2013 has turned out to be a very successful year for Israeli high-tech with a lot of high profile mergers and acquisitions, venture capital investment and initial public offerings.
Here are the top high-tech stories from Israel 2013!
It’s been almost 20 years since the last time I was at Harvard. I had spent most of my undergraduate degree running up and down the campus trying to make it in time to my economics classes. Earlier this month, through my role at OurCrowd, I had the opportunity to revisit the campus and go back to school, so to say.
On December 4th 2013, I participated in a crowdfunding panel at the Harvard Business School Association of Boston (see the event link here).
In light of recent developments int he crowdfunding field, HBS has organized a series of events to discuss the various aspects, implications and issues concerning the crowdfunding market today. The panel was moderated by Daniel Gorfine of the Milken Institute. The slides below are his and were presented at the event. Daniel is one of the foremost analysts on the ecosystem evolving around crowdfunding and the great discussion that ensued was evidence of his expertise.
There was a lively Q&A session following the panel. We discussed:
Crowdfunding is gearing up to be a major trend both in financial markets and social media in 2014, because it’s such a good confluence of the two. As momentum continues to grow, it is imperative to understand the ins and outs of this crowdfunding phenomenon. As a leading equity crowdfunding platform stationed in the heart of the world’s #2 startup ecosystem (Israel), OurCrowd has a front row seat to the industry.
Raising money for your startup can be a challenging experience for any entrepreneur, but especially as a newbie. Not because pitching is difficult and not because VCs are hard to impress. The challenge lies in the nuances of hearing and understanding what a venture capitalist says. As is the case in every industry, there’s a certain level of jargon used in the venture capital world that can make you feel like you’re reliving the Tower of Babylon. Navigating the complicated world of money can be a mess of confusing terminology.
In a recent article, Forbes put together 10 terms you need to learn before raising venture capital. Read our abridged definitions for the terms below and study them well!
For more detailed information on the ins and outs of investing, check out some of our previous blog posts covering these issues:
If you have any great examples or stories for the terms above, please share them with us in the comments section below!
As part of our new relationship, GE Ventures will have the right to co-invest with OurCrowd in early stage companies from the energy, healthcare, software, and advanced manufacturing sectors.
This means a lot for our investments and portfolio companies but it also underscores the fact that the investment playing field is being levelled — OurCrowd investors get access to the same deals multi-billion dollar corporations are seeing, at the same terms.
OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved said, “We are thrilled to partner with GE Ventures on co-investments via our equity crowdfunding platform. GE brings unequaled expertise and experience in a broad range of technologies and businesses that will add real value to our portfolio companies and to our investor community. To partner with a company of GE’s size and stature will allow OurCrowd to help break new ground in innovation finance.”
Read the full press release here.
Israel is known by most people as the Startup Nation, thanks to the its startup companies and numerous success stories. However, over the years Israel has also come to be known as a Cyber Nation. Given its own experiences and geography, Israel has become a leader in the cybersecurity field and is uniquely positioned for cyber challenges. The government, VC’s and angel investors are now more than ever investing in and promoting the cyber security market in Israel.
But, why are investors excited about cyber security startups?
Ron Moritz, one of OurCrowd’s mentors, gave a keynote address at OWASP Israel at the IDC (400+ attendees) about investing in startup cyber security companies, addressing the recent surge in the market’s popularity among investors and highlights which products and services for the cyber security market are hot right now.
View his presentation below:
The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed today written by OurCrowd CEO, Jon Medved.
In the editorial, Jon talks about how recent U.S. regulatory changes to equity crowdfunding will open up new opportunities for investors and how these changes have positioned OurCrowd as a leader in its space.
Startups and businesses have taken notice. They have begun to use similar online crowdfunding platforms—but to gather investments. And thanks in part to the SEC’s new rule, the equity crowdfunding market is poised for rapid growth over the next decade.
A new class of angel investors, affluent individuals who invest personal funds in companies, is another byproduct of the burgeoning crowdfunding movement. These angel investors are no longer just former startup founders. They’re a younger, broader class of Internet-savvy investors ready to evaluate and pick deals online.
Read the full Wall Street Journal article here.
A version of this article appeared October 10, 2013, on page A17 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: An SEC Rule Change Opens a New Era for Crowdfunding.
Apropos to our WSJ op-ed, on September 16th, OurCrowd held a webinar to dissect the SEC’s new rules on general solicitation. In the webinar, OurCrowd’s team discussed these new changes and examined the nuances of the JOBS Act, to make sure that investors are fully prepared to take advantage of these upcoming changes. View the webinar here.
The Startup Nation is known for its eye opening innovation — literally speaking, that is.
Israel is home to a growing medical device industry. It’s developed an advanced infrastructure of medical and paramedical research as well as bio-engineering capabilities. Israeli researchers have provided an impressive number of medical advances and copious contributions across the various branches of the medical industry and the field of vision is no exception. Israeli scientists have been consistently a dominant force in developing innovative technologies to help transform the lives of the world’s blind and visually impaired.
World Sight Day, an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment, falls out this week on October 10th. As writer Abigail Klein Leichman points out in ISRAEL21c, an online news magazine covering 21st century Israel, this is the “perfect opportunity to present some of the amazing advances coming out of Israel for treating medical conditions of the eye.”
