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The Start-up Nation's Hottest New Sectors for India: Ad and Media-tech Israel is a hotbed for start-ups but the opportunities for India are in sectors other than expected

By Tzakhi Freedman

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Israel is known as the 'start-up nation' and is reputed in India for its innovative technologies in water treatment and management, agriculture, healthcare, and of course security. But the start-up nation doesn't stop at these sectors. In fact, other sectors might be much more promising for Israeli technologies in India. Let's take a look at two sectors in which Israeli start-ups excel on a global level, and offer exciting opportunities for the private sector in India: Ad-tech and media-tech.

Ad-tech opportunities in the Indian market

Not many are aware that Israel is one of the world leaders in digital advertising technologies, with a large ecosystem generating a multitude of innovative and successful start-ups. The most obvious example is the ad-tech giant created by the recent merge of Outbrain into Taboola. Another emerging sector leader is Appsflyer, whose technology for mobile marketing analytics brought it to an estimated valuation of $1.5 billion. Also noteworthy is Datorama, with its marketing intelligence platform, acquired by Salesforce last year for $850 million. The list could go on.

Meanwhile, digital marketing is growing in India by 30-40 per cent a year. The opportunities for Israeli ad-tech in India are especially promising as both countries rely on the same platforms—Google, Facebook, and their group companies. This means the Israeli technology does not need a great deal of adjustment for deployment in the Indian market (in stark contrast to the agri-tech sector for example, where the differences between the on-the-ground reality for farmers in India and Israel create big challenges for integration). Promising Israeli start-ups offer solutions for the latest world trends in the sector, such as influencer marketing, interactive video, and other unique solutions such as widgets that are gamifying ads and using machine learning to gather insights on viewers.

Cutting edge media-tech

The closely related sector of media-tech is again a strong area of innovation in Israel. The strength of Israeli founders in AI and machine learning (often stemming from a military background) are at the core of many innovative solutions in this sector. Along established companies such as the now London-based sports media platform Minute Media, we may mention Replay Technologies, with its multi-dimensional video imaging solutions acquired by Intel for $175 million, and Magisto, that created a video editing tool and was acquired by Vimeo for $200 million.

The Indian media is a booming market, and is set to keep expanding as India's economy continues its growth. The low cost of mobile data, and the ongoing penetration of smartphones create a huge opportunity as well as a pressing need for ever-improving technology. Israeli start-ups are at the cutting edge of media, in its different sub-sectors such as gaming, sports, movie production, event management and more. In television, the worldwide movement towards OTT broadcasting has opened the need for the next generation of viewer engagement solutions. Israeli start-ups developed platforms that gamify and bring to life live and VOD broadcasts without referring the viewer to a second screen. Finally, Israeli start-ups are innovating the music industry, where the current world trend is towards a social music listening experience.

Partnership Opportunities for Indian Investors

Israeli ad- and media-tech companies mostly develop their solutions with the US market in mind, often unaware of the huge opportunity India presents. Indian investors and entrepreneurs can gain the rights for Israeli technologies in these sectors with relative ease and take them to scale in the Indian market, creating big wins for all involved.

Tzakhi Freedman

Founder, Lucid IL


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