8 leading Israeli AI startups to watch

Israel is a world leader in AI, behind only the U.S. and China in terms of startups. Here are the leading AI companies in Israel that are pushing the boundaries of what AI can do in a variety of fields, from security to analytics.

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At first glance, Israel's artificial intelligence startup scene seems like its firing on all cylinders.

The local ecosystem is considered one of world's leaders, second only to China and the U.S. The AI know-how is driving some 400 startups making applications ranging from cybersecurity to medical diagnostics and enterprise business intelligence software.

That reputation has prompted some multibillion dollar acquisitions of Israeli companies, such as Intel's purchase of three-year old Habana Networks for $2 billion in late 2019. According to a report by the IVC Research center, Israeli artificial intelligence startups raised $3.7 billion in 2019, more than double the figure for 2017.

Despite that success, Israeli tech leaders are sounding the alarm that the country might actually lose its place at the forefront for lack of a guiding vision. In 2019, a report by the government's Innovation Authority urged authorities to adopt a national strategy including boosting the country's data science engineers, supercomputing infrastructure, and allocating more public money to R&D.

In the U.S. and Europe "there's huge funding right there, which goes into getting companies from the academy to a sort of pre-development stage," said Jonathan Medved, the founder of OurCrowd, an Israeli venture capital investor. "This country doesn't have enough government research dollars for developing companies. That's why people are saying, hey, we should be investing more nationally."

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