Seems like we had a little breather this past week. Markets went up a little, dollar got stronger a little and everything seemed to be going in the right direction. It was also a big week for Israeli startups in the news.
Let’s recap the winners and losers of the week:
Nuconomy Web Analytics
Lots of coverage for Shahar Nechmad’s Nuconomy last week with the announcement of public beta. The web 2.0 analytics startup is leaving private beta, releasing Nuconomy Studio, a free web analytics platform that allows site owners to go beyond the traditional page views model offered by the competition. We’ve covered Nuconomy extensively on VC Cafe starting from the company’s debut in the Israel web tour last year. Bloggers, check out the Nuconomy WordPress Plugin.
Qoof – video ecommerce
Mashable had some nice things to say about Qoof’s video-enhanced commerce for retailers. Qoof’s all in one, enables retailers to embed a video player on the product page, with a home shopping network pitch-like clip. In its LA based studios, Qoof does the video production from top to bottom and is already working strong with retailers like ice.com, buy.com and others. According to CEO Richard Klingman:
Across the board during the month of October, the click to view rate from the widget has been almost 25 percent. One client says there conversion rate has increased from 4 percent with traditional online marketing to 6.5 percent since using the Qoof Video Commerce Widget.
Qoof significantly improved its distribution network, now including social networks like Facebook and Myspace (through Israel’s gigya), Affiliate programs (through CJ, Linkshare and others) and Shop on Air, a personal shopping video channel (produced by Qoof) that can be integrated on any site.
Back in April, we reported about an unconfirmed $15m round for Tveez, a company that specializes in marketing and on site digital advertising. Tveez has re branded itself and will now be known as Odysii. The company specializes in point of sale signs- the online displays that we often see in malls or airports. The company’s technology allows these signs to be synced with real time data from the client’s systems. For example: imagine a sign in Macy’s announcing that there are only 10 pairs of Nike shoes left on sale. The company will use the investment to penetrate the US market. See TC post.
Layoffs – A must read article about this on Wired
1) Modu – the company behind the world’s smallest consumer cell phone is letting go 7% of its workforce in Israel. 54 employees are going home, and Croatians will be recruited instead.
2) Sentrigo – Benchmark-backed Sentrigo, developer of database security products, laid off 7 employees from its development center in Israel. The company had recently secured $8 million in funding.
4) Pudding Media – The CA-Israel based VOIP and mobile advertising company fired 5 out of 30 employees. Pudding contextually matches ads to your voice conversations by transcribing the call.
Tough week for a lot of people, and I hope that startups will know to take advantage of the talent that’s available right now. Translating a post by Yaron Orenstein, there’s opportunity in every crisis. If you have the right idea, now could be the best time to start:
- Buying IP from closing companies
- Mergers and acqusitions to increase growth
- Talented people are looking for jobs
- Equipment, desks and servers are available on the cheap
- Brokering all of the above presents an opportunity by itself
If you have more ideas for making lemons into lemonade, leave a comment or drop us an email.
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