from the December 2016 issue

Israeli crowdfunding co OurCrowd raises $72m

OurCrowd Qure will invest in companies in the early stages, in the seed and "A" rounds, in other words up to several million dollars in a company, but usually less. The fund will also invest in end-consumer products and products for hospitals, but not in infrastructure systems for hospitals. The fund has already made its first investment in Zebra Medical Vision, founded by chairman Eyal Gura, which deals in automatic analysis of imaging tests.

OurCrowd Qure is already cooperating with Johns Hopkins, a leading US hospital, which will enable OurCrowd's companies to conduct trials on its grounds. Negotiations are currently taking place for additional cooperative efforts. Bahagon said today, "There have already been 87 exits with an aggregate value of $10.4 billion by digital health companies to date in 2016 alone. The seed for establishing the fund was planted a year ago at an event entitled "Israel Launches its Next Area of Innovation," attended by late President Shimon Peres, the Ministry of Economy and Industry Chief Scientist, and representatives from Johns Hopkins University. We truly believe that Israel can be a leader in digital health, just as it is a leader in the cyber field."

Bahagon added that the first investments were from Hong Kong and Australia, not the US, where OurCrowd is especially well established, both for opportunistic reasons and because Hong Kong and Australia are hot markets in this field. "The US digital health market is very ripe, but also very noisy. It's very difficult to stand out in the lively activity going on in this market. The Asian Pacific region is less mