Tel Aviv’s hottest startups
The Tel Aviv start-up The scene underwent a transformation around 2019, shifting from a system of “holy grail exits”, as Eli David, CEO of StartUp Link puts it, to “building businesses that aren’t looking to sell to Google right away.” .
As has always been the case, the military remains the main source of founders, not least because almost everyone goes through it, but also for its emphasis on problem solving and cybersecurity, the AI and robotics. There is a growth of Web3, gaming and productivity startups as countries like India come online as customers. “We have a brain drain problem,” admits Michel Abadi, managing partner of Maverick Ventures Israel. “But we have a lot of patience.”
“We map the immune system and all of its different parts, from cell types to cell states, to provide researchers with a complete map and comprehensive understanding of the immune system,” says Luis Voloch, who co-founded Immunai with Noam Solomon in 2018. The platform combines single-cell multiomics, machine learning and functional genomics with high-quality patient data to identify and validate novel drug targets, reducing costs and increasing the success rate of drug development. The total raised to date is $295 million in three rounds from Viola Ventures, Dexcel Pharma and Koch Disruptive Technologies. Immunai has 25 academic collaborations with institutions including Harvard, Stanford, and Memorial Sloan Kettering, and 30 partnerships with Fortune 100 pharmaceutical companies. The company, with offices around the world, achieved unicorn status in October 2021, less than three years after its inception, and acquired Dropprint Genomics, a San Francisco-based computational biology startup, and Nebion, a Swiss bioinformatics company. Plans include developing the company’s own drug discovery pipeline from acquired compounds. immunai.com
“We have the clearest KPIs of any company I’ve started,” says co-founder Saar Safra. “For every dollar we earn, we save two bees.” According to Safra, 75% of all fruits and vegetables are pollinated by bees, while 35% of bee colonies disappear each year. Beewise, launched in 2018 by serial entrepreneur Safra and beekeeper Eliyah Radzyner, is on a mission to prevent colony collapse disorder. How? A robot that can close a hive if it detects pesticides, provide food if a colony is missing, and control the temperature to keep bees alive. The company has raised $120 million across four rounds that have included local VCs lool Ventures and Fortissimo Capital, as well as US backers Corner Ventures and Insight Partners. It is opening new factories near large bee populations and claims to have reduced collapse from 35% to 8% where it is deployed. beewise.ag
Run:AI has created what it calls a special deep learning virtualization layer that can train AI models running on graphics processing units much faster than is normally possible, while using less of resources. Since GPU accelerators are among the most expensive devices in a data center, efficiency is key. In 2018, Omri Geller and Ronen Dar launched Run:AI to control the workload from the cloud, pooling resources from large clusters of GPUs and sharing them between different AI workloads by automatically assigning the power of calculation required for each task. “We’re doing for AI hardware what VMware and virtualization have done for traditional computing,” says Dar. The company raised $118 million in three rounds of funding, backed by Insight Partners, Tiger Global, TLV Partners and S-Capital VC. Since launching the product in 2020, the company’s revenue has grown ninefold, and future plans include managing inference workloads – trained AIs such as facial recognition software – from the cloud. . run.ai
Empathy combines technology and human support to help grieving family members through the logistical tasks and emotional trauma following the death of a loved one. The app can help with funeral arrangements and validating a will, say founders Ron Gura and Yonatan Bergman, but human support from care managers offering emotional assistance is key. Founded in 2020, the company has raised $43 million in two rounds of funding from Entree Capital and Aleph, as well as angel investors including Micha Kaufman, co-founder of Fiverr. Empathy reports that 92% of users said they felt better after using the app, and US Empathy users saved $3,007 on average. The company now has partnerships with Goldman Sachs and New York Life to help employees. empathy.com
Most neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease, have highly subjective and insensitive symptom examination and diagnosis, which hampers rapid diagnosis, drug development, and precision care. NeuraLight, co-founded by CEO Micha Breakstone and CTO Edmund Benami in 2021, is building the world’s largest symptom database, measuring over 1,000 volunteers to date. NeuraLight recently secured its first commercial contract with a publicly traded pharmaceutical company to aid in therapeutic discovery for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The company raised $30.5 million in two rounds from Koch Disruptive Technologies, Samsung Next, Operator Partners and VSC Ventures. Three trials with patients with Parkinson’s disease and MS in collaboration with major hospitals are planned for this fall. neuralight.ai
LUSIX produces laboratory-grade diamonds for the gemstone market and industrial applications in its solar-powered laboratory. The company has raised $135m, with LVMH Luxury Ventures leading the company’s recent $90m seed round to fund the expansion of its production capacity in Israel with a second all-solar installation. put into service this summer. The company was founded in 2016 as a spin-out from digital printing company Landa, by physicist Yossi Yayon and entrepreneur Benny Landa. “The lab-grown diamond journey is just beginning and has been embraced by consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z,” Landa says. lusix.com
Better Juice uses enzymes from microorganisms to convert the sugar in fruit juices into indigestible fiber, claiming to reduce up to 80% of all sugars in juices. Founded in 2018 by Eran Blachinsky at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, it received $8 million in seed funding led by iAngels along with Food Tech Lab and The Kitchen Hub. Blachinsky says his process does not affect the smell or taste of the juice, although it does reduce sweetness. Manufacturers can tailor processes to select the amount of sugar they wish to remove. The recent round will fund other product lines, such as ice cream, soft drinks and jam. best-juice.com
“Across the world, farmers are struggling to recruit fruit pickers, a situation that puts the entire industry at risk,” says Yaniv Maor, founder of Tevel. The company has raised $32.1 million, most recently from agricultural equipment makers including Japan’s Kubota and China’s Forbon, for its fleet of drones to perform picking, thinning and tillage tasks. pruning in orchards. A single unit consists of a wheeled vehicle with four quadcopter drones electrically linked to the vehicle and equipped with a meter-long mechanical gripper and AI-powered eyes that can differentiate between fruits and gauge their size and their maturity. The company plans a commercial rollout in southern Europe in late 2022. tevel-tech.com
Since 1978, more than 8 million babies have been born through IVF, although with nearly 3 million IVF cycles each year, the ratio of treatments to births could be better, according to embryologist Daniella Gilboa and specialist of in vitro fertilization Daniel Seidman, founders of AiVF . The company combines AI-based computer vision with a database of previous studies to identify embryos most likely to be successfully fertilized without the need for invasive testing. Founded in 2018, the company has raised $35 million in a series of funding rounds from investors including Insight Partners and Adam Neumann’s Family Office. Having received a European CE mark in 2021, the company is now planning to expand into the United States. aivf.co
For a startup founded in 2018, Trigo picked a tough target to beat: Amazon, which opened 70 frictionless payment stores. “We are the only company capable of converting existing stores into stand-alone stores,” says Michael Gabay, CEO and co-founder with his brother Daniel. The company’s computer vision system includes camera hardware and encrypted “grab and go” software that allows customers to grab items and be billed before leaving the store. Trigo secured $104 million in a series of rounds with backing from 83North, Vertex Ventures, Red Dot Capital Partners and Tesco, which opened its first checkout-free Trigo store in London in October 2021. Trigo is rolling out in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom in 2022. trigoretail.com
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