The future of work promises increased productivity, getting top results with fewer resources, and using AI not to eliminate jobs but to help teams excel. Ofir Paldi and the startup he runs, Shamaym, may have found the key to this future of work: Create a debriefing culture, the foundation for real-time collaboration and improving individual and enterprise productivity.
Raising $4.9 billion, Israeli startups had a record-breaking year in 2020, according to PitchBook. This was up from $3.9 billion in 2019 and 5 times what it was ten years ago. Previous records have continued to be shattered in the first quarter of 2021, with $2.11 billion raised by Israeli startups by the end of March, up almost 250% from the $870 million raised in the first quarter of 2020 and $1.03 billion raised in Q1 2019.
How do you get from $0 to $1.2 billion valuation in 60 months? You deliver the future of work now. Or, as Eynat Guez, CEO of Papaya Global, says laughing, “you put in a lot of working hours,” ten-year-worth of working hours in the five years since she launched the company with her two co-founders.
Kira Radinsky, co-founder and Chairman of Diagnostic Robotics, wants to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. The lessons learned from initial deployments of the startup’s AI-based digital triage platform in Israel and the U.S. and the valuable experience gained during the Covid-19 pandemic, point to a future of better healthcare: Providing the right treatment at the right time in the most appropriate setting.
The future of work is about reinventing how companies motivate their employees. Centrical, a startup focused on delivering the future of work now, announced on March 10th that it closed a $32 million funding round led by Intel Capital, a new investor, and JVP, the company’s largest shareholder. The round also included participation from C4 Ventures and Citi Ventures, also new investors, as well as existing investors Aleph, CE Ventures, La Maison Compagnie d’Investissment and 2B Angels.
It is by now conventional wisdom that work in the post-Covid “new normal” will shift for many to working-from-home most of the time. The new “hybrid virtual model,” says McKinsey, “promises greater access to talent, increased productivity for individuals and small teams, lower costs, more individual flexibility, and improved employee experiences.”
But Erel Margalit, founder and Chairman of leading Israeli VC Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) begs to differ. He believes there is no alternative for “the process when you get in a room with a group of people and you come out after two or three hours with a different level of thinking, feeling much smarter and more invigorated.” Based on his 25-plus years of divining trends, successfully betting on the startups capitalizing on them and often going against the conventional wisdom, Margalit thinks that face-to-face meetings “is something a lot of people are longing to get back to.”
145 years ago, 29-year-old Alexander Graham Bell said into his experimental device “Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.” Thomas Watson, his assistant, sitting in an adjacent room at 5 Exeter Place, Boston, answered: “Mr. Bell, do you understand what I say?”
Jerusalem-based venture investing platform OurCrowd released the first installment of the quarterly OurCrowd Jobs Index showing that the number of open positions listed by OurCrowd’s portfolio companies rose from 350 in June 2020 to 912 in December 2020. The startups surveyed by OurCrowd predict that job growth would continue through 2021 and they expect to maintain a mix of in-person and remote working. Only 14.3% of the surveyed startups expect all their employees will be back in the workplace by July 1 while 85.7% expect a mix of in-person and remote work.