With a population of merely 8.5 million people, Israel, the Startup Nation serves as a global hub for innovation in the high-tech sector and especially the FinTech vertical. In the past year alone, Israeli startups generated over $4.5 billion in funding, more than 10% of which was attributed to the growing FinTech industry. There are currently over 500 FinTech startups that reside in the country, both disrupting and supporting the future of banking and the financial services industry. This figure has continued to grow significantly year after year. In 2009, for example, there were only 90 FinTech startups with $13 million in capital. These startups are not only helping banks prosper in the modern age, but also giving individuals, small family owned businesses, and multinational firms alike the opportunity to conduct business more effectively.
There are many factors that have led to the rise in FinTech innovation in the Startup Nation. Israel’s dedication to research and development is unparalleled. It is by far the world leader in R&D with 20% of the nation's GDP devoted to innovation. It is also the world’s most venture capital funded society, with more funds per capita than any other nation. Large Israeli banks are willing to test beta versions of Israeli FinTech, Cyber Security, and mobile applications. Israel’s two largest banks, Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) and Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) have partnered with startup funds Elevator and Microsoft Ventures respectively to test new and innovative products. First International Bank of Israel (TASE: FTIN) is also supporting the biggest FinTech community in Israel in order to stay connected with Israeli FinTech innovation and is joined by Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz law firm, which represents a large number of FinTech and Blockchain ventures and entrepreneurs.
In the past several months, several FinTech communities have sprouted in and around Tel Aviv to cater to the growing FinTech startup community, one of which is Rise Tel Aviv. Created by Barclays and located in the heart of Tel Aviv, Rise brings world-class startups and thinkers together to help shape the future of FinTech. In addition to constructing this network of disruptive and revolutionary ideas, Rise Tel Aviv has recently partnered with FinTech Aviv to scout for FinTech innovation in the digital age.
One of the members of the FinTech Aviv community is the Levent Project. This startup has developed a platform for retail traders without any coding ability to share and create their own automated trading strategies. The Levent Project has achieved this by incorporating big data into their algorithm system analyzer. The startup’s simple interface enables it to be used extensively by hedge funds, banks, and brokers worldwide.
Another member of the Fintech-Aviv community is PEERS. This company has invented a cutting edge Peer-to-Peer technology for fair and transparent transactions in the financial services sector and online trading markets. PEERS offers top tier solutions to brokers and financial institutions who want to expand their services portfolio.
Another fascinating company that is a part of the FinTech-Aviv community is GetStocks - an online social brokerage aimed at removing several barriers in stock trading. It has created a platform that enables investors to view and potentially copy transactions that other individuals on the platform undertake. GetStocks allows successful traders to charge fees for their professional insight, and acts as a neutral arm that helps facilitate and encourage real stock investment.
Continuing its endeavor to enhance FinTech in Israel, FinTech-Aviv is hosting it’s summer finale meetup on September 11th, 2016 at the MindSpace rooftop in the heart of Tel Aviv. The theme of the event is Trading Platforms in Global Markets. If you would like to attend this event, please feel free to visit the FinTech Aviv website for more information.
The author is a FinTech-Aviv Analyst