The Future of Fintech: 15 Israeli Influencers to Watch in 2022

Israeli Fintech Influencers to Watch

From cryptocurrency influencers to the original pioneers of Israel’s FinTech startups, these are the 15 FinTech superstars who should be on your radar for 2022.

 

Israel has earned the nickname the “startup nation” thanks to its plethora of highly successful, innovative companies. Some have even earned unicorn status, meaning that they’re valued at over $1 billion. And among those unicorns, there are quite a few that are specifically financial technology (FinTech) focused, offering everything from cutting-edge payment plans to cross border transfers and alternative capital.  It’s clear that FinTech and the startup nation go together like falafel and tahini. 

Israel’s FinTech scene is poised to grow even further, thanks to the brilliant and creative minds behind the scenes. From cryptocurrency influencers to the original pioneers of Israel’s FinTech startups, these are the 15 FinTech superstars who should be on your radar for 2022.

 

1. Yuval Tal – Founder @ Payoneer 

Yuval Tal.Founder @ Payoneer  Photo: Ron Rosenfeld

Trailblazing international payments platform Payoneer reached unicorn status in 2019, with a public valuation of over $1 billion. Yuval Tal, the company’s founder and former president, is a veteran of FinTech in Israel, having founded Payoneer in 2005. 

He was previously involved in a groundbreaking internet payments venture in the late 90s, which led to a lucrative exit for the FinTech pioneer. Yuval is now a Managing Partner at Team8 Fintech, a leading VC fund in the space.

 

2. Yan Lazarev & Alex Komarovsky – Co-Founders @ Gaviti

Yan Lazarev & Alex Komarovsky (from Gaviti website)

A super effective accounts receivable SaaS (software as a service) solution, Gaviti helps streamline the collections process via automation, payment forecasting, and more. The company is making waves in the industry, recently raising $9 million in Series A funding. 

Much of Gaviti’s success can be traced back to its CEO, Yan Lazarev. A seasoned debt agent who collected over $1.5 billion from clients in over 40 countries, Yan leverages his invaluable real-world knowledge of the finance industry to elevate Gaviti’s strategy and offerings far above the competition.

With over a decade of experience as software developer and software development team lead under his belt, Gaviti CTO Alex Komarovsky is also a critical part of the company’s success. Alex’s expertise in enterprise level software development gives Gaviti proprietary software, providing Gaviti a unique market advantage.

 

3. Ornit Dweck-Maizel – CTO & Co-Founder @ Sunbit

Ornit Dweck-MaizelPhoto :Sunbit website

While in Israel paying for large purchases in monthly installments is standard procedure, that’s simply not the case in the rest of the world. Ornit Dweck-Maizel, a self-described numbers geek since childhood, is the driving force behind Sunbit, a market leader in buy now, pay later (BNPL) technology. 

Before co-founding Sunbit, Ornit spent more than 15 years earning her stripes in the R&D and tech development departments of several notable finance-focused companies. In 2021, Sunbit raised a staggering $130 million, just after its $1.1 billion valuation.

 

4. Eynat Guez – CEO & Co-Founder @ Papaya Global

Eynat Guez, founder of Papaya Global. Photo: Just Entrepreneurs

A global payroll platform company streamlining payroll management across international borders, Papaya Global rose to prominence when lockdowns and work-from-home meant that employees were often scattered across multiple geographic locations. Papaya operates in more than 160 countries, and is the brainchild of HR and tech entrepreneur Eynat Guez

During the first few years after the company’s founding in 2016, Eynat found herself trying to win over investors who believed “that a global payroll solution wasn’t solving a real problem in the market.” Since the pandemic, the company has swelled, and “we don’t have trouble reaching investors anymore.”

 

5. Chanan Lavi – CEO & Co-Founder @ Kenbi

Chanan Lavi – CEO & Co-Founder @ Kenbi  Photo:LinkedIn

Declined transactions are a pain in the neck, for consumers, eCommerce merchants, and banks. Kenbi uses advanced AI to align sellers and card issuers, streamlining their communication to minimize declined transactions, to the relief of buyers, eCommerce retailers, and financial institutions alike. 

CEO and Co-Founder Chanan Lavi was inspired to create Kenbi after years working in ePayments management, optimization, and Business Development roles for industry-leading financial service companies and merchants. Chanan’s unparalleled insights give Kenbi a unique perspective into the pain points for card issuers and merchants, and appropriate solutions.

 

6. Neta Rozy – CTO & Co-Founder @ Parametrix Insurance

Neta Rozy – Co-founder & CTO – Parametrix Insurance | Photo: LinkedIn

Downtime insurance company Parametrix Insurance occupies a unique space in the field, insuring tech-dependent enterprises when software failures mean devastating financial losses. And despite her young age, the company’s CTO, US-born Neta Rozy, is enjoying major industry buzz.

She moved to Israel as a young adult in order to enlist in the IDF, and is the only one of Parametrix’s C-Level executives who isn’t an experienced entrepreneur. But it’s clear that Neta has a master level understanding of the market and her enterprise’s place in it.

“Cyber insurance is also a market in the insurance industry that’s valued at over $9 billion and it’s growing almost 30% a year,” Neta explains. “ Cloud consumption alone is a market of over $350 billion. We kind of lie in between both of these markets. It’s really growing very fast.”

 

7. Arik Shtilman – CEO & Co-Founder @ Rapyd

Rapyd CEO- Arik Shtilman  Photo:Inbal Marmari

Israel’s biggest unicorn, valued at a whopping $15 billion, is B2B payments service Rapyd. Founded in 2015, the company provides local and cross-border digital fund transfers, via digital wallets, banks, and cash. The enterprise is Israel’s most highly-valued private tech company and FinTech company.

Rapyd’s CEO and Co-Founder Arik Shtilman is a force to be reckoned with, previously founding a successful, cloud communications-focused venture that was acquired in 2013. The serial entrepreneur clearly has a golden touch when it comes to high-stakes tech ventures.

 

8. Ron Gura – CEO & Co-Founder @ Empathy

Ron Gura – Co-Founder & CEO – Empathy Photo: LinkedIn

A bereavement focused start-up, Empathy aims to help people manage loss through a combination of human touch and FinTech innovation. Co-Founded by former eBay and WeWork executive Ron Gura, the company has already raised over $43 million from investors just two years after its founding.

“Death is the final sector that has remained neglected from an innovation standpoint,” Ron says. “We believe that like with many other sectors, technology can help by providing transparency, lowering prices, making information accessible, securing documents and providing a platform for partnership between suppliers and family members.”

 

9. Ouriel Ohayon – CEO & Co-Founder @ ZenGo

Ouriel Ohayon – CEO & Co-Founder @ ZenGo. Photo: yahoo finance

A crypto wallet that doesn’t require long and complicated passwords, instead using facial biometrics and advanced encryption for security, ZenGo has made a huge splash in the crypto world. The user-friendly platform is led by Ouriel Ohayon, a seasoned crypto and FinTech entrepreneur whose expectations for crypto in financial markets spans far beyond the tech world.

“A true crypto-based future will require solutions that are radically simple, mobile-first, and built on-chain,” Ouriel says. “Our approach to security, based on MPC, eliminates traditional single points of failure, and has helped us build an innovative consumer-grade wallet that makes crypto simpler, and also an order of magnitude safer.”

 

10. Yair Benaymini – CEO & Co-Founder @ Lendai

Yair Benaymini – CEO & Co-Founder @ Lendai.  Photo: Medium.com

A direct lending company providing funding for foreigners looking to invest in the U.S. housing market, Lendai has definitely found a sweet spot in the FinTech market. Using advanced, proprietary AI, the company is able to calculate risk and make lightning fast, smart decisions about whether a property or investor is a safe bet.

Yair Benyamini, Lendai’s CEO and Co-Founder, is a former senior executive running the cross border transactions and business development teams for a prominent Israeli law firm. With his intimate knowledge of both the legal field and international financial transactions, he’s well-poised to continue making a notable impact on Israeli FinTech.

 

11. Gil Mandelzis – CEO & Founder @ Capitolis

Capitolis CEO Gil Mandelzis. Photo: Eyal Tuag

Capitolis, a capital marketplace focused on optimization for market participants, has generated significant buzz in the industry. The company recently made headlines for its impressive $110 million Series D funding round, and is backed by some of the biggest names in venture capital.

But one of Capitolis’ biggest advantages is its CEO and Founder, Gil Mandelzis. Gil has some serious credentials in the finance world, including time serving on the New York Fed and Bank of Canada’s FX committees, as well as the Bank of England’s Joint Standing committee.

 

12. Oded Zehavi – CEO & Founder @ Mesh Payments

Oded Zehavi – CEO & Founder @ Mesh Payments. Photo: leadersinpayments.com

A fully automated and unified financial management platform, Mesh Payments aims to replace the traditional corporate credit card. It counts major industry players such as Metropolitan Commercial Bank and Visa among its partners.

Mesh’s CEO and Co-Founder Oded Zehavi has a long track record of FinTech and entrepreneurial success. He served in executive roles at PayPal and Payoneer, and currently serves as an advisory board member for several prominent FinTech companies.

 

13. Boaz Yaari – CEO & Founder @ Sharegain 

Boaz Yaari – CEO & Founder @ Sharegain  Photo: Start-Up Nation Finder

Innovative securities lending company Sharegain helps investors manage their stocks, bonds and ETFs. The organization’s proprietary technology brings a fresh, data-driven perspective to a space that’s typically managed with archaic, 20-year-old technology.

With more than a decade of experience in capital markets under his belt, CEO and Founder Boaz Yaari utilizes his real-world experience to shape Sharegain’s products and business strategy. After recently raising $62 million in funding, we can expect to see a lot more from Sharegain and Boaz.

 

14. Hani Goldstein – CEO & Founder @ Snappy Gifts

Snappy CEO Hani Goldstein. Photo: Courtesy

Rewards platform Snappy Gifts provides enterprises with the opportunity to personalize presents and perks to its employees. Snappy counts Fortune 500 companies such as Zoom, Uber, and Salesforce among its 1,500 clients. 

“The whole concept of Snappy is to spread joy and give back,” says Hani Goldstein, the company’s CEO and Founder. It’s clear that Hani’s vision for the company is resonating throughout the market – the company experienced tremendous 800% growth in 2021 alone.

 

15. Itzik Levy – CEO & Founder @ vCita

Itzik Levy, vcita, Photo: PR

Comprehensive business management and client engagement solution vCita’s mission is to help small businesses better understand their customers’ needs and track their activity. vCita provides its users with the data-driven insights they need to make smarter business decisions.

Itzik Levy, the head of vCita, has 25 years of experience in the tech space, having previously founded Kidaro, a desktop-virtualization company. That organization was acquired by Microsoft, and Itzik then served as a Product Unit Manager at Microsoft. With his extensive technical knowledge in both the start-up and corporate worlds, Itzik’s seasoned perspective brings huge value to vCita and the FinTech industry.

Are you an established (or aspiring) FinTech influencer and think you should have been included in this list? We’re listening.

If you’re looking to expand your presence, grow your business, and gain more leads and opportunities, consider partnering with a startup marketing agency like SAGE to help you gain an organic foothold in your market. Specifically focused on B2B sales? We’re also a B2B marketing agency, and we’d love to tell you more about how we can work together to build your brand.

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