The Jerusalem-based OurCrowd – a perplexingly low profile, international equity platform for accredited investors – has been quietly streaking away from the rest of the field. In spite of having a portfolio of only 46 companies – the company has successfully funded over $60m. The reason for this volume is that the average size of transaction going through the platform is uncommonly large for an equity crowdfunder. 20 of OurCrowd’s successful campaigns have raised more than $1 million each, and 4 have raised over $3 million.
Jon Medved, CEO of the platform, commented on its success:
“We are proud to have raised these amounts in just 16 months since launching. These numbers demonstrate that our model works and can be effectively used for major funding rounds. The fact that OurCrowd has deployed more money for our companies than our Silicon Valley competitors proves that we are indeed at the forefront of equity crowdfunding innovation."
So how does the OurCrowd platform actually work? It’s a hybrid VC-equity crowdfunding platform for investors looking to invest in Israeli and global early stage companies. The platform selects opportunities and then invests its own capital alongside the cash of its “crowd” of investors. As for the investors themselves, they must meet stringent accreditation criteria and invest a minimum of $10k for any deal in which they wish to participate. OurCrowd also provides post-investment support to its portfolio of companies – assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats.
The level of success experienced by the platform after only 16 months is unprecedented – as is the recent IPO of an OurCrowd-funded company. ReWalk Robotics raised money via the platform last year. The product of the campaign is a motorized device that will aid movement for some people with lower body paralysis. The company has now filed for an IPO in order to raise up to $57.5 million. The Listing represents, as far as we’re aware, the first significant exit by an equity crowdfunded business. It is truly a landmark moment for a sector that is otherwise starved of tangible examples of monetary return.
Larry Jasinski, CEO of ReWalk Robotics, commented on his OurCrowd experience:
“OurCrowd did their diligence thoroughly, effectively and quickly which was appreciated and valuable for an operating company. Their team has a combination of deep experience, meaningful skills and enthusiasm for their mission. They also have provided key contacts in the US and in new areas for us such as Australia."