If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then small services marketplace Fiverr International Ltd. is a resounding success. "Globes" has named Fiverr as Israel's most promising start-up for 2012.
Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman and CTO Shai Wininger founded the company in 2009. It provides a social e-commerce market place for users to buy and sell services for $5 and up. Fiverr charges a $1 commission on every transaction. Freelancers offer graphic design, translations, business consultancy and other services ranging from writing songs and resumes to horse betting tips and gigs of almost any kind.
Three years later, Fiverr is a success story, offering more than one million services. Many companies have attempted to duplicate its business model and copy its design. Many websites have appeared, some of which have even plagiarized its slogan "Buy. Sell. Have Fun." Other sites have imitated its spelling, such as Fourerr, Sixerr, and Eighterr, and set fees on this basis ($4 by Fourerr, for example). Israeli imitators include Smalljob, 20s, and Gigim, launched by Zap Ltd. earlier this year.
"Globes": Aren't you bothered that your investment is so easily imitated by scores of websites?
Kaufman: "This is something that happens to involve a lot of illegality. There is room for legal action, and Fiverr is dealing with things in its own way, but it's just background noise as far as I am concerned. We don’t sit around from morning to night just thinking about our imitators. Besides, the site's homepage is only a very tiny part of what goes on behind the scenes.
"Fiverr's know-how - the technology that underpins the arena - cannot be copied. Besides, with all due respect to the imitators, the moment you reach a certain threshold of users, it's very hard to create an imitator that will reach these dimensions."
These dimensions include 3,000 new services a day.
Despite ambitions for globalization, the site's only currency is the US dollar, and its only language is English. What about expansion to other arenas?
"Today, Fiverr serves clients - buyers and sellers - in over 200 countries. We plan to be everywhere, in every language, currency, and culture."
Fiverr's success is measured in manpower as well as profits. It has 50 employees, and Kaufman says that it is hiring. It success has whetted his and Wininger's appetite. Although Israeli Internet companies struggle to reach serious dimensions and are quick to make an exit, they have plans to create a billion-dollar company.
EarlySense aims for $100 million in sales
"Globes" named EarlySense Ltd., which has developed a contact-less continuous patient monitoring solution for patients’ heart rate, respiration, and movement, as Israel's second most promising start-up. It is a pioneer in a new market, which could reach $5 billion a year, or more. Its monitors are installed in thousands of hospital beds in the US, and it has multifold annual growth, and reportedly has millions of dollars in sales.
EarlySense was founded by Danny Lange and serial start-up entrepreneur Yossi Gross. He originally founded the company to handle asthma, from which a child family member suffered. Child asthmatics are at high risk from nighttime attacks, and doctors advised the child's parents to sleep next to him and listen to his breathing. Lange, an expert in signal analysis, decided to develop a solution for the provision of accurate data.
EarlySense CEO Avner Halperin hopes to achieve $100 million in sales within four years.
The next eight most promising start-ups are Powermat Technologies Ltd., which has developed a wireless recharging platform for electronic devices; global e-commerce company FiftyOne Inc.; SaaS-based project execution platform developer; Clarizen Inc.; SSD flash storage solution developer Kaminario Inc.; targeted online ads company myThings Ltd.; iPhone app review company Onavo Ltd.; document security solutions developer WatchDox Ltd. and minimally invasive spinal surgery solutions developer Non-Linear Technologies Ltd.
"Globes" named blog content rating and recommendation company Outbrain Ltd. as the most promising start-up for 2011.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 25, 2012
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012