The Jerusalem-based venture funding platform OurCrowd said Wednesday that SoftBank Vision Fund 2 will make a $25 million convertible equity investment into the firm.
The investment from Japan’s SoftBank, one of the world’s top investment companies, includes a strategic partnership with SoftBank Investment Advisers (SBIA), which is headed by former head of the Mossad Yossi Cohen.
The investment by one of the world’s largest technology-focused investors is a significant strategic development for the fund, OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved said.
“Our collaboration with SoftBank will help OurCrowd expand and further develop our global platform,” he said. “Not only will we explore new deals together, but we will cooperate on key areas of mutual tech interest such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, mobility, agtech, cybersecurity, healthtech and more. As a strategic investor with a global reach and a network of market-leading technology companies, they will be a pivotal partner in helping OurCrowd realize our vision of democratizing access to venture capital.”
Proceeds of the round will go toward the expansion of the OurCrowd platform, building its investor base and accelerating the identification of high-potential, tech-enabled private companies. SBIA will consider investment opportunities via OurCrowd’s online venture capital investment platform.
Based in Jerusalem’s Baka neighborhood, OurCrowd has investments in over 280 companies and 30 funds, and has been rated Israel’s most active venture investor by PitchBook for nine consecutive years. The platform includes 140,000 accredited investors from more than 195 countries.
OurCrowd achieved record growth in the past year, it said in a statement. It has added 75,000 new registered subscribers so far in 2021, compared to 25,000 last year. New investments made this year on the platform will exceed $500m., representing more than 100% growth in additional annual assets under management. More than 50 OurCrowd portfolio companies have achieved exits, including Lemonade, Beyond Meat, Uber (Jump), Kenna, Argus and Wave.
Under OurCrowd’s agreement with SBIA, the parties will work with each other to evaluate market trends in a broad variety of sectors. The collaboration will also see OurCrowd and SBIA support geographic expansion across their respective ecosystems, they said.
“SoftBank has been investing ahead of major technology trends for over 40 years, and we believe there is huge, embedded potential in the private markets ecosystem,” Yossi Cohen said. “In OurCrowd, we have an investment partner with the networks and pedigree to help promising Israeli start-ups to potentially emerge as international tech champions.”
The first SoftBank Vision Fund, founded in 2017, is the world’s largest technology-focused investment fund, with more than $100 billion in capital. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 was founded in 2019, and, with more than 115 investments made so far this year, is one of the most active funds in the world.