Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to capture the imagination and interest of entrepreneurs, investors, big business, and consumers alike. Across sectors and industries, innovators are developing and implementing AI – enabled technologies that streamline processes, improve operational efficiency, and aim to identify actionable solutions to complex problems.
As AI technology continues to advance in sophistication; systems, machines, and processes designed to effectively analyze data, provide insights, and make decisions will become commonplace in our world. in fact, many already are. Whether it is the automation of tasks previously relegated to you and your colleagues at work, the software and hardware that increases your vehicle’s safety and will one day power self-driving vehicles, or the algorithms guiding how products are marketed to you, chances are AI is already having a major impact on your day-to-day life.
Over the next few years and coming decades, global entrepreneurs will continue to develop the Artificial Intelligence applications that will transform our future. It should come as no surprise, that Israel, a country whose technology acumen and startup prowess is well-documented, is a hotbed of AI innovation and well poised to lead the way.
As has been the case in other tech sectors, including Cybersecurity and Fintech, Israeli AI startups are generating quite a buzz. Broadly speaking, Israeli tech startups have continued to attract tremendous interest from investors, raising a total of $5.24 billion in 2017, an increase of 9 percent from the previous year. Yet, broken down by sector, it is astounding that a staggering $1.1 billion of investment, nearly 20 percent of the aforementioned total, was directed towards AI companies. Driven by multi-sector demand for AI technology, activity in the sector is broad and encompasses all industries, with Israeli AI firms developing solutions across a wide cross section of verticals including Technology, Industrial, Automotive, Enterprise, Healthcare, Fintech, and Marketing. Given the breadth of activity, it is not surprising that Israeli AI startups are receiving global acclaim. Last year, seven Israeli AI companies appeared on CB Insight’s list of “the most promising artificial intelligence companies in the world”.
If the trend continues, and there is no reason to believe it won’t, we can expect a great deal of innovative activity coming out of Israel’s AI sector. As an example of what the future offers, below you will find five interesting Israeli companies whom you may be hearing more about in coming years.
The brainchild of Mobileye co-founders Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, Jerusalem based OrCam uses AI technology to power wearable artificial vision products which enable blind, visually impaired, and partially sighted people to read text, recognize faces, distinguish between currency denominations, and identify products. Earlier this year, OrCam’s MyEye 2.0 won the Last Gadget Standing award at CES 2018, one of the world’s most influential annual technology gatherings.
Woo is bringing Artificial Intelligence to the hiring business. The company’s AI-enabled software platform works to anonymously connect job candidates with prospective employers using its proprietary algorithm to match candidates. Founded in 2014, Woo boasts some of the world’s most influential companies as users, among them Microsoft, Uber, and Lyft. The company, which has offices in Tel Aviv and San Francisco, has raised $11.4 million to date, closing a $7 million Series A round in October of 2017.
Founded in 2014, Wizer has offices in both Caesarea and New York City. Wizer’s consumer research platform uses AI to facilitate market research by developing research plans, identifying audiences, and then extracting actionable insights to guide business decisions. In September 2017, the company raised a $4 million Series A round, which included an investment from Nielsen Innovate, the Israeli based early stage incubator and investment fund of U.S. headquartered global data and information measurement company Nielsen.
With offices in Tel Aviv and New York, Aquant‘s predictive AI technology monitors equipment, aggregates data, and helps spot equipment failure before it happens. The company’s systems operate across several verticals including Manufacturing, Life Sciences and Medical, HVAC, Communications, Computer and Office Equipment, and Home Appliances. In October of 2017, the company raised a $2.6 million seed round including institutions and private investors.
Wibbitz, which has offices in NYC and Tel Aviv, has developed an AI-enabled video creation platform which uses algorithms to create video content directly from text in just a few seconds. In October of last year, the company closed a $20 million Series C round which included investments from The Weather Chanel and the Associated Press. Wibbitz has also announced new partnerships with Bloomberg, Cox Media Group, and the Discovery Communications Group, among others.