Over the past decade, I have done hundreds of talks around the world about Israeli tech. More about my talks here. The overall theme is that tech coming out of Israel is somewhat of an enigma. This country, which is smaller than New Jersey and which is located in the most unstable region on planet earth, is kicking some serious butt across pretty much all sectors of technology. Cyber? Check. Automotive and mobility? Check. Drones? Check. AI? Check. Robotics? Check. Impact? Check!
One of the very few exceptions and push back I get when I say how Israel dominates the tech world is consumer. Israel has not built a Facebook or a Google yet, and generally speaking, Israel is strong at deep tech, maybe a bit weaker in product and execution, so most people still think Israel can’t do consumer.
These 16 companies founded and based in Israel might make you reconsider that position.
Is it possible to have a crush on a company? Asking for a friend.
This company founded by my good friends Daniel Schreiber and Shai Wininger, is basically doing to the insurance world what Uber did to transportation, Airbnb did to hospitality, Facebook did to communication, and WeWork did to the work place. Lemonade is leveraging deep tech to totally 100% disrupt insurance and ultimately, make consumers not hate their insurance company. Lemonade is scaling faster than anything I have ever seen and has the world’s top investors behind them.
I mean, do I really have to expand on this one? My boy, Avishai Abrahami who founded this company is one of the sharpest minds I have ever encountered and Wix is widely regarded as one of the top Israeli IPOs ever. Wix is a company worth north of $5B and the culture and agile nature of the team has them operating more like a startup in its early days.
Talk about companies making an impact, how about reuniting families? MyHeritage has become the leader in the DNA testing space and enables people to take a simple home kit test and basically learn things about their family they didn’t know before. Incredible tech, impressive scale, and a extraordinarily talented team.
OrCam is probably one of the most exciting companies to come out of Israel in a very long time. Same founders as Mobileye, which sold to Intel for $15 billion, OrCam, put simply, lets blind people see. Using the most advanced machine learning, OrCam developed a camera that sits on your glasses and basically tells you what you are looking at, in real time. Reads you the newspaper, helps you . recognize a person walking toward you, and identifies products you are holding. It is not an exaggeration to say that OrCam’s tech is the closest thing to real life magic.
Micha Kaufman, the CEO of Fiverr, and his Co-Founder Shai, who has since founded Lemonade, mentioned above, are basically human machines. These guys have basically cracked the science and art of going viral and Fiverr is basically a rocket ship that took over many years ago and doesn’t seem to be planning a landing any time soon! If that wasn’t enough, Micha, despite his obviously insane schedule, not only responds to emails in seconds, he always does it with a smile and a professional manner. Special dude, incredible leader.
Nexar was started by some people who redefine what it means to be intelligent. These guys are brilliant and they set out to use their intelligence to save lives. Basically, Nexar is building the world’s largest network of drivers. It is enabling drivers, in real time, to know more about the other drivers on the road and to avoid accidents, increase safety, and if they succeed, make sure that dangerous drivers are a thing of the past.
What a company Moovit is. Hundreds of millions of users across the globe and a million new users a day! If Redbull owns energy drinks, iPad owns tablets, Moovit owns public transportation. To say that Moovit has hit product market fit and critical mass would be underselling them. This company is simply exploding and that is thanks to the super management and the hard work of the lean team that keeps pushing boundaries.
This company is nothing short of a phenomenon. Here is an experiment. Pick up your iPhone, unlock it, open the App Store, and navigate to the top paid apps worldwide. Now count how many of the top 50 are Lightricks apps. Facetune and Enlight are definitely there, but so are some of their others. The number of downloads of Lightricks’ apps and the amount of times that Apple features them is just outrageous, especially given that they are based in a humble Jerusalem office.
While Powtoon is building and scaling its enterprise business with some of the biggest names you can imagine, its consumer product is what made it viral in the beginning and it continues to scale. A super simple video platform that turns any user into a producer. I am talking 25 million users and an incredibly active and engaged Powtoon user base that doesn’t stop growing. Super excited to be actively working with this team and learning from them every day.
Gett has become a household name in the ride sharing economy, has raised significant capital from some of the biggest names in mobility and is expanding its offering as it grows. Personally, I use and enjoy Gett at least once a week and I am a user experience snob. Big fan of what they have built.
Not many people know this about me, but I kinda love music. Joytunes is a super impressive company with incredible investors behind them and their mission is to take music lessons to the 21st century. Simply put, Joytunes has apps to teach anyone how to play piano. I assume they will be releasing many more apps in the future to teach other instruments, but their current apps have millions of users and growing fast.
Medisafe has not only created a superb consumer product, cornered the market, and built an incredibly loyal user base, it has also saved many lives in the process. Omri and his brother had a close call when their dad almost accidentally overdosed on meds because he forgot that he had already taken his pill, they decided to help people manage their medication consumption. Incredible scale and phenomenal investors behind them, watching this company’s journey is super inspiring.
Omer Perchik, the founder and CEO of AnyDo is somewhat of a mystery to me and others. The man has managed to build a truly beautiful product, raise capital from some of the most impressive investors out there, develop deep tech to enhance consumer productivity, and optimize the revenue of the company so it’s basically printing money, all with a super small team comprised of a few very smart people. Despite all that, AnyDo keeps pumping out new products and new features more often than I can say “I need more hours in the day.”
The DIY space is pretty massive, and Hometalk is dominating it. Been working with the team for a few years now and to say that this company has a unique culture would be a laughable understatement. In fact, when I write my “Most diverse tech companies” post, Hometalk will be at the top of the list. Incredible growth, insane numbers, and no signs of slowing down.
Fitness22 has a portfolio of iOS and Android apps in the fitness space that dominate the charts with over 60 million downloads and outrageously positive reviews from their users. Based in Petach Tikva, Benny Shaviv and team (Fortunate to be an advisor) have built a truly unique consumer company competing with the biggest names out there and standing their ground.
I mean, what kind of consumer company list would this be if it didn’t include Waze? You might think of Waze as that crowd sourced GPS app, or the Israeli company that sold to Google for a billion, but it is actually so much more than that and the team has some incredibly ambitious plans. If their past mission was beating traffic, now it is all about eliminating traffic. Watch this interview to understand more.
All remarkable companies, all experiencing insane growth, all leading consumer brands founded, built, and scaled in the land of milk and honey. And if you look at the actual statistics, it is quite clear. Israel, as a leading technology superpower, is just getting started!