The Uniqueness of Israel
Israel’s Thriving Startup Industry
Israel is well known as a centre of technological innovation, a fact that has earned it the title of ‘Startup Nation’. Over the last few years that have been a number of hugely successful companies that began as small Israeli startups and were later purchased for vast sums of money and became global successes.
Perhaps the most famous instance of this was when Google purchased Waze in 2013 for $1.1 billion. If you’re not yet familiar with Waze, it is a community based navigation system that helps drivers avoid congested road by pooling data from all its users. The app is now a must have for drivers around the world and continues to be a great success.
However, Waze is not the only company to have been purchased for huge amounts of money. Trusteer was bought by IBM in 2006 for $1 billion. Trusteer is advanced malware and fraud prevention software that helps detect account takeover attacks, fraudulent transactions and control mobile fraud risk.
Similarly MobilEye had an initial public offering (IPO) of $1.02 billion in 2014. They are a predictive analytics startup that processes visual information for driver assistance. The idea is to help and keep passengers safer and reduce the risks of road accidents. The technology is particularly useful in the field of autonomous driving.
They are the only billion dollar companies so far, but there have been many more worth hundreds of millions. For instance, Ravello Systems was bought by Oracle for $500 million in 2016. Ravello Systems works in the area of cloud infrastructure, they build self-contained capsules to run VMware, test training and demo environments in the cloud without the need for any migration.
Another impressive company is PrimeSense. It was purchased by Apple for $345 million back in 2013. The company develops technology in the area of 3D sensing. Essentially they develop ways for devices to “see” their environments in three dimensions to help and create better interactions between people and their devices.
Less glamorous, but helpful in the world of law enforcement, was the startup Attent! They supply gadgets for remote people tracking, such as ankle bracelets, voice recognition devices and alcohol monitoring technologies. Back in 2010 they were bought by 3M for $230 million.
Israeli startups are not limited to just software. Sony purchased Altair, a company that develops modem chips for 4G LTE connectivity, for $200 million in 2016. Their products aim to deliver high performance while consuming small amounts of power.
There is a fantastic culture in Israel of people being prepared to take a risk and go it alone. It is this that has allowed so many Israeli startups to flourish and new ones to be formed all the time. There is no sign of this trend slowing down and more and more startups can be found with each passing year. The above mentioned are some of the most successful, but just five minutes research on Google will show you that there truly are hundreds of thriving companies leading the world of technological innovation.