2018 was a record-breaking year for startups emanating from the young nation of Israel, now its fledgeling businesses have their sights set on global success.
Throughout 2018, a total of $6.47 billion was invested in domestic startups – an increase of 17% on the year prior. The value of investment is made more impressive by the fact that it’s more than double that of 2013.
Founder and CEO of OurCrowd – an equity crowdfunding platform – Jon Medved said of the developments: “2018 broke all records of capital raising by Israeli tech startups with most of the capital invested going to growth-stage companies. With 4X the number of funding rounds greater than $20 million compared to 5 years ago, the interest in ‘Start-Up Nation’ clearly shifted to the ‘Scale-Up’ phase.”
But how straightforward will this newfound scaling phase of the Start-Up Nation be? And how are Israeli companies marketing themselves to organisations worldwide? Here’s a deeper look into the scaling of the Start-Up Nation.
Israel has worked hard on developing and building a reputation for innovation among new businesses for some years now. To be recognised as the Start-Up Nation in a world that understands the importance of embracing technology is no mean feat.
In particular, Tel Aviv’s record of embracing new businesses has seen the city welcome new industry and staff alike. Innovation Israel charts the number of paid employees in technologically driven industries at 13,200 alone in Tel Aviv.
The championing of Tel Aviv has helped external businesses to pinpoint the cauldron of tech innovation worldwide and thus know exactly where to look for strategic partnerships.
The rise of the Start-Up Nation is further aided by Israel’s position at the western world’s gateway to Asia – allowing companies from the eastern hemisphere to operate alongside businesses from Europe and the US.
Marketing to the world
In recent years, Israeli companies have enjoyed plenty of small scale success – after all, the nation boasts more startups per capita than any other country in the world – but has traditionally struggled when it comes to expanding. Precious few Israeli startups have progressed in attaining a value of over $1bn, and only one firm, Teva, rank within the world’s top 500 companies in terms of market capitalisation.
For such a prolific nation, this is evident evidence of underachievement. But things are changing for the better around the tech hubs of Tel Aviv and beyond. In the summer of 2019, Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. joined forces with Israel’s Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. in a bid to tap into the potential of the Start-Up Nation’s burgeoning tech industry.
Talking of the newfound partnership, Harel CEO, Michel Siboni said: “The entry of a Japanese corporation into investments in Israeli hi-tech sectors creates vast potential for Israeli startups and entrepreneurs.” While Makoto Okada was similarly ambitious regarding future collaboration, explaining that Harel “can bridge us to Israel innovation eco-systems.”
With the rise of foreign investment in Israeli startups, the task of marketing to the world becomes much more achievable. Marketing in the west is made simple through content and copywriting organisations, while domestic companies can build their appeal towards Asia through accurate translation services.
Tel Aviv’s thriving technological landscape could hardly be better timed. As the world becomes ever-dependent on innovative tech, Israel’s dedication to the industry has become virtually unignorable.
Companies within the nation are already hard at work in preempting the solutions to questions that haven’t yet been asked regarding the future state of retail, communications and manufacturing to name but a few.
For example, Nexite, an Israeli firm working on optimising customer experience within retail outlets could play a major role in saving the worlds’ high streets from the looming spectre of online shopping.
Nexite has designed an RFID-enabled tag for garments in-store that allows customers to securely complete their check-out process online and leave the store with their new item without the need of attending a checkout. When a remote purchase is made by scanning the item’s tag, the tag is disabled allowing the shopper to leave the store with their goods. If the purchase hasn’t been completed, a silent alarm will alert security should the customer leave with their item.
Another Israeli startup, Personali, utilises AI to assess a user’s shopping behaviour and purchasing patterns to customise offers and individual item prices based on who’s viewing which product and when.
Such innovations could help to keep retail thriving at a time where uncertainty dominates outlets worldwide, and Israel’s influence could be even more profound in other industries like cybersecurity and healthcare.
The rise of Israel’s technological hubs has become unignorable now the world has become dependent on interconnectivity and increasingly keen on investing in the prospect of the Internet of Things.
The scalability of Israel’s startups may be relatively modest compared to the country’s wealth of startups, but the future looks bring for the Start-Up Nation.