Beresheet - which is equipped with cameras, magnetic sensors, and transmitters to relay data to and from to Earth - launched on Thursday inside the top of a Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Spaceflight Industries acts as a broker for satellite operators that need to get into space, finding extra room on rockets already launching.
SpaceIL officials have said they hope Beresheet will help inspire Israel's defense-focused space program to pursue more science-oriented missions.
The craft has been placed in Earth orbit, from where it will use its own engine to undertake a seven-week trip to reach the Moon; the Moon landing is scheduled for seven weeks' time, on April 11. Beresheet would become the first privately funded craft to land on the moon.
A communications satellite for Indonesia was the main cargo aboard the Falcon 9 rocket, which illuminated the sky as it took flight.
SpaceIL was founded eight years ago to compete in the Google Lunar X Prize, an worldwide competition to see whether a private enterprise could land a spacecraft on the moon, move 500 meters in any direction, and transmit live, high-definition video from the lunar surface. Falcon 9 will also deliver the Beresheet lunar spacecraft and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) S5 spacecraft to orbit. A company representative declined to comment on SpaceIL's mission ahead of launch, but noted that the "webcast will have more to say on the mission".
After the launch, the craft will disengage from the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at around 38,300 miles above Earth's surface, and will then continue on its journey to the Moon.
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The strategy is cost-effective, helping keep Beresheet's total price tag, including launch, at about $100 million - quite low for a mission to another world.
SpaceX plans to recover the first-stage booster, which flew twice past year, with a touchdown on an ocean platform.
SpaceX said it planned to land the first stage on a droneship, which will land in the Atlantic Ocean, following separation.
Lunar surface operations are meant to last just two days.
As one of the commenters on a YouTube clip of the launch noted, look how much tiny, resource-strained Israel has managed to achieve in the short 70 years of its modern existence?
It's the third time this booster has been launched and landed, and marks SpaceX's 34th successful landing.
The space company has previously re-used first-stage and second-stage rocket boosters, in addition to one of its previously flown Dragon capsules.