OurCrowd founder and CEO Jon Medved spoke to Jewish Business News.
The Israeli equity crowdfunding venture OurCrowd announced this week that it succeeded in raising more than $60 million in investments for various projects since it was first launched 16 months ago. That figure was from outside investors who put up anywhere from $10, 000 to $1 million in capital into companies they support. An additional $30 million was also raised from the venture’s own partners.
An equity crowdfunding platform is an investment firm where outside capital is raised and the operating partners also invest in startups they support. The higher amounts invested and the participation by the firm’s partners are what distinguish it from crowdfunding services like Kickstarter. OurCrowd always puts up at least 5% of the funding for each new company they support.
OurCrowd is also a management company with 50 employees.
Individual investors who come to OurCrowd choose from a selection of startups that the firm assists in raising money, and do not just see their capital added to a general investment pool like with hedge funds. They also offer their investors face to face meetings with the companies’ management teams, so that the financiers can get the best possible picture of a startup of which they will be buying a piece.
Headquartered in Jerusalem, OurCrowd only selects 2 out of every 100 companies they review. It only deals with new high tech companies, mostly in Israel. 38 out of the 46 companies they funded so far have been Israeli, and most of the rest were started by Israelis abroad.
The company’s founder and CEO Jon Medved explained to Jewish Business News why they specialize in Israeli startups:
“It’s not just us. If you look at the numbers released by IVC Israel’s tech sector is on a tear. There hasn’t been a time in my memory that startup nation’s tech sector has been so vibrant. I think that by the end of the year we will even beat the $3 billion record in investments set in 2000. Israel has already raised $1.6 billion so far this year.
“We are seeing unprecedented quality of deal flow based on experienced entrepreneurial teams, strategic partnerships with key multinationals, and almost unlimited investors interested in what we do here in Israel”
Originally from Los Angeles, Jon Medved has over 30 years of experience in the Israeli finance sector. The Washington Post called him, ”One of Israel’s leading high tech venture capitalists”.