Mapping the Israeli Deep Tech Ecosystem

Omri Green
Jan 28 · 4 min read

By: Omri Green & Tal Ben-Moshe, Grove Ventures

Deep technology is the next phase in the evolution of modern technology. Other popular terms often used to describe forward-thinking technologies based on profound scientific breakthroughs or engineering novelties are “Frontier Technology”, “Hard technology” and others.

Deep Tech: What’s it All About?

The definition of Deep Tech evolves as new breakthroughs radically change landscapes. This poses an issue: What is considered a Deep Technology may vary according to the speaker. To simplify the inherent complication, we like to view Deep Technologies from two angles:

  • These are technologies that are on the interchange between fundamental research and applicable use cases.

We’re talking tech innovation which requires the development of non-trivial new intellectual properties; includes major scientific challenges; and caters to future customers’ market needs.

  • These are projects that only a limited number of teams around the world has the knowledge to tackle.

Even though Deep Tech is a relatively new term, we’ve been well-familiar with the phenomena of startups that had changed our lives with a category-defining technological breakthrough since the 60’s. Whether it’s the pioneering work done by Intel on compute processing and computer memory; Apple and Microsoft’s role in the development of the personal computers; Cisco and Netscape’s innovation in commercial online networks and personal browsers which led to the internet revolution. These companies and others have changed the world in a short time and continue to do so. And the world continues to change constantly. Does anyone remember the cloud before AWS? I think you get the picture.

State-of-the-art tech innovations constantly evolve. Not all infrastructure battles have been decided. The above mentioned companies and their deep technologies have had a long nurturing process before they emerged and became widely known. One of the most recent and fantastic Israeli stories as such is the one of Mobileye .

The company has been around since 1999. They’ve worked long and hard to develop advanced driver assistance systems. They were pioneers and created a market for something that previously did not exist. Today, the entire world is talking about autonomous vehicles and Israel has become a major hub for the global automotive industry.

Israel — A Hub for Deep Tech Innovation
Being Deep Tech innovators is challenging, but in Israel we enjoy local centers of excellence and innovation derived from academic and defense-related research and development. For decades, the local ecosystem established expertise in Deep Technologies such as:
Semiconductors; Quantum Computing; Sensors; Space 2.0; Robotics; Networking & Wireless; Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology; Next Gen Healthcare; AI Platforms; IoT and AR/VR.

Grove Ventures together with IVC Research Center, conducted a comprehensive research mapping more than 150 local startups which operate in the Deep Tech ecosystem. It is our pleasure to share with the world the 2020 edition of the Israeli Deep Tech landscape map.

This map was created in order to provide value for investors, CTOs, partners, corporations and customers alike in the Israeli and global ecosystem. You can feel free to shoot us an email and share your feedback on the 1st edition of the Israeli Deep Tech Map 2020.

As investors ourselves, we aim to put our money where our mouth is. Therefore, we are proud to see 8 of Grove Ventures’ portfolio companies appear in this map. Already, we placed a few bets in the fields of Semiconductors, Sensing, IoT, Healthcare, AI, Advanced Materials and Space.

2020 Deep Tech Trends in Israel

Grove Ventures was founded in 2015, when we identified that the next technology revolution will merge high-tech and the real world, often referred to as the “internet of things” or “digitalization”. We saw many technology gaps that won’t be solved by the big behemoth, where there’s a strong market pull for innovation.

Grove Ventures and IVC identified 3 major Deep Tech trends in Israel for 2020:

1. The rise of Semiconductors. Israel is known as strong hub for Semiconductors innovation starting from the days in which Intel started working in the country and up until the point when teams from Amazon, Intel, Broadcom, Marvell, Qualcomm and many other tech giants based strong VLSI teams on a great deal of graduates of some of the best universities in Israel. In 2019, we had 2 main acquisitions in this area: Nvidia, which acquired Mellanox; and Intel, with the Habana Labs acquisition.

2. Quantum Computing — an imminent reality. Although QC will not become a technology that we use in our day to day lives very soon (current estimates talk about a period of within 5–10 years from today). The time for Venture Capitals and the Israeli Government to invest, support and advance the development of the main components of these new super-computers is here and now. We, as a nation, are already behind most of the global technology leading powers and every delay may cause us to fall further behind.

3. Closer to Space. Israel proved in 2019 that it can send a spaceship to the moon. This encouraged young entrepreneurs to aim high and dream big. Thanks to the country’s human capital and knowledge in aeronautics, sensors, computing, etc. — future innovation in this fascinating area is sure to continue.

Deep Tech Growth Continues

We predict that in coming years many new startups will join the Deep Tech era, while many other startups will grow and become mature businesses. These startups are going to build a larger, solid foundation for the technology and allow major VCs and corporates to enrich their portfolios and offer a range of new solutions and products at the forefront of deep tech innovation.

Grove Ventures

Grove Ventures specializes in early-stage, deep technology investments. We invest in people first and are committed to creating value by utilizing our cross-industry interpersonal networks, strategic partnerships and extensive industry experience

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