OurCrowd launches in Australia to provide equity crowdfunding for start-up companies

Global equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd is launching in Australia, giving local start-ups a new avenue for funding and sophisticated investors an opportunity to invest in global businesses.

“We’re in the process of taking OurCrowd global,” founder and entrepreneur Jon Medved, who started the platform in Israel, told StartupSmart.

“If you’re not global from day one in Israel, you’re not going anywhere.”

He says OurCrowd currently has thousands of investors signed up around the world. Last year it raised more than $30 million for 32 companies, including 11 financings of more than $1 million.

Medved says Australia is an underserved market for venture capital and angel investment.

OurCrowd examines fundraising deals being offered by companies before deciding which ones to offer to its investor membership through its platform. Investors then decide which deals they want to invest in. Investors have to be sophisticated, accredited investors with a net worth of $2.5 million or have an annual income of at least $250,000.

OurCrowd is the latest equity crowdfunding platform to establish itself in Australia, with VentureCrowd, backed by venture capital firm Artesian, launching last year. The Australian Small Scale Offerings Board also matches entrepreneurs seeking funding with investors.

Medved says OurCrowd’s arrival would not overcrowd Australia’s investment market.

“Anybody in the high tech business knows, there’s no such thing as no room,” he says. “This is a huge growing business. All market surveys show the crowdfunding business is going to grow.”

He says OurCrowd will allow its international investors to invest in Australian companies.

OurCrowd in Australia will be led by investment professionals including David Shein and Nathan Cher, co-founders of IT services firm Com Tech, and Geoff Levy, chairman of Monash Private Capital and former chief executive and executive chairman of Investec Bank (Australia).

As well as vetting deals and investment, OurCrowd also provides post-investment support to companies by assigning experts as mentors and taking board seats.

Medved says OurCrowd looks at technology companies with big markets such as Argo, a company working to give paraplegics the ability to stand and walk, MST, a robotic vision company, and Boatbound, an Airbnb-type company for boats.

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