In defiance of global trends, OurCrowd is intensifying its incubator and early-stage investment activity to help grow young technology companies.
OurCrowd, the global crowdfunding venture investing platform and Israel’s leading venture investor, invests in – and already operates – five tech incubators with partners in Israel and globally.
“As we approach the next decade, we realize that there is huge opportunity to invest in game-changing technology companies at their earliest stage – in pre-seed, seed, and series A funding rounds,” said OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved. “Early stage investing is at best stagnant, and in many cases down, both in Israel and around the world, as most venture capitalists chase unicorns and are showering later stage companies with unprecedented amounts of capital at increasingly nosebleed inducing valuations. We want to increase our activity and focus where the next generation of breakthrough technologies will emerge. Nature abhors a vacuum, and now there is vast and underappreciated potential in early-stage investing. It’s a thrill to help these companies grow and thrive.”
OurCrowd has competed for, and over the last two years has won, government licenses to operate four incubators in Israel, together with an array of leading partners. These include Labs/02 in Jerusalem (with Reliance Industries and in collaboration with Hebrew University’s Yissum); Labs/08 in Beersheva (with Reliance Industries the owner of Jio telecommunications company, and in collaboration with Soroka Medical Center, and the Israel National Cyber Directorate); Freshstart in Kiryat Shemonah (with Tnuva, Tempo, and Finistere Ventures); and CanNegev in Yeruacham (with Perrigo and BoL Pharma). OurCrowd also recently announced its participation in a global consortium to run an agtech/foodtech incubator in New Zealand together with Sprout, Finistere, Fontera, and Gallagher. This is the first of a planned major expansion of incubator opportunities globally.
“As other countries look to adopt the Israeli model, whereby the government assumes a substantial amount of the risk through funding – in Israel, done by the Israel Innovation Authority – we are in discussions with half a dozen countries about establishing incubators,” Medved added.
Moshe Raines, Managing Director for Labs/02 and Labs/08 commented, “We will continue to cultivate local talent in the OurCrowd incubator ecosystem, and we expect to see more entrepreneurs join us from prominent tech companies to pursue their own projects.”
Ori Sobovitz, Partner and Head of Government Relations at OurCrowd also noted, “The incubator model creates cross-sector collaborations between venture capital funds and industrial companies, and in our case, also between our technological incubators around the world. With government support this is a win-win situation helping entrepreneurs find funding, and providing investors with incentives, with a great positive impact on the wider economy. This is a model we would like to replicate across the globe.”
The decision to focus on early-stage investment contrasts with current trends in the venture capital industry, which saw a decline in early-stage investment despite a significant increase in funding later-stage startups in recent years.
January’s IVC-Meitar Israel Tech Exits report on the decade up to 2019, noted that Israeli tech companies raised a record $8.29 billion in 2019, a 400% increase since 2010. The report revealed that late-stage companies increased their share of total investment in recent years, while total seed funding fell. A total of $149 million was invested in seed rounds in 2019, down from $169 million the previous year. From 2010 to 2019, the percentage of deals involving rounds under $1 million dropped from 24% to 17%.
OurCrowd is a global venture investing platform that empowers institutions and individuals to invest and engage in emerging companies. The most active venture investor in Israel, OurCrowd vets and selects companies, invests its capital, and provides its global network with unparalleled access to co-invest and contribute connections, talent and deal flow. OurCrowd builds value for its portfolio companies throughout their lifecycles, providing mentorship, recruiting industry advisors, navigating follow-on rounds and creating growth opportunities through its network of multinational partnerships. With $1.4 billion of committed funding, and investments in 200 portfolio companies and 20 venture funds, OurCrowd offers access to its membership of 41,000 individual accredited and institutional investors, family offices, and venture capital partners from over 183 countries to invest alongside, at the same terms. OurCrowd’s portfolio is diversified across sectors and stages, ranging from seed and series A through late stage and pre-IPO firms. Since its founding in 2013, OurCrowd portfolio companies have been acquired by some of the most prestigious brands in the world, including Uber, Canon, Oracle, Nike, and Intel. To register and get involved, visit www.ourcrowd.com.
About OurCrowd Incubators:
Labs/02, OurCrowd’s first incubator based in Jerusalem, opened in January 2018. Twelve companies have been admitted so far with substantial success. Force Nock was acquired last year by Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (CHKP), a leading provider of cyber security solutions globally. Other startups have signed agreements with major global tech companies: C2A with NXP Semiconductors ITsMine with Ingram Micro; IXden with Enel and InfraLab. Reliance Industries Ltd., and the Israeli innovation Authority are OurCrowd’s partners in Labs/02 and Labs/08.
Labs/08, an offshoot of the Jerusalem incubator, is located in Beersheva and focuses on cyber security in the medical field. Partners include Reliance Industries, and the Israel Innovation Authority and in collaboration with National Cyber Directorate, and Soroka Medical Center.
FreshStart, an incubator for foodtech, has been opened in Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel. Partners are Finistere Ventures, Israel’s largest food manufacturer Tnuva, and Israel’s Pepsi and Heineken franchise-holder Tempo Beverages.
CanNegev is the medical cannabis incubator located in Yeruham in the south of Israel. Partners are Perrigo, the world’s largest non-prescription drug company, and BOL Pharma, Israel’s leading medical cannabis company.
Sprout, the New Zealand incubator, was established in December, after a consortium including OurCrowd won a New Zealand government tender for a foodtech and agtech incubator. The consortium also includes Sprout, Finistere Ventures, Fonterra, and Gallagher, a leading animal management company.
About the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit: “Where the startup world gathers”
The 2020 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit is one of the premier events in the tech industry, and the largest business conference in Israel. The 2020 Summit will take place February 13. In 2019, over 18,000 people from 189 countries registered to attend what has become the fastest-growing tech conference in the world. The Summit provides unprecedented insight into the world of startup venture capital, with exclusive exposure to cutting-edge technologies, the entrepreneurs behind them, and the corporate leaders deploying them. Top investors, venture capitalists, corporate partners, entrepreneurs and journalists come from around the world to get business done. The Summit anchors a week of events that include corporate meetups, VC forums, insider access to accelerators and labs, and cultural excursions, as well as nightly opportunities for great food, drink and networking with the global crowd. As Forbes reported, Summit Week in Israel was “the place to be.” Thousands more will participate through livestreaming. Learn more at summit.ourcrowd.com