Lunch In Israel: six startups, a VC and a blogger

Last Sunday I attended an ad hoc tech lunch in Tel Aviv, Israel to meet six great web 2.0 startups there. Attending were founders from I4giveu, Maxthon, Raw Sugar, Spotback, Triplay and Yedda. Daniel Cohen from Gemini Israel Funds, Ouriel Ohayon (TechCrunch France author) and other tech enthusiasts were there as well.

We had a great meal and a great discussion. My pictures from the event are up on flickr here.

The six startups that were represented include:


Founder Alon Carmel is a gifted designer and developer and is getting ready to launch his stealth project I4giveu. Very few details on the service were revealed, but as always I love the email collecting landing page with promises of amazement in a very short time. Sign up here. One thing Alon did say was this: “Each user will earn his reputation from angel to devil according to his post ranked by other community users.” Sounds like fun!

Maxthon Browser

Netanel Jacobsson represented Maxthon Browser, the controversial but popular IE based browser that has surpassed 50 million downloads. Ouriel Ohayon writes about Maxthon here.

Raw Sugar

The executive team of Raw Sugar is based in Silicon Valley, the development effort is led by Frank Smadja out of Haifa, Israel. I’ve written about Raw Sugar on TechCrunch previously, and they are moving toward launch of a new feature which will automatically import tag and category information from blogs to create a single browsable and searchable directory. Great stuff.


Spotback founders Micha Kaufman and Amit Kaufman gave me an early look at credential-protected Spotback, which is going to be a winner. Look for a full profile soon, but Spotback is a personalized news and rating/sharing site that has very strong features and will give front runners like Newsvine a real run for their money. Design and functionality is top notch. Sign up for the beta here. I would not be surprised if Spotback received joint Israel-US VC funding in the very near future.


Yaron Orenstein spoke to me briefly about Triplay, a very young company that is looking to create a cross-platform mul­ti­me­dia platform (computer-mobile-television). There are very few details on the site, but Triplay looks interesting. “Think People NOT technology…TriPlay’s Super Messaging service will enable people to easily communicate all types of media and content across their PC, TV, and Mobile devices.” Look for a full review on MobileCrunch soon.


I’ve been talking to Yaniv Golan and Avichay Nissenbaum, the founders of Yedda, since last December. See my teaser post on them from January. Yedda should be taking the wrapper off their service within the next few weeks, and I’ll be dong a full profile.

All of these entrepreneurs are humble and flat out brilliant. I’m excited to see good stuff coming out of Israel, and look forward to watching these six new companies grow.