Israel—Technology Innovation Tour, the Startups

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KEY POINTS

  • The Fung Global Retail & Technology team traveled to Israel to meet with startups that are disrupting the retail space and to gain a deeper understanding of how multinational companies operate within Israel’s booming technology ecosystem.
  • Here is the list of companies we met with during our trip.

Israel: Notable Retail Startups

Executive Summary

The Fung Global Retail & Technology team traveled to Israel to meet with startups that are disrupting the retail space and to gain a deeper understanding of how multinational companies operate within Israel’s booming technology ecosystem.

The teams we met with are engaged in artificial intelligence, supply chain management, virtualization, data analytics, market intelligence services, image recognition, on-demand robotics and product optimization. About 80% of the companies we met with were either based or founded in Israel. Below, we provide insights on some of the standout companies we met with during our trip.

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STARTUPS

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Company: ADeens

Sector: In-store technology

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.adeens.com

ADeens is using in-store digital signs to affect the customer experience. The company’s mission is to increase and optimize sales for retail and grocery chains, and it believes it is providing the vision of how stores should look in the future. ADeens uses smart, automatically generated ads that are created based on information from a retailer’s ERP system. The service automatically generates sales-pushing commercials based on such information, and it relies on developed machine-learning algorithms to launch these ads on controlled screens.

 

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Company: Awear Solutions

Sector: Fashion technology, Analytics

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.awearsolutions.com

Awear Solutions makes wearing clothes a customer loyalty experience by rewarding consumer behavior and continuously gathering data about an item’s usage after it leaves the store. Today, fashion brands do not know what really happens to their product after it leaves the store.

Awear created a chip that allows fashion brands to use the IoT and big data analytics to learn about and reward customer behavior post-purchase. Consumers can use Awear’s mobile app to receive rewards for wearing a purchased fashion item or accessory and to receive targeted promotion offers at specific times and locations.

 

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Company: CommonSense Robotics

Sector: Supply chain

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.cs-robotics.com

CommonSense Robotics is building the first on-demand, robotic, in-the-city fulfillment solution for last-mile delivery. The solution enables one-hour delivery while reducing operational costs. Cofounder and CEO Elram Goren described the company’s solutions as “micro-fulfillment centers.” The company was established in 2015 and is a graduate of the Microsoft Accelerator program. CommonSense Robotics’ solution is currently in the demo stage, with a live beta version set to launch in the third quarter of 2017, according to Goren.

 

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Company: Consumer Physics

Sector: Hardware

Website: www.consumerphysics.com

Consumer Physics developed a handheld molecular scanner, the SciO, that allows consumers and businesses to learn about the makeup of materials in products. Users scan foods and other materials (such as vitamins and medicines) using the handheld device, and the API gathers data and offers a deep molecular analysis.

The SCiO sensor pairs with SCiO smartphone apps and connects to a cloud-based database of material fingerprints. Consumer Physics offers businesses and third-party developers a platform that enables them to design their own molecular-sensing models and mobile applications for personal and commercial use.

 

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Company: DSM Tool

Sector: E-commerce

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.dsmtool.com

We also met with DSM Tool, which automates the drop-shipping business by allowing manufacturers to ship goods directly to the retailer or consumer. DSM Tool defines itself as a “marketplace remarketer.” It manages the drop-shipping process and helps enable online drop-shipping. DSM Tool is a platform for clients who have eBay shops, but the service is intended for anyone who has a marketplace shop. The platform helps clients price items, and remarkets the items at a higher price. Today, DSM Tool works with approximately 1,500 eBay sellers.

 

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Company: EZface

Sector: Fashion technology

Product Stage: Released

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.ezface.com

EZface provides a virtualization solution to enhance the makeup shopping experience. Consumers can virtually “try on” cosmetics, get personalized recommendations and even solicit advice from friends via the EZface app. The virtual testing platform converts digital photographs into a “virtual mirror” through which users can visualize how they would actually look while wearing various makeup products.

The company’s virtualization software decodes the product’s attributes (color value, effect, coverage, etc.), analyzes the user’s pigmentation with automatic facial-detection technology, and blends the product’s attributes with the pigmentation in the relevant makeup areas to ensure an accurate and realistic simulation.

Founded in 2000, EZface has been successfully incorporated into numerous websites and in-store kiosks worldwide, including by Walmart and L’Oréal. According to Cofounder Rami Orpaz, EZface was the first company to experiment with providing a virtual makeup experience. Now there are several beauty startups working on virtual mirrors, including ModiFace and YouCam Makeup, and L’Oréal Paris has introduced a new virtual makeup tester app called Makeup Genius.

 

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Company: Freightos

Sector: Supply chain, logistics

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.freightos.com

Freightos is attempting to make global shipping smoother by offering the first online international freight marketplace. The Freightos marketplace enables logistics companies to manage contracts, and automate and manage the quote and sales process, from their own website. With a mission to bring real-time quotes to the freight industry, Freightos might best be described as a Kayak or Expedia for international shippers.

Both individual users and freight forwarders can use the platform to search for and filter shipping options by price, time, route, fees involved or type of transportation. The Freightos system replaces the old way of doing business, which relied on fax machines and Excel spreadsheets.

Freight vendors on the Freightos network can easily share rates and tariffs, allowing their salespeople, agents and customers to instantly generate even the most complex freight quotes in seconds, right from their Internet browser. Freightos says that it is able to offer more than 200 million freight pricing data points, and that it has established the largest freight rate database in existence.

The Freightos team, led by CEO Zvi Schreiber, has a strong track record of creating innovative technologies, some of which have been acquired by IBM and GE.

 

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Company: Invertex

Sector: E-commerce, customization

Product Stage: Famous Footwear

Website: www.invertex3d.com

Invertex created a retail and omnichannel solution that scans the body to enable more accurate sizing. Today, the technology is being used for footwear and eyewear. In less than 10 seconds, the Invertex app can scan a person’s foot and tell the user the exact size/fit he or she needs, with 95% accuracy. David Bleicher, the company’s CEO, said that shoe sizes delineated by different companies can differ by up to 1.5 sizes. He says that variation in sizing is contributing to the 30%–40% online shoe return rate, compared with the 8% rate for shoes that are bought offline. Invertex is selling its product both in stores and online with a downloadable app. Currently, the brand is working with Famous Footwear. It is also working with PQ Eyewear, using the technology for facial scans. The collaboration allows PQ to customize every frame based on face size and shape.

 

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Company: Kannita

Sector: In-store technology, analytics

Notable Clients: Coca-Cola

Website: www.kannita.com

Kannita uses image recognition technology to provide real-time inventory visibility and tracking. The company’s “virtual sales assistant” provides real-time, actionable insights on shelf contents and consumer behavior. The platform uses a camera on the front of a shelf in conjunction with i mage recognition to present data to a store’s sales team. The company’s solution helps retailers by providing alert when items are low or out of stock.

Kannita supports brick-and-mortar retailers by measuring conversion rates and product performance by location, which ultimately helps stores maximize their return on investment. The company is currently working with Coca-Cola.

 

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Company: Market Beyond

Sector: Analytics

Product Stage: Released

Notable Clients: Keter, Rubbermaid

Website: www.themarketbeyond.com

Market Beyond is a market intelligence services company that provides online retailers with insights into the customer purchase journey and their competitors. The company lets users tap into competitors’ KPIs in order to get information about sales, conversions, average selling price across products, effective marketing channels and more. The company facilitates the gathering of big data shopping information from millions of users worldwide, allowing online sellers to ask simple questions that can unveil easy steps to boost performance, such as “What is the competition selling?” and “What new products are trending?”
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Company: Mobilibuy

Sector: E-commerce, image recognition

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.mobilibuy.com

Mobilibuy created a software platform that enables brands, retailers and distributors to create virtual stores anywhere. The company places digital screens in desired locations and converts them int o storefronts. The product offering shown on the screen is modified based on the time, date and shopper profile. Consumers are able to spot and shop the product using a mobile device, and buy it. The goal is to bring the store to where the consumers are. Mobilibuy, there is no personnel, no physical store and no need to maintain stock in popular areas, where real estate can be a major expense. The company is currently working with Yahoo!, the Brooklyn Nets, the NBA, Kraft and Unilever.

