Boons Of The Start-Up Nation: 5 Israeli FinTech Companies You Want To Keep An Eye On

I Know First Research Team LogoThis article was written by the I Know First Research Team.
Israeli Fintech Companies
(Source: Pixabay.com)

As computers grow ever-more powerful and high-tech solutions are picked up and implemented across the board in a set of industries diverse enough to include cloud-based speech-to-text applications and robot cafes, the financial sector is keeping up with the trend and embracing the new technologies. And for tech-savvy investors looking to generate impressive returns by tapping into a booming pool of creativity and technological know-hows, there is no better place to start than Israeli FinTech companies scene.

The Start-Up Nation, with its bustling entrepreneurial ecosystem, has seen the arrival of over 500 multinationals seeking partnerships with Israeli fintech companies which are very much on the list of their interests, as showcased by Visa’s decision to open a tech-scouting office in Tel Aviv as well as by the arrivals of such giants as BNP Paribas and Scotiabank. International recognition and increased investor trust have allowed the Israeli fintech companies sector to secure almost $1 bln. in funding in 2018, its best year on record.  

And if you are willing to step into the fray and benefit from the Israeli creativity, we picked 5 Israeli fintech companies for you to keep an eye on.

Covered On All Fronts: Riskified, Automated eCommerce Fraud Prevention

Israeli Fintech Companies
(Source: riskified.com)

Established in 2007 by Assaf Feldman and Eido Gal, Riskified is an e-commerce credit card fraud prevention service relying on advanced machine learning techniques and big data to filter out the suspicious buyers. What makes it truly stand out among its peers, however, is the chargeback guarantee coverage: the company pledges to take the burden of chargeback liability upon itself and refund the losses that resulted from its algorithm failing to pick up a malicious actor within 48 hours. This effectively unlocks more deals for its customers, whose risks are reduced both through the precision of the algorithms employed by Riskified and the guaranteed payback in case of a fraudulent transaction.

All this has allowed Riskified to blossom into a global business with such customers as Gucci, Sears, ALDO, Air Europa, Samsung and HTC. The company has been able to attract a total of almost $64 million in investment, with Israel-based Pitango Venture Capital and Qumra Capital as the lead investors, and develop a customer base broad enough to extend its reach to transactions from 187 countries.

Besides providing the fraud detection services, the company also conducts rigorous research on credit card fraud and identity theft, publishing its insights on its blog and in reports.

Do Like I Do: eToro, Social Crypto Trading Network

Israeli Fintech Companies
(Source: etoro.com)

Founded in 2007 by Yoni Assia, an MSC in Computer Science with a passion for finance, his brother Ronen Assia, an experienced product designer, and David Ring, a vetted software developer and manager, eToro is a crypto trading platform with a range of features that are designed to bring it closer to social network. Here, users can connect with each other, follow the most successful traders and automate their own trading in a way that would mirror the moves of the traders of their choice.

This social aspect is what eToro chose as its defining feature back in 2010, when it released its OpenBook Forex trading platform based on the same logic: its users would be able to follow and mimic their traders of choice. The service was designed in a way that would make it as accessible as possible, offering the users a simple interface that came at the expense of more sophisticated tools that would have been of use for more experienced traders.

Nevertheless, the bet had proven to be a successful one even before the release of the OpenBook, as eToro claimed the status of the fastest growing online trading environment, drawing the attention of investors. Up to this moment, its total amount of money raised over multiple rounds stands at a whopping $222 million.      

Jack Of All Trades: Rapyd, Financial Services Platform

Israeli Fintech Companies
(Source: Calcalist.co.il)

Founded by entrepreneur Arik Shtilman, Arkady Karpman, a seasoned software engineer, and business developer Omer Priel, Rapyd, which opened for business in 2017, in a way, does the direct opposite of what many other startups do: instead of offering a single niche product, it works on a different philosophy and instead offers its customers a set of financial services, such as handling payments, currency transfers, ID checks and card issuing, all integrated into a single API.

What defines Rapyd, which has its R&D department based in Israel, is the sheer scope of its operation: having forged partnerships with some 100 banks around the globe (and seeking to bring their number all the way up to 150), it can deal with transfers in 65 currencies and hand out the payments in more than 170 countries. The company claims to have about 50 clients, predominantly in the e-commerce area and the so-called gig-economy companies like Lyft, disclosing none of their names. This seems to have impressed the investors, as the company has been able to raise a total of about $60 million, securing two-thirds of that in a recent Series B funding round that was backed by Stripe and General Catalyst.

The company plans to expand the range of the available services as it grows, evolving into what its founders describe as “Fintech-as-a-service”.

One Crypto To Rule Them All: Bancor, Cross-Chain Cryptocurrency Conversion

Israeli Fintech Companies
(Source: about.bancor.network)

Founded in 2016 by product architect Eyal Hertzog, business development specialist and entrepreneur Galia Benartzi, computer software expert Guy Benartzi and software developer Yudi Levi, Bancor is rooted in an idea offered by John Maynard Keynes and Ernst Friedrich Schumacher in 1940s. While the two renowned economists envisaged a supranational currency called bancor, the eponymous Israeli startup seeks to do the same for cryptocurrencies.

Bancor’s initial coin offering of its own BNT (Bancor Network Token) saw it collect over $150 mln. in Etherium over just a few hours. This coin is distinct from others available on cryptocurrency exchanges in that it cannot be mined – instead, BNTs are issued every time a cryptocurrency conversion is initiated. What it does is removing the middleman: while transferring your crypto assets from one chain to another would normally mean finding someone who holds the necessary amount in the coins of your choice and then negotiating a transfer, Bancor effectively allows the crypto trader to trade with the algorithm instead.

While a hacker attack cost the company millions worth of cryptocurrency tokens in July 2018, the company has not been deterred by it and recently launched its new wallet for cross-chain token trading in Etherium- and EOS-based cryptocurrencies.     

Bulls, Bears and Big Data: IKnowFirst, AI-Driven Market Forecasts

Israeli Fintech Companies
(Source: IKnowFirst.com)

With the era of automation descending upon us, powerful algorithms are taking on more and more complex and responsible tasks. I Know First, Tel Aviv-based fintech startup, puts the AI technology to the test in the field of investment – and succeeds, it seems, as its proprietary algorithm has beaten the S&P 500 index as the guiding light for investment decisions.

Voted in as the best international fintech startup at the 2019 Geneva WealthTech Forum, the company provides daily AI-based stock market forecasts to private and institutional investors. Its powerful self-learning algorithm can assess the outlook for over 10 000 assets, including stocks, ETFs, commodities and currency rates, going through the fresh market data to compare it against a large database covering 15 years of trading to dynamically model what could happen next. Its genetic components allow it to keep up with the market, improving the accuracy of its predictions with every new iteration.

Israeli Fintech Companies
(Source: IKnowFirst.com)

Founded in 2010 by vetted algo-trader Yaron Golgher and machine learning expert Dr. Lipa Roitman, the company provides forecasts for various time horizons, ranging from 3-day predictions for those looking for quick returns to 1-year forecasts for those playing the longer game. The predictions are delivered as easily-interpretable heatmaps with two key indicators to look at: the signal, which indicates the stock’s relative performance against the rest of the assets on the forecast, and the predictability, which demonstrates how well the algorithm is capable to predict the dynamics of this stock based on the available historic data.

I Know First CEO Yaron Golgher holding the WealthTech Forum award
(I Know First CEO Yaron Golgher holding the WealthTech Forum award. Source: IKnowFirst.com)

Besides that, it also conducts on-demand portfolio analysis and publishes daily market analysis articles on its website, covering the best-performing assets on its forecasts. WIth almost 10 years of experience in the market, IKnowFirst is a solid choice both for hedge fund managers eager to explore the prospects that AI tech can offer and individual investors willing to pick up industry’s most advanced practices and delve into algo-trading.