By Guglielmo de Stefano on Friday 4 March 2016
Only two days ago, OurCrowd - an Israeli equity crowdfunding platform - raised $10m.
Today Tel Aviv based, co-investment equity crowdfunding platform iAngels has announced the closure of a $14m Series B investment round. The capital injection was led by Alex Waislitz, founder of Thorney Investment Group, an Australian principal investment firm specializing in investments in emerging companies.
The platform revealed that funds will be employed to continue a worldwide expansion of its offering and to provide investors with specific exposure to the new asset class of technology start-ups.
Launched in 2014, iAngels has offered its investors more than 40 investment opportunities, 15 of which were possible through its relationship with NFX Guild, a Silicon Valley accelerator. The platform claims that investors will be presented with a more diverse selection of early-stage technology companies, as its footprint expands globally.
iAngels Founding Partner, Mor Assia, offered comment:
"Spurred by our success in Israel, our global network of angel investors continues to grow, enjoying exclusive access to innovative startups through our unique model of trusted partnerships, data analytics, and due diligence. This funding will allow us to continue dedicating significant resources to sourcing and evaluating the most promising deals and further develop the platform experience for our investor community."
The company is keen on highlighting that the news follows on from the heels of a successful year for the company. In 2015, iAngels’s portfolio companies Big Blue Parrot and MyRoll sold to Playtika and AVG respectively; Travelersbox raised $14.5M in two rounds; and the company expanded its team, moving from 5 to 16 employees.
Alex Waislitz, managing partner of Thorney Investment Group, added:
"As an investor that evaluates everything from large-cap stocks to real estate and private equities, we're looking to hedge our concerns about capital market volatility by investing in innovation. iAngels has consistently delivered high quality insights and deal flow to our fingertips through its inside knowledge of the Israeli tech scene, and we're excited to tap into new regions with them and add diverse global venture capital investments to our holdings."
Two days ago, we reported on a similar deal inked by OurCrowd, another Israeli equity crowdfunding platform. Based in Jerusalem, OurCrowd partnered with United Overseas Bank (UOB) - a leading Asian bank with a global network of over 500 offices in Asia Pacific, Western Europe and North America - in order to branch out into Asia. As part of the collaboration, UOB will be making a $10m investment in the platform.
What’s happening in Israeli? To summarize what has happened in the last two days… Two platforms – both focused on equity crowdfunding - have raised similar amounts of capital - $10m and $14m respectively – with the same aim of expanding beyond their shores.
Are iAngels and Ourcrowd preparing for an arms race?
Apparently, they are. Neither the former nor the latter wants to lose ground to the other. Indeed, both know that lagging behind the other could mean losing large profit opportunities. But it is also important to acknowledge the pre-eminence of Israeli platforms in a global context. Both of these platforms can demonstrate an impressive track record of delivering profits to investors. It could be that there is comfortably room for both of them to export their un-doubted expertise to the rest of the world. Certainly $24m of capital raised into the Israeli equity crowdfunding sector in 48 hours would suggest that the investment community is beginning to recognise the strength of Israeli expertise in this space.