 

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Company: ModLi

Sector: Fashion technology

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.modli.co

ModLi is a marketplace for modest, modern women. The marketplace was created more than 15 months ago and is the go-between for 100 different boutiques worldwide. ModLi believes that modesty can be defined in many ways, which allows it to cater to women of different lifestyles and religions. Today, the company sells hundreds of different modest items. Products include formal and casual dresses, shirts and skirts, as well as head coverings and accessories. The company sells items ranging from preteen to adult styles, and in sizes small to plus-size. ModLi says that 90% of its sales are made in the US. The website receives more than 150,000 visitors every month. Founder and CEO Nava Brief-Fried said the company has launched private-label brands and that the market presents much growth opportunity.

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Company: Ogmint solutions

Sector: E-commerce, VR

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.ogmint.com

Ogmint’s solutions will allow online retailers to scan and build their own online virtual-reality (VR) marketplaces. The company’s current software package contains all the components necessary to enable consumers to virtually try on watches and accessories in real time. The solutions are made to be incorporated into both monobrand and multibrand shops, as well as public environments such as airports, hotels and event sites. Founder David BenDavid said that VR is the vision of the future, and that very few models have VR products. Today, consumers may not feel the need for VR technology, but brands are expected to spend $30 billion on VR in 2020, and BenDavid believes a lot of that spending will be on content.

 

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Company: Panorama

Sector: Big data analytics, supply chain analytics

Notable Clients: Armani Exchange, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal, Philip Morris, Saks Fifth Avenue, Texas Instruments

Website: www.panorama.com

Panorama provides analytics and self-service features such as collaborative business intelligence, contextual data discovery and process automation for business users. The company’s solutions provide users with personalized, intuitive and interactive analytics that are delivered through a highly visual and understandable infographic format. The dashboard includes KPI alerts, and lets users create collaborative “workboards” and visual presentations to provide better context as they put together ad-hoc business teams to address internal issues.

The company was founded in 1993 and sold its OLAP technology to Microsoft in 1996. Panorama supports more than 1,600 customers worldwide in industries such as financial services, manufacturing, retail, healthcare and telecommunications.

 

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Company: Personali

Sector: E-commerce, analytics

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.personali.com

Personali is a retail technology software company focused on machine learning. Its platform predicts, in real time, a consumer’s willingness to pay, and offers different levels of incentives based on behavioral economics. For example, an incentive window will appear and offer the consumer a discount if he or she uses the offer within a certain amount of time. If the consumer is about to abandon a cart, it may offer a game. Personali is not a loyalty program; rather, it operates on a retailer’s site, unseen by the consumer. The system uses numerous parameters to draw elasticity curves of segments of what people will pay based on price—discount for conversion. The company reports that its model is helping drive conversion levels 30% higher and that those conversion rates can be reached with discounts of less than 5% on products.

 

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Company: Plataine

Sector: Supply chain

Product Stage: Released

Notable Clients: GE Digital, Siemens

Website: www.plataine.com

Plataine provides a production optimization solution for manufacturers that produce composite components for the transportation, furniture, aerospace and apparel industries. Plataine’s solution is a tracking-as-a-service (TaaS) solution that bridges the gap between CAD, ERP and the production floor, effectively enabling manufacturers to digitalize the production process.

The solution allows manufacturers to schedule production tasks; track raw materials, kits and tools throughout the plant; optimally select raw materials from inventory; dynamically assign product orders to available materials; and more. The software is designed to make manufacturers more competitive by helping them improve materials utilization and productivity, control quality, and shorten manufacturing cycles to ensure on-time delivery of products to customers and create a more dynamic manufacturing environment.

 

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Company: RFKeeper

Sector: Supply chain, inventory management, loss prevention

Notable Clients: Global resellers

Website: www.rfkeeper.com

RFKeeper is a provider of supply chain management and loss prevention solutions that use RFID tags. The company uses patent-pending RFID tags to provide retail chains with inventory management, loss prevention and supply chain visibility solutions that benefit both the supply chain manager and the retailer.

With the company’s system, retail products are assigned RFID tags that transmit all information throughout the supply chain to the cloud. This provides the supply chain manager with improved supply chain visibility and traceability for loss prevention.

RFKeeper’s end-to-end solutions enable retail chains to improve inventory accuracy, reduce shrinkage and increase shopper loyalty. The plug-and-play solutions can be deployed within hours, require minimal training and changes to retailers’ current store processes, and rely on a small RFKNet Wi-Fi router for configuration within the cloud.

