Equity crowdfunding OurCrowd has launched OurCrowd First, a specialised USD10 million global early stage fund focusing on seed and Pre-A startups.
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 USD50k participation for accredited investors, OurCrowd First is further democratising the world of seed stage investment funds, since most other funds require million dollar minimum investments.
“We are proud to be launching our entry into the funds market with the OurCrowd First seed fund," says 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,” says 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 USD50k."
“Entrepreneurs want more than just checks, and we will roll up our sleeves and work closely with the early stage companies in our portfolio,” says 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,” says 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.”