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Super Angel Investors, Eduardo Shoval and Yori Nelken, Launch “OurCrowd First,” a $10 Million Global Early Stage Fund for Seed Investments

21 Jun

With an investment minimum of $50k participation for accredited investors, the OurCrowd First Fund is further democratizing the world of seed stage investment funds for accredited investors

By Robert Hoskins

Jerusalem, Israel  – With its OurCrowd First Fund, OurCrowd will leverage its established infrastructure to bring equity crowdfunding to approximately 20+ seed-stage companies providing OurCrowd investors even earlier access to promising opportunities. With an investment minimum of $50k participation for accredited investors, OurCrowd First is further democratizing the world of seed stage investment funds, since most other funds require million dollar minimum investments.

OurCrowd Equity Crowdfunding in Israel

OurCrowd Equity Crowdfunding in Israel

“We are proud to be launching our entry into the funds market with the OurCrowd First seed fund,” said Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s founder and CEO. “Our investors have asked for more access to earlier stage deals, which have been hard to do until now on OurCrowd, given the rapid growth of our platform and our average deal sizes of millions of dollars. OurCrowd First will cover the earliest stages of the startup funding journey providing up to $500,000 for a select group of companies.”

OurCrowd First will be managed by General Partners Eduardo Shoval and Yori Nelken, who both come with highly successful track records in early-stage company-building and investment. Shoval has over 25 years of experience in high tech management and as an entrepreneur, co-founding seven tech companies with five successful exits – four of them with valuations in excess of $400M and total revenues of billions of dollars. Nelken has over 18 years of leadership experience bringing startups from concept to exit, including Banter, TimeBridge, and Local Sciences.

“OurCrowd First came about following numerous requests from our 9,000-strong OurCrowd investor base to expand the platform’s reach to include seed-stage opportunities,” said OurCrowd First General Partner Eduardo Shoval. “The fund will provide our investors with a risk-balanced approach to seed-stage investment, allowing investors to build a highly diversified seed-stage portfolio, which could include the next Uber or Facebook, with as little as $50k.”

“Entrepreneurs want more than just checks, and we will roll up our sleeves and work closely with the early stage companies in our portfolio,” said General Partner Yori Nelken. “Providing money to startups is only one part of the equation. We will help each of our companies, to build their management teams, construct, explore and test go-to-market strategies and introduce them to our full ecosystem of support, mentoring and business networks. It’s our secret sauce for generating winning companies.”

The fund is launching with six early stage companies already in its portfolio representing diverse sectors, such as the Internet of Things, Energy, Mobile infrastructure, 3D Printing, and Digital Radiology. These companies include: Zebra Medical, Invertex, Turbulent, Stringify, Rimoto, and TechSee. OurCrowd First has already invested in these companies alongside leading investors, including Softbank, Khosla Ventures, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and Artis Ventures. Two of the seed investments have already converted into larger Series A rounds of significant size.

“At OurCrowd, we see thousands of companies looking for funding every year,” said CEO and Co-founder Jon Medved. “With OurCrowd First, we are leveraging this enormous deal flow and expanding our investment offerings, enabling accredited investors to get involved in exciting companies even earlier. With venture investment at an all-time high and so many disruptive startups just getting off the ground, the potential is simply staggering. It’s just one more way OurCrowd is retooling the world of investment.”

OurCrowd is a leading global equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors to invest in Israeli and global companies. Managed by a team of well-known professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd vets and selects opportunities and invests its own capital alongside its accredited individual investors.

OurCrowd investors must meet stringent accreditation criteria and invest a minimum of $10,000 per deal of their choice. OurCrowd provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats.

OurCrowd has raised over $130 million in equity crowdfunding for its 70 portfolio companies including Borro, BillGuard, Consumer Physics (SCiO), BioCatch, Abe’s Market, and ReWalk (RWLK, -0.74%), OurCrowd’s first portfolio company to complete a successful IPO.

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University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School Announces 18-Month Crowdfunding Research Study that Will Explore How and Why Investors Decided to Invest in Successful Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns

21 Jun

 

Kauffman Foundation and Nesta Grants, Nir Vulkan, Associate Professor of Business Economics at Saïd Business School, funding explore the business of successful equity crowdfunding

By Robert Hoskins

Oxford, United Kingdom – The equity crowdfunding market is worth over £50 million a year in the UK, doubling in size last year as an increasing number of individuals look for an alternative place to invest their capital. Despite its size however, there is very little research into market dynamics, the success of campaigns to attract funding and the associated risks.

Seedrs makes it simple to buy into the businesses you believe in and share in their success

Seedrs makes it simple to buy into the businesses you believe in and share in their success

Nir Vulkan, Associate Professor of Business Economics at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, has been granted funding from the Kauffman Foundation and Nesta to explore the business of equity crowdfunding. Working with Thomas Åstebro from HEC Paris, the 18 month project will explore the criteria for success for crowdfunders and how investors make decisions on what projects to back.

“We are looking to find out how investors react when presented with different information about an investment,” said Nir Vulkan. “Do they respond more strongly to information about the founding team, to company milestones, existing investors, or previous sales made? We will be able to understand what generates success and what leads to failure, and this will have important implications for companies looking for investment of money and community expertise. More broadly our findings will be of great importance for regulators and governments both in the UK and internationally looking at the benefits and risks associated with the crowdfunding sector.”

The study is being conducted on Seedrs, one of Europe’s leading equity crowdfunding platforms. Seedrs matches investors with businesses seeking capital, conduct due diligence on the businesses, executes the investment transactions and acts as nominee on behalf of investors to protect their rights.

Seedrs was founded by Oxford MBA alumni Jeff Lynn and Carlos Silva, who worked on the idea for the company as part of their Entrepreneurship Project at Oxford Saïd, mentored by Vulkan, before it was launched in July 2012. On average, over £2 million is invested through Seedrs per month, and in 2013 it became the first crowdfunding platform for equity investments to allow cross-border fundraising rounds across the EU. Seedrs has made over 2.5 years of historical data, on an anonymized basis, available to Vulkan and Åstebro for the project.

Jeff Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Seedrs, said, “It’s a great honor to work with my former Oxford tutor, Nir Vulkan, along with Thomas Åstebro on this project. Equity crowdfunding is only in its infancy, and I expect their research to prove highly valuable for practitioners and observers alike as the space continues to grow rapidly in coming years.”

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