 

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Company: Shopic

Sector: In-store technology

Notable Clients: Toys”R”Us

Website: www.shopic.co

Shopic is a shopping app that enables users to skip the checkout line in brick-and-mortar stores by letting them purchase items directly through the app. Users scan the barcodes of their items and Shopic’s payment system lets them safely upload their payment method and make the purchase on a standard approved by the PCI Security Standards Council. Shopic is currently using its self-pay option with major retailers such as Toys“R”Us.

Shopic has also collaborated with Tyco on a shopping app function that enables consumers to remove the security sensor on an item of clothing at the point of purchase—without requiring any assistance from an in-store staff member.

According to research from Motorola, one out of ten customers will walk out of a store when faced with long checkout lines. The Shopic app helps eliminate the need to wait in a checkout line, thereby decreasing cart abandonment and increasing sales. Forbes suggests that Shopic has the potential to be the top, all-powerful shopping app, and CIOReview magazine named Shopic one of the 20 most promising retail technology solution providers.

 

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Company: Syte

Sector: E-commerce, image recognition

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.syte.ai

Syte also uses image recognition, but in conjunction with e-commerce. The company is developing next-generation machine-learning technologies focused on image recognition and prediction that will help users find the items they are looking for online. The platform is designed to give consumers the ability to find anything they want to buy simply by hovering over an online image. For example, if a product is out of stock, Syte can help the shopper locate a similar style. The company has spent more than two years developing its fashion algorithm to identify items that most closely match style searches. Syte is also working with point-and-click technology to find the best matches for objects and the best prices across the web. The company’s CEO, Ofer Fryman, said that Syte is also launching an “As seen on me” feature on its app that will encourage users to upload blogged photos of their outfits.

 

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Company: Trax

Sector: Analytics, information technology

Notable Clients: Coca-Cola, Heineken, Nestlé

Website: www.traxretail.com

The Trax platform is powered by image recognition technology that provides retailers with deep insights into what is happening in their store aisles. Shelf images are taken with mobile devices, fixed cameras or robots, and then analyzed in the Trax cloud. The system then sends real-time, actionable insights to store staff via their mobile devices. Online dashboards are available for business teams through Trax’s business intelligence platform.

Trax provides retailers with recommendations for improving sales, such as how to change the placement of products relative to their environment in the store. Retailers turn the data and insights into broader market intelligence and highly accurate trend predictions that shine a light on new ways to improve the in-store customer experience. The company has received $78 million in total financing to date.

 

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Company: Wave

Sector: Supply chain

Notable Clients: N/A

Website: www.wavebl.com

Wave connects all members of the supply chain to a decentralized network and allows them to directly exchange documents. Wave’s application manages ownership of documents on the blockchain, eliminating disputes, forgeries and risks. The peer-to-peer network connects all carriers, banks, forwarders, traders and other parties of the international trading supply chain. Using decentralized technologies, all communication between these parties is direct and does not pass through a specific central entity.

Currently, the supply chain process requires a bill of lading, or document issued by a carrier to acknowledge receipt of cargo for shipment. Bills of lading are one of three crucial documents used in international trade to ensure that exporters receive payment and importers receive merchandise. Wave’s solution provides an innovative method for exchanging trade documents that is cost-effective, secure and designed to integrate with current workflows. The startup is backed by the Tel Aviv–based Barclays Accelerator.

 

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Company: Wizer

Sector: Analytics

Notable Clients: Keter, SodaStream, Brita

Website: www.getwizer.com

Wizer is a consumer research platform that uses artificial intelligence to analyze business questions and provide fast, affordable and in-depth market insights. The platform simplifies the process of running professional market research surveys, according to the company’s cofounder, Idan Geva.

With Wizer, the client poses a research question and defines goals. Then, Wizer’s algorithm builds a research plan, selecting an optimized questionnaire that fields responses from a selected group. The platform pulls appropriate questions from hundreds that have already been written by human researchers, and the questions are auto-assembled into an online questionnaire of 25–30 questions. The system ensures that there is no writing required by the client’s marketing team.

So, clients are able to automatically generate an online questionnaire by answering the platform’s questions, and they receive results within 48 hours. Furthermore, Wizer’s algorithm analyzes the survey results and their statistical significance. The startup is backed by market researcher Nielsen’s incubator in Israel.