Venture capitalist OurCrowd goes on start-up funds drive

Israeli-based venture capital crowd-funding outfit OurCrowd has launched a major funding drive, aiming to raise $100 million from Australian investors in 2017.

OurCrowd MD Dan Bennett told The Australian the outfit receives about 150 applications from start-ups each month, including from Australia, and needs a hefty local investment to ensure the engagement level can continue.

He is specifically targeting private investors like family offices, high net worth individuals and institutions to co-invest in the platform, which takes a minimum $10,000 each from a pool of accredited investors and places it in hi-tech, high-growth firms.

“We’re giving them access to global venture capital deals alongside some of the best investors in the world including Menlo Park, Sequoia Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Peter Thiel,” he said.

OurCrowd, which launched in Jerusalem in 2013 before opening a Sydney office a year later, says its point of difference with those more traditional venture capital firms is its “crowd” — a notion Israel-based general partner David Stark said was helping entrepreneurs connect with a huge network of experienced investors.

“One of the things I’m interested in is breaking down the notion of the privileged entrepreneur. In the US, 70 per cent of venture capital dollars are invested in three states, California, Massachusetts and New York. If you live anywhere else your chances of getting funding are nothing, but if you can bring that whole thing online, and open it up and bring the efficiency, it changes the whole thing into more of a meritocracy,” he said.

To date, OurCrowd has picked up $450m since opening its doors in 2013 and it has invested in more than 100 start-ups. Just two have been from Australia, however, including Global Kinetics. “We want more,” Mr Bennett said. “The sectors we’re focused on are in cybersecurity, life sciences, agri-tech, big data and IoT.”


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Source: Venture capitalist OurCrowd goes on start-up funds drive – The Australian