OurCrowd, the crowdfunding platform that gives backers equity in the companies they support, today announced that it has raised $72 million in a Series C round of funding, and expects the final figure to be closer to $100 million. Half of the capital will be used to build out its offices globally and develop its platform; and half will be used to match investments made on OurCrowd, according to OurCrowd’s CEO Jon Medved.
“One half of the round will be invested in the expansion of our 7 global offices, and further developing our technology platform. The other half of the Series C funding will be used to make sure that each and every company which raises funding on our platform receives participating investment from the General Partner on the same terms as the crowd,” he said in a statement. “This new capital will help us hit our goal of investing $1 billion annually by 2020.”
What’s interesting about OurCrowd — which is based out of Israel — is that helps startups tap into certain sources of funding more directly than they might have done in the past: while a family office might have been an LP at a venture capital fund that backed a startup, now that family office might choose to engage more immediately via OurCrowd’s platform.
Yet, for a company that emphasizes a degree of transparency in investment, it’s ironic that it has not immediately disclosed all of the names of its backers in this round. It notes that the round includes “financial institutions, family offices, and private investors from five continents.”
“Most of them have asked to be kept confidential,” a spokesperson said, although it’s naming at least one — Singapore bank UOB Group, which appears to be a strategic investor, in that it will help OurCrowd expand its global reach.
“We understand the ambitions of startups and emerging enterprises and want to help them grow into sustainable businesses. We look forward to working closely with OurCrowd to further develop their platform to support the startup ecosystem both in Singapore and the broader Asian market,” said Janet Young, MD of Group Channels and Digitalization at UOB Group, in a statement. “Our investment into this Series C funding for OurCrowd reinforces our commitment to supporting startups and small businesses.”
“OurCrowd has grown incredibly fast over the last 3+ years. With this new and important Series C funding, we expect to continue this steep growth trajectory, not only gaining more investors and capital worldwide, but most importantly increasing the ‘crowds’ involvement in sourcing and adding value to our remarkable portfolio of companies,” said Geoff Levy, Chairman of Monash Private Equity in Sydney, Australia, who is a member of the OurCrowd Advisory Board and also an investor in the platform.
Medved himself is a serial entrepreneur and investor, with one of his more notable past roles being the CEO of Vringo, a U.S. intellectual property company that may be best known for its protracted patent suit against Google (which Vringo initially won and then lost on appeal; it is now appealing the appeal).
With Medved at the helm of OurCrowd, the company has raised just over $100 million including today’s round, and it has seen some impressive advances. It now has 100 companies in its portfolio, with more than $300 million invested.
Among that list, there have been nine exits: two IPOs and seven sales. The IPOs include ReWalk; and the acquisitions include Crosswise (bought by Oracle), Replay Technologies (bought by Intel), and NextPeer (bought by Viber). Investments have run the gamut from fintech/e-commerce companies like “online pawn shop” Borro; through to new frontiers in tech, such as wireless charging startup uBeam.
Updated with more detail.
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