If you ask Jon Medved, CEO of the Jerusalem-based Our Crowd venture capital group, the “issue” of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria is no more relevant to the international business community than they would be if they were located on the moon.
“Are you kidding?” he laughs. “Listen to me: It is a non-issue. No one even knows how to spell it. It may be a big issue for diplomats and the United Nations, but it is completely orthogonal to what we are doing. It’s like a different planet.”
Speaking to TPS about Our Crowd’s equity crowdfunding platform and the state of technology investment in Israel, Medved said that since opening for business in 2013 the company has raised $400 million, invested in 110 companies and had had 13 successful “exits”. Even more significantly, he said the scope and breadth of international interest in and support for the local technology sector means the current numbers will grow exponentially in the coming years.
“Israel is hotter than ever, growing at a rapid pace. $4.8 billion was invested in Israeli technology companies last year, of which 85 percent came from abroad.
“Compare that to Europe – $13.6 billion last year for their 700 million people, compared to our 8.5 million people. So we’re about 30-to-1 over them in the tech sector. It’s not an exaggeration to say that people simply can’t get enough of it,” he said.
Both in order to ramp up the level of investment in Israeli tech companies and to facilitate investment opportunities for investors around the world, Our Crowd has created an investment platform to match local start-ups with small-to-medium investors by adapting the crowdfunding model to the hi-tech sector.
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