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Israel-based global venture investing platform OurCrowdannounced a partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corporation today. OurCrowd and the Japanese general trading company – and member of the Toyota Group – have forged a business and technology scouting partnership that will seek out startups innovating in areas that support autonomous driving. This includes services and products leveraging technologies such as sensors, image recognition, data compression, and security.
OurCrowd will serve as a “technology scout” per the arrangement, which will leverage the company’s local and global networks, deal flow pipeline, and roster of portfolio companies to find innovators not just in mobility, but in other areas ranging from smart cities to big data in agriculture, as well.
“We are proud to be partnering with a general trading company such as Toyota Tsusho,” OurCrowd founder and CEO Jon Medved said. “Not only do they represent a 70 year tradition of excellence in global business, but they are focused on solving real global problems. Together we can help startups turn into ‘scaleups’ by providing access to Toyota Tsusho’s unrivaled platform that can deploy new technologies and products quickly and effectively in over 120 markets around the world.”
Toyota Tsusho EVP, Regional CEO and CTO Minoru Murata added that constructive relationships between technology leaders and startups are critical to incumbents, as well. “To ensure our future leadership we must identify, invest, and work with startups who are changing the world we live in,” Murata said.
OurCrowd demonstrated the mobile app for its crowd investing platform for accredited investors at FinovateSpring 2016. Founded in 2013, OurCrowd has $1.2 billion in committed funds, and has invested in 200 portfolio companies and funds. More than 37,000 accredited and institutional investors from 183 countries have funded startups via OurCrowd.
Earlier this month, OurCrowd announced that Stifel Financial Corporation had taken a minority stake in the company. The investment, amount undisclosed, also includes a strategic partnership that will enable Stifel’s investors to access offerings from the OurCrowd platform. Stifel is the 7th largest retail brokerage in the U.S. with more than $300 billion in client assets.
In September, OurCrowd opened an office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the company’s 13th global location. That month, the company also announced a partnership with Finistere, Tnuva, and Tempo to launch a foodtech incubator. It’s worth noting that OurCrowd’s most recent – and arguably most famous – exit is Beyond Meat, which went public earlier this year.
This summer, in a sign of increasing interest in the U.S., OurCrowd unveiled new offices in Chicago, Illinois, its third in the country.
Global crowdfunding platform OurCrowd is padding its pockets today with funding from investment banking firm Stifel. Terms of the deal, which brings a strategic partnership between the two companies, were not disclosed.
Stifel has taken a minority stake in OurCrowd, boosting the company’s total funding up over $112.5 million. OurCrowd’s past investors include Alta Berkeley Venture Partners, United Overseas Bank, and individual investors.
“Partnering with a leading U.S.-based wealth management and investment banking firm like Stifel is yet another major step toward further expanding the OurCrowd brand and investor base,” said OurCrowd Founder and CEO Jon Medved. “We also look forward to collaborating with Stifel’s investment and venture bankers to identify potential ways we can help identify and best support prospects and portfolio companies.”
Under the partnership, the two companies will build an investment portal for Stifel’s accredited investor clients that offers access to venture capital funds and individual portfolio companies on a deal-by-deal basis. In exchange, Stifel will offer OurCrowd’s portfolio companies investment banking services.
Stifel CEO Ronald Kruszewski, whose U.S. retail brokerage has 2,200 advisors overseeing more than $300 billion in client assets under management, said that he anticipates the partnership will offer the firm’s investors access to the “ever-expanding” category of venture capital. “Through this partnership, our clients will gain access to attractive, early-stage investment opportunities that have been typically restricted to traditional VC firms and family offices,” he said.
OurCrowd’s platform hosts almost 37,000 registered investors from 183 countries. The Israel-based company allows these users to participate in startup investment opportunities alongside VCs and institutional co-investors at the same terms. OurCrowd’s curated deal selection process employs a team of investment professionals to review thousands of companies, meet with selected management teams, and select opportunities for investors.
Since it was founded in 2013, OurCrowd has made more than $1.28 billion in commitments and has invested in 200+ companies and funds, 35 of which have made successful exits. At FinovateSpring 2016, the company debuted the OurCrowd mobile app.
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Equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd formed a partnership this week with NOAH Advisors to boost investment for European startups.
NOAH Advisors, a European corporate finance boutique, will work alongside the Israel-based company as it expands its portfolio into European startups. The two will focus on Germany, Switzerland, and the U.K.
“Europe is practically next door, with many Israeli startups choosing to focus on this market,” said OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved. “There are amazing innovations being developed in Europe now, and now is the time to bring Israel and Europe closer, collaborating on new ideas and innovation finance.”
As a part of the agreement, NOAH Advisors’ clients, executives, and investors will gain access to OurCrowd’s investment opportunities.
Founded in 2013, OurCrowd’s crowdfunding platform allows its network of 33,000 individual investors to participate in startup investment opportunities alongside VCs and institutional co-investors at the same terms. The company prides itself on its curated deal selection process that requires a team of investment professionals to review thousands of companies, meet with selected management teams, and select opportunities to open to investors. Since opening its doors, the company has vetted over 10,000 companies.
At FinovateSpring 2016, the company debuted the OurCrowd mobile app. Since then, the company marked $1 billion in assets under management; a milestone OurCrowd reached last year. The company was recently featured in Forbes and was ranked by Pitchbook as the most active Israeli VC firm.