficiency of energy operations, and maximizes profit. Its portfolio consists of Predictive Home Advisor, which includes non-intrusive household appliance fault detection and load disaggregation capabilities, Predictive Operational Analytics, enabling better decisions for coordination of DERs with meter, sub-meter, and asset-level forecasting, Predictive Customer Analytics, which predicts adoption of new rate plans and utility programs, and more.
For more info, visit www.grid4c.com
About Navigant Research
Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology markets. The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Energy Technologies, Utility Transformations, Transportation Efficiencies, and Buildings Innovations sectors. Additional information about Navigant Research can be found at www.navigantresearch.com.
eToro has raised $162 million to date and the latest financing round was completed at a company valuation of $800 million.
In the financing round eToro was represented by the Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal law firm and China Minsheng Financial was represented by Yigal Arnon & Co.
Yoni Assia told “Globes,” “We have always seen the investment market as very localized and not advanced. Ultimately, everybody wants to make profits in the market. Our customers, unlike institutional investors, do not object to sharing their investments. Users can therefore benefit from “the wisdom of the crowd” and learn what other investors are doing.”
Israeli precision agriculture intelligence platform Taranis is acquiring the assets of Mavrx, the San Francisco-based aerial imagery platform.
Taranis will integrate Mavrx’s aircraft-based ultra-high resolution (UHR) imagery product into its AI2 product line and bring existing Mavrx customers onto the Taranis platform. Taranis is also taking on some of Mavrx’s customer-facing and sales staff as well as the team that ran flight operations.
Taranis helps farmers increase their yields and cut costs by monitoring their fields with sensors, weather data, field scouting and imagery using computer vision, data science and deep learning algorithms to detect early symptoms of weeds, uneven emergence, nutrient deficiencies, disease/insect infestations, water damage, equipment problems and more. The aim is to help farmers address issues quickly and understand the impact on yield and cost of production.
It is understood that Mavrx ran into some financial and operational difficulty in recent months and was not able to service its clients for the upcoming growing season despite providing a popular product with a 90% customer renewal rate.
“As well as adding Mavrx technology to the Taranis platform, we felt we had a moral obligation to serve Mavrx’s existing clients with our product lines, especially as we saw how much they liked the Mavrx product,” Ofir Schlam, founder and CEO of Taranis told AgFunderNews.
“We are especially excited about the synergy farmers will get immediately – UHR recognizing problematic zones, and AI2 classifying every weed, insect and disease so farmers can get the ideal prescription and improve yield,” he said in a statement.
Mavrx had the most broadly available full-field imagery product on the market at the highest resolution, according to Taranis, with 8cm-per-pixel resolution images provided by a fleet of 60 planes in 30 states across the US. The startup started offering some of its platform to users for free earlier this year.
Mavrx was founded in 2012 and had raised over $12.5 million to-date in seed and Series A funding from investors including Bloomberg Beta, Eclipse Ventures, Visionnaire Ventures and Better Food Ventures.
Taranis raised a $7.5 million Series A a year ago in a round led by Finistere Ventures.
“Taranis is the technology leader in ag aerial imagery, and we saw this acquisition adding to its footprint in the Americas, while also adding richer feature sets for farmers,” said Arama Kukutai, partner at Finistere. “We are happy to support the company in implementing the strategy of creating the platform that farmers want and need. With too many subscale players in digital ag, this type of rollup is going to be more commonplace as the best-in-class players consolidate their position.”
Rob Leclerc, CEO of AgFunder, agreed that more consolidation in the aerial imagery space was likely.
“In our discussions with growers and agronomists we’ve been hearing that they’ve been overwhelmed by the number of digital imagery solutions so I would expect further consolidation as well and for companies to focus on smaller niches like tree crops where a startup can really dig into the specific challenges of a 3D dataset and solve a painpoint for growers.”
Grid4C: AI-Powered Energy Insights
The Internet, electricity, and cellular phones are all technological innovations that have given rise to new business models, have radically transformed economies, and forever changed the way that mankind lives and works. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning offer similar transformational potential, but with even greater opportunity: Humans no longer need to explain or program exactly how to accomplish all the tasks for new systems or innovations.
Grid4C is applying AI and machine learning to the world of energy, delivering powerful solutions for smart grid / smart devices predictive analytics, where energy value chain participants are empowered with the ability to radically optimize the electric grid and deliver new energy business models. Through these predictive analytics insights, utilities can ensure the reliability of a more distributed electric grid, consumers can recognize appliances on the verge of failure and more effectively optimize their energy consumption, and grid operators can leverage predictive consumption forecasts to better plan for the future. “Data from IoT devices and connected appliances such as thermostats and smart meters enables our self-learning algorithms to deliver intelligent forecasts, diagnostics, and insights,” explains Dr. Noa Ruschin-Rimini, founder and CEO of Grid4C.