The ISRAEL21c article lists a range of innovations that dramatically improve eyesight or the quality of life for people with vision impairments. The various technologies listed address a wide range of visual impairments, from vision restoration to assisting gadgets, such as telescopic implants, bionic lenses, camera contraptions, smartphone apps and devices and more.
Top 10 incredible Israeli advances in vision:
Read more and view the extended list here: Top 10 incredible Israeli advances in vision
There are a lot exciting projects underway in the biomedical sphere in Israel and not all of us can necessarily contribute our manpower or our know-how, but there are many ways to be involved. There are a lot of interesting investment opportunities to be found in this space that are more than just interesting investing opportunities—they present unique opportunities to help advance the health and quality of life of people around the world.
I guess the question is: whose life do you want to help improve with your next investment?
Last week, my neighbor told me about his new business idea. He was planning on buying a 3D printer and renting it out to people who were interested in using the product – sort of like a FedEx Office (‘Kinkos’) for 3D printing. Although he had some hesitations about the traction of that business in Beit Shemesh (a Jerusalem suburb), he still thought that it would take off in the near future.
Kenneth Wong, an analyst at Citigroup could not agree more. He predicts that the market for 3D printing will triple to $6Bn by 2018. A big player in the field of CAD/CAM, Stratasys, predicts it can increase revenues 25% by the end of the fiscal year. 3D Systems, another giant in the arena, had an increase of 53% in revenues from 2011 to 2012. Analysts accredit this to the fact that 3D printing companies want to break through the prototyping stage and start addressing the general consumer end of the market.
What exactly is 3D printing? 3D printing is the process of using digital metadata as instructions to a ‘printer’, a manufacturing device, to create a three dimensional object of any shape. Instead of having to use molds or casts, 3D printing literally creates something from scratch. After spec’ing out the object on your computer using a 3-D design program, you can have the object ‘printed’ and ready within a few hours. Many hobbyists are freely sharing their 3D printing designs on the web.
Why is the market growing? According to Steve Alexander from the Star Tribune, 3D printing has been progressing along with other digital technologies. It has come down in cost, advanced in quality and moved into the consumer market. Up until a few years ago, 3D printing was being used only to create small plastic objects such as toys and smartphone cases. Now- there are new emerging markets in a variety of sectors.
In 2012, Boeing printed more than twenty thousand components for ten different types of military and commercial airplanes.
Exone, a smaller but significant player in the field, utilized 3d printing to create boat propellers, doorknobs, and oil pump parts from stainless steel. The advantage of Exone’s manufacturing is that they now can compete with the global manufacturing market, thereby bringing jobs back to the US. In China, engineers have used 3D printers to create seats specifically fitted to its astronauts’ bodies. Let’s not forget GE, the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of jet engines, which announced just a few months ago that they are on the verge of utilizing 3D printing in their aviation division. As a customer of Stratasys, GE chose to use this additive process for manufacturing because it requires fewer materials than the standard process. This will save money not only in materials, but also in jet fuel, due to the fact that the weight of these GE printed parts are 10% lighter. That is a serious milestone for the 3D printing technology. 3D printing could have its most significant commercial impact in the manufacturing center (according to the MIT Technology review).
As in many tech industries, Israel, “the Startup Nation”, is a significant player in the field of 3D printing. Cimatron (CIMT), a top ranked CAD/CAM software company is based in Israel and has subsidiaries in 40 countries representing every global region. Cimatron is addressing the 3D printing market from a software angle. Stratasys (SSYS), with annual sales of $267 million, is an industry titan who saw its stock almost double in the past twelve months acquired an Israeli company named Objet Ltd, from Rehovot, in an all-stock transaction. Post transaction the company was valued at $3bn. Another big play completed by Stratasys was the acquisition of MakerBot in a deal that is being transacted entirely in company stock (4.76 million shares). Israel also has a couple of small players.
Most notably is ‘Something 3D’, a company who, unlike many CAD/CAM software based firms, is actually creating 3D printers. Currently they are attacking the ‘prosumer’ (professional consumer) market such as academia and industrial designers by selling their devices at relatively competitive price of only 9,500 NIS. While gaining a substantial standing in this market, ‘Something 3D’ is also hoping to make 3D printing more accessible and affordable to the population as a whole in Israel.
Part of the reason why a company such as ‘Something 3D’ is able to sell printers at a low price is thanks to the expiration of patents on fused deposition modeling which led to an increase in competition, according to a report by McKinsey . This phenomenon has led to the opportunity to buy a personal 3D FDM (fused deposition modeling) home printer for as little as $1K today when they cost as much as $30K just a few years back. The same report notes how 3D printing can be one of the 12 disruptive technologies by 2025 with global sales of 3D printed products between $230 and $550Bn a year. The majority of this impact, they report, will be more from consumer use followed by direct manufacturing.
What is the potential of 3D printing? Many analysts predict that the market will triple in size in the next 5 years. According to
Gartner, enterprise class 3D printers will cost as little as $2,000 by 2016. With capabilities and design tools of 3D printing advancing every day, this is a space that deserves close attention.
A top researcher at Gartner, Peter Basiliere, puts it best:
“3D printing is a technology accelerating to mainstream adoption”
|Yehudah is a business analyst at OurCrowd and in his final year of accounting at the Hebrew University. He also researches corporate bonds for the Snir Group in Tel Aviv. When he's not at work or school, you can find him playing roller hockey at Sacher Park in Jerusalem.|