from the October 2016 issue

WalkMe Israel's most promising 2016 startup

After surveying high-tech insiders in Israel including investors, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists "Globes" has chosen WalkMe, the enterprise guidance and engagement platform, as Israel's most promising startup for 2016. Previous winners of the award include Mellanox, Outbrain, Fiverr, GetTaxi and StoreDot. CEO Dan Adika, president Rephael Sweary, and Eyal Cohen founded WalkMe in 2011 (Cohen left the company).

Described by their associates as modest, Adika and Sweary, who avoid the media spotlight, declined to be interviewed on the occasion of their company's selection. Adika is permanently located in San Francisco, while Sweary lives in Israel. When we visited the company offices on the corner of Walter Moses and Kremnitzky Streets in Tel Aviv to interview VP R&D Nir Nahum, Sweary dropped in for a few minutes to say hello and talk with us a little about the company's business model. "You won't even find a photo of me on the web. I don't like it," he told us.

WalkMe has raised $92.5 million since it was founded ("The half million is the most important, because it's the half million we started with," Nahum quipped), hinting at both the company's potential and its size, meaning its revenue turnover from which its value can be derived (although a startup's value is dynamic, changing almost every quarter). The company already has 300 employees ("The number will grow by the time this story is printed"), including 190 in its rather elegant offices in Israel.

"Our solution is designed to simplify the user experience in the technology era, whether it's a website or a mobile app," Nahum offers as an explanation of what WalkMe does. Nahum, who joined the company just over five years ago, shortly after it was founded, is a pure technology geek. It is hard to ignore the sparkle in his eyes when he explains the WalkMe solution to us, using examples of the company's major customers to help us understand (maybe because we insisted). "For example, take, a major customer management software solutions company listed in the US at a $50 billion market cap. Like other online systems, it's very complicated. A new salesman coming to work at and trying to learn its software will get lost. We help him learn how to work with the software."

Here is an example of how WalkMe's solution works: one of a salesman's most common actions is writing a price book. "Without help, he's likely to take an hour to find it on the website," Nahum says. "Our solution enables him to create a query, "How do I make a new price book?", and he gets a gray window directing him where to go on the website, what link to click on, and so forth. Actually, it accompanies him throughout the entire process he has to go through. It leads him. This is our internal use case solution; it's aimed at helping to train a new employee how to use the software he'll be using regularly. We also have an external use case solution, as in the case of eBay, another big customer of ours, designed for someone selling merchandise on eBay, and there are a million such people. On eBay, we teach them how to be salesmen."

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report October 2016

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