“Recognized by Greentech Media Research as the #1 Predictive Analytics solution for the Energy industry, Grid4C is setting its sights on solving some of the toughest challenges the industry faces”
Led by Noa,having a in PhD AI and Machine Learning with predictive analytics and anomaly detection of Big Data as specialization, the company aims enable engagement among various energy value chain participants. Grid4C applies a plug and play AI and machine learning solution to address some of the prominent challenges associated with the decentralization of electric grids concerning renewable energy sources, electrification of transportation, and energy storage, which cannot be coordinated and optimized through today’s traditional forecasting and control methodologies. The company employs its expertise and AI-driven approach to streamline and leverage existing data sources to deliver accurate forecasts and predictions of distributed energy production and consumption. Their value proposition lies in their ability to derive higher value from existing, ubiquitous data sources non-intrusively, without the need for newer sensors for data collection.
Fault Detection and Diagnostics through Machine Learning
“Customer demands are just starting to catch up with the capabilities that we can provide,’’ says Dr. Ruschin-Rimini.
A solution that is generating a lot of excitement in the market is Fault Prediction, Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) for home appliances, based on smart meter data, which can be enriched with data from smart appliances such as connected thermostats, enabling the same algorithms to deliver deeper diagnostics and insights.“With smart meter data,” explains Dr. Ruschin-Rimini, “we can not only detect mechanical problems for HVAC systems or leaks in water heaters, but can even predict problems before they happen.” This can prevent slight inefficiencies from transcending into larger problems of much more severe consequences. “The core of our products is our proprietary AI self-learning engine, so all you need to do is ‘throw’ any data that may be relevant into it,’’ claims Dr. Ruschin-Rimini.
Empowering the Energy Value Chain
Grid4C’s solutions help the energy value chain on three fronts: customer-facing applications that help businesses and consumers not only save money but predict problems with the appliances they rely on, predictive customer analytics that facilitate segmentation and micro-targeting, and predictive operational analytics that optimize procurement, grid operations and the integration of solar, energy storage and electric vehicles. Grid4C is currently analyzing billions of smart meters and smart devices reads from four continents, generating millions of predictions each day, working with the biggest energy providers and smart meter vendors in the world.
The company’s product portfolio caters to a diverse customer base across the energy value chain with multiple domain-specific requirements. “We have noticed contrasting trends in the industry where certain customers require an economical solution that saves money and predicts problems with day-to-day appliances, whereas, another customer base requires energy segmentation, micro-targeting, and predictive operational analytics,” states Dr. Noa. Additionally, Grid4C also supports users seeking solutions for procurement optimization, grid operations, integration of solar systems, energy storage, and electric vehicles.
Grid4C has partnered with several global energy providers to help address various challenges related to energy utilization.
One of their successful partnerships is with Direct Energy—a retailer of energy services—which deployed Grid4C’s customer facing Machine Learning insights for more than one million residential customers in the U.S. Today, Grid4C’s machine learning product portfolio fuels DE’s “Direct your Energy” platform to drive new revenue streams and enhance customer interactions while optimizing DE’s products and services. Grid4C upholds their client’s goal of ‘Making a difference in people’s lives’ by empowering users with intelligent insights for energy conservation.’
Similarly, Grid4C works with Dalia Power Energies (DPE), Israel’s largest independent power producer, as their load forecasting platform, to deliver granular load and distributed energy resource (DER) predictions to improve operational efficiency and optimize profit margins. “By building a predictive model to each meter separately and analyzing data like meter and device reads, weather data, customer data and more, Grid4C’s engine automatically learns the underlying correlations and hidden patterns and generates predictions in a plug-and-play manner,’’ explains Dr. Ruschin-Rimini. The plug-and-play approach allows predictions to be generated very quickly, which means customers have the added benefit of short time-to-value.
“Data from IoT devices and connected appliances such as thermostats and smart meters enables our self-learning algorithms to deliver intelligent forecasts, diagnostics, and insights”
Another interesting example is Grid4C’s solutions for ENGIE-Think Energy, which are delivering new value add services for its residential customers. By leveraging Grid4C’s machine learning insights to extract more value from meter and smart thermostat data, ENGIE provides each customer insights such as smart thermostat optimizations, simulations regarding the impact of changing thermostat settings on the next bill, prediction, detection and diagnostics of appliances (HVAC, water heaters, refrigerators and pool pumps) faults and inefficiencies, and more.
Predicting the Future of Grid4C
Recognized recently by Greentech Media Research as the #1 Predictive Analytics solution for the Energy industry, the company is setting its sights on solving some of the toughest challenges the industry faces. “One of the most innovative capabilities we’re providing is embedding our algorithms directly into smart grid hardware, like smart meters, to make local decisions at the grid edge,” says Dr. Ruschin-Rimini. Grid4C’s edge lies in the ability ‘’to squeeze the greatest value from existing, ubiquitous data sources, non-intrusively, without needing to wait for new sensors to reach mass adoption.’’ In this sense, the smart meter becomes the real-time sensor, and can be used to save lives by predicting or detecting gas leakages, or managing demand rates for consumers in real-time. Grid4C is partnering with the world’s most successful smart grid leaders to develop the most valuable use cases for AI and machine learning at the grid edge, and will continue to leverage advanced machine learning capabilities to drive value from the exponential growth in IoT data.
