As you walk into the high rise office in central Tel Aviv overlooking Ayalon Highway, which cuts through this bustling Mediterranean metropolis, you feel the electricity in the air, a place that vibrates with energy.
Yossi Wolf, CEO and founder, bids farewell with a warm smile to a team of executives from a major Asian smartphone maker on an advanced exploration visit.
“Temi is the first robot that truly interacts with humans while providing flawless autonomous navigation, dynamic video and audio experiences, and advanced AI,” proclaims the company.
Despite courtship by Chinese investors from the private and state-owned sectors for several years, the hype so far has yielded little substance: According to IVC Research Center reports, Chinese companies accounted for as little as 1.1% and no more than 8% of all Israeli tech exits between 2015 and 2017.
In the early days of 2012 to 2013, Israeli entrepreneurs and venture capitalists were ecstatic at the prospect of a potential new source of investment, and a new market in China to rival the US.
But soon many of the hopes were dashed; by this year the sight of the endless flow of Chinese delegations into Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport has become a fixture in Israel, yet it is eyed with skepticism by members of the local tech community.