Israeli equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd launches in Australia

Jon Medved and Nathan Cher in Sydney for the launch of OurCrowd Australia. Photo: Nic Walker

Jon Medved and Nathan Cher in Sydney for the launch of OurCrowd Australia. Photo: Nic Walker

Caitlin Fitzsimmons | February 18, 2014 | BRW – Israeli platform OurCrowd is the latest entrant into Australia’s burgeoning equity crowdfunding market, with the local team led by investment professionals David Shein, Nathan Cher and Geoff Levy.

The company launched a year ago and has raised $US30 million ($33 million) for a portfolio of 30 start-ups. Locally, it is set to compete with Artesian Partners’ VentureCrowd, a platform by Mark Carnegie and the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board (ASSOB).

OurCrowd selects early-stage start-ups, puts up $US50,000 ($55,000), and aggregates other investors to build a ­bigger total deal, typically in the $US500,000 to $US3 million range. The minimum for an investor is $US10,000 per company but after one year the average is sitting at $US100,000 of activity per investor across four companies. There are 3000 accredited investors using the site globally and founder Jon Medved believes the majority are new to investing in start-ups.

Medved says crowdfunding models are emerging for real estate and other ventures, but OurCrowd is focused specifically on technology start-ups. The company is seeking deals where the company or product has some traction, other investors and the potential market is huge. Australian start-ups would qualify if they are planning to sell to a global market.

Smart money

Medved says OurCrowd investment is about mentoring, not just money.

“If you want to be smart money, you’ve got to help the companies find distributors in China, find key staff people, talk to the press, make alliances with other venture funds to raise additional money at higher valuations,” he says.
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