Company recognized as a top startup for its AI powered visual UI testing and monitoring approach to Application Visual Management
SAN MATEO, Calif., June 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Applitools (https://applitools.com/), the leader in Application Visual Management, today announced it won the 2018 Red Herring Top 100 North America award. The Red Herring Top 100 identified Applitools as one of this year’s most promising private ventures from the North American business region out of a group of approximately 1,200 privately financed companies.
“We are honored to receive the Red Herring Top 100,” said Gil Sever, CEO of Applitools. “This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Applitools team as we continue to grow our R&D and our sales teams to rapidly drive the market expansion of Visual AI and its utility for automated visual UI testing and monitoring.”
Applitools developed the first and only Visual AI Engine that mimics the human eye and brain in a reliable and scalable fashion, and continues to evolve through machine learning by analyzing millions of new images on a daily basis. Applitools Eyes, the company’s Automated Visual UI Testing and Monitoring Platform, achieves 99.999 percent accuracy and leverages the largest data set of UI validations in the world – a total of 100 million visual comparisons and one billion component level validations.
With tens of thousands of users from more than 300 customers around the globe, Applitools helps Test Automation Engineers, Developers, Manual QA experts, DevOps Teams, and Digital Transformation executives holistically support all visual aspects of software applications. With increasing demand of digital products and experiences, companies must leverage Application Visual Management (AVM) as a strategic advantage to shorten application delivery cycles while improving software quality.
About Red Herring Top 100 North America
Red Herring’s editors have been evaluating the world’s startups and tech companies for over two decades. It gives them the ability to see through the industry’s hype, to pick firms that will continue on a trajectory to success. Brands such as Alibaba, Google, Kakao, Skype, Spotify, Twitter and YouTube have all been singled out in Red Herring’s storied history.
“2018’s crop of Top 100 winners has been among our most intriguing yet,” said Red Herring chairman Alex Vieux. “North America has led the way in tech for so many years, and to see such unique, pioneering entrepreneurs and companies here in California, which is in many ways the heartland of the industry, has been a thrilling experience.”
“What has excited me most is to see so many people forging niches in high-tech and cutting edge sectors,” added Vieux. “Some of the technical wizardry and first-rate business models on show here at the conference has been fantastic to learn about. We believe Applitools embodies the drive, skill and passion on which tech thrives. Applitools should be proud of its achievement: the competition was incredibly strong.”
Applitools is the creator of Application Visual Management (AVM) to help companies release, test and monitor flawless mobile, web, and native apps in a fully automated way. Founded in 2013, Applitools uses sophisticated AI-powered image processing technology to ensure that an application appears correctly and functions properly on all mobile devices, browsers, operating systems, and screen sizes. Applitools has customers from a range of verticals, including Fortune 100 companies in software, banking, online retail, insurance, and pharmaceuticals. Applitools is headquartered in San Mateo, California, with an R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel. For more information, please visit applitools.com.
Tel Aviv is alive with tech start-ups and it is a city with an unwavering eye on the future.
The second most populous city in Israel, and effectively the country’s business capital, Tel Aviv is a firm fixture on the world’s technology map.
It is clearly a city where people like to work hard but play hard, too, with a world-renowned nightlife. Nestled alongside the Mediterranean and home to thousands of start-ups, the city and its surrounding areas are home to hundreds of venture capital firms but also global operations of tech giants such as Google, SAP, Microsoft and Facebook, to name a few.
Boasting a technology cluster known as Silicon Wadi, Israel is a start-up nation, and much of the tech industry can be found in the area around Tel Aviv and in nearby cities such as Ra’anana, Petah Tikva, Herzliya, Netanya, Rehovot and Rishon LeZion.
The Israeli tech industry began to form in the 1960s with forerunners including Tadiran and Elron Electronic Industries. The industry’s evolution was boosted by the 1967 French arms embargo, which was a catalyst for the creation of a domestic military industry defined by cutting edge R&D.
Notable tech giants to emerge from Israel include Amdocs and Check Point Software Technologies.
From IT security to the cameras in our smartphones, Israeli entrepreneurs mostly based in or near Tel Aviv have played a key role.
As one of the most technologically influential hubs in the world alongside Silicon Valley, Berlin, Helsinki, Kista and London, Tel Aviv is notable for the sheer number of start-ups that go on to list on the NASDAQ Stock Market.
And so, here are 23 Tel Aviv start-ups that we think are worth watching in 2018.
Airobotics has developed a pilotless drone platform that collects aerial data and valuable insights for industrial facilities. Founded in 2014 by Meir Kliner and Ran Krauss, Airobotics has raised $71m in funding so far, the most recent being a $32.5m Series C round led by BlueRun Ventures, also including such investors as OurCrowd and Microsoft Ventures.
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Rothschild Blvd 18
Tel Aviv, 6688121