3 Israeli start-ups reach 2011 TechCrunch Disrupt

Farmigo, Shaker and Tonara are competing in the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield final in San Francisco.

Three Israeli start-ups are participating in the biannual start-up TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield competition in San Francisco: Farmigo Ltd., Shaker and Tonara Ltd. Over the next three days, they will compete against 30 other companies in the Battlefield for the Best Start-up title

Farmigo CEO Benzi Ronen and CTO Yossi Pik, both former SAP employees, founded the company two years ago. It has developed a platform that shortens the supply chain by skipping over food retailers that act as an intermediary. Farmigo's Internet platform enables the end-user to purchase food directly from farms, fishermen, or whoever caught or prepared the food. The platform enables growers to manage their stock and to create an ordering and distribution system, which also benefits buyers since they can choose which foods to purchase.

Ronen says that more than 100 farms and food producers in the US are currently using his platform, and that 2-3 new producers join every week. Farmigo's average monthly revenue is $2.5 million. The company has raised $2 million to date from Darya Ventures and private investors.

Shaker, owned by Scene53, has developed a Facebook app called Shaker, which has received strong virtual publicity over the last few weeks on social networks. The idea behind the product is a virtual bar inside Facebook, where each person has a virtual character that moves around in a bar and can speak with other people and join existing conversations. According to Israel Venture Capital, Scene53, founded by Yonatan Maor, Ofer Rondstein, Yonatan Kaseh and Gad Maor, has raised $3 million from Pitango Venture Capital.

Tonara, owned by Yair Lavi and Ivgeni Begelfort, has developed a complex iPad app that enables musicians to forego sheet music, and to use their iPad instead. The app is based on characters from special composers, some of which come free with the app, and others which can be downloaded for a fee of $1 from a built-in app store. The advantage of the app, on top of its ability to display musical notes, is its ability to listen to what's being played, and to follow the notes and even to automatically turn pages. It can also show the notes for each instrument separately. Tonara raised funds from Index Fund, Lool Ventures and private investors.

Israeli companies bring respect

At least one Israeli company has participated in each of the last three TechCrunch Disrupt competitions against 20 or 30 contestants. Four Israeli companies participated in the last conference in May.

The winner of the May 2010 competition was anti-frustration software company Soluto Ltd., founded by CEO Tomer Dvir and CTO Yishai Green. Soluto's technology enables frustrated users to solve personal computer and browser problems. Superfly, founded by Yonatan Meiri and Tzviki Cohen, which has developed an Internet system that manages frequent flyer and car rental points, participated in the September 2010 competition, but did not reach the finals.

Five Israeli companies participated in the May 2011 TechCrunch Disrupt compititon: BillGuard Inc., founded by CEO Yaron Samid and CTO Raphael Ouzan, has developed technology to alert users of scams, fraud, and improper and incorrect charges on their credit cards, and won second place; Do@ Ltd., founded by xx, won the Microsoft Bing Decision Award for its mobile search application that can search by applications directly, rather than by Internet links, and displays the results by HTML5-based Webapps; SHL Telemedicine Ltd. (SHLTN); MotherKnows Ltd., which has has developed online and mobile full-service children's health records specifically designed for parents; and Deja, which has has developed an iPad app for sharing and discovering video.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 13, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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