They might not have impressed Steve Jobs, but the founders of CrowdX today proved that in the startup world, persistence is key. The Tel Aviv-based startup was acquired by Cellwize, a crosstown neighbor and provider of self-organizing networks (SONs).
The deal, completed for an undisclosed fee, will bring CrowdX’s innovative crowdsourcing solution under Cellwize’s aegis, which will allow the latter to continue evolving from a network- to customer-centric solution. It also brings back into focus one of the Israeli startup scene’s most intriguing recent tales.
CrowdX began in 2009 as Tawkon, an app that monitored cell phones’ radiation levels and alerted users to dangerously high readings. In 2011 its team wrote Apple honcho Steve Jobs with hopes of offering it on the App Store, to be answered with a curt “No interest” email.
Still, Tawkon, which soon changed name to CrowdX, founders Gil Friedlander and Ori Goshen were not to be deterred, and the app was offered for jailbroken iPhones. In they 2013 launched the Glove app, which uses over a billion anonymous posts to determine which network performs best for whom. Three years later and the CrowdX team have $3 million in funding and a product highly valuable in the cellular market.
Cellwize, which itself has won $14.5m in backing since its 2012 inception, agreed. “CrowdX brings innovation and experience, complementing the value Cellwize provides to its customers,” Friedlander wrote today in a statement.
“Together with the CrowdX founders and employees, we are merging the talent, mobile mindset and spirit of innovation in the development and deployment of CrowdView, elastic-SON and Value-Driven SON, thereby positioning Cellwize as the only independent SON vendor able to offer such a comprehensive product portfolio,” added Cellwize CEO Ofir Zemer.
CloudX is yet another Israeli startup that owes much to the fabled 8200, Israel’s intelligence unit that has spawned so many cutting-edge tech platforms. The authors of 2009’s Start-up Nation, a book about the country’s tech ecosystem, described the unit as “(Israel’s) equivalent of Harvard, Princeton and Yale.” Some successful examples of 8200 graduates include the heads of BioCatch, Argus and Team 8.