Israeli Venture Capital Platform OurCrowd Seeks Australian Start-Ups To Fund

Jon Medved on Bloomberg TV / Screenshot by OurCrowd

Jerusalem-based funding platform OurCrowd has recruited an Australian team of investors to recommend local start-ups to its global community of investors.

The year-old platform is a network of 3,000-plus investors who are invited to join OurCrowd’s management team in backing a hand-picked start-up each week.

Participating investors are asked to put at least $10,000 into each deal, while the management team puts in $50,000.

OurCrowd’s Australian launch today comes days before local platform VentureCrowd opens its doors. Both propose to crowdfund pre-vetted start-ups, and target “sophisticated investors” who either earn at least $250,000 a year or have at least $2.5 million in net assets.

OurCrowd founder Jon Medved said Australia would benefit from more funding sources, with the ABS last week reporting that the nation’s pool of available venture capital fell 4% to $5.95 billion in the year to June 2013.

“The more the merrier … There are unique advantages to having a global platform,” he said, referring to OurCrowd’s scale and reach.

To date, OurCrowd and its network of investors have put a total of $34 million into 32 start-ups, including Sydney near-field communications marketing firm TapIt.

Medved said there were already “hundreds of Australians” registered as OurCrowd investors along with investors from 52 other nations.

He said the new Australian team, comprising Com Tech co-founders David Shein and Nathan Cher, and former Investec Bank CEO Geoff Levy, would boost both local investor numbers and awareness of local start-ups.

Levy and Cher have been OurCrowd partners and investors since its February 2013 launch.

Medved expected the team to recommend to investors only about one or two of every 100 Australian start-ups it assessed. Cher told journalists today that he would be “very happy if there were 3 or 4 or 5 Australian tech companies within next year’s group of 60-odd companies on the platform”.