Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.

It is about to arrive. OurCrowd’s annual Jerusalem investor summit will take place this week.

The show is sold out. Participants are expected from over 150 countries, and I intend to meet a few of them at a client later on today. All for an operation that has been going less for a decade and will place investments from US$10,000 upwards. So what is the big deal?

The Globes newspaper answered the question very succinctly recently, and the article includes a full interview with the CEO, Jon Medved.

30,000 investors are registered in OurCrowd’s crowdfunding platform. Figures provided by the company to “Globes” show that in 2018 alone, the fund raised $400 million and invested in 80 companies: 24 new investments, 56 follow-on investments, and four investment funds. The fund was involved in 29 exits, the most prominent of which were BriefCam, sold for $90 million to Canon, and Jump, sold for $200 million to Uber. In 2019, OurCrowd has already been involved in the sale of Corephotonics to Samsung for $155 million.

I was stunned by a further set of stats I read in another paper over the weekend.

  • OurCrowd relies on over 170 experts
  • An investor will typically receive at least 5% of the shares of a company
  • About 10% of the investors are Israeli.
  • The average amount invested each time is around US$350,000. And a total of over US$1 billion has been raised to date.
  • 3 companies have reached a valuation of over a US$1 billion. A further 37 are worth over US$100 million.
  • And yes, 13 companies closed up.

I am somewhat stunned that others have not copied this model. There again, these numbers do explain why thousands of international investors, assumedly many from countries not normally associated with Israel, will be converging on Jerusalem this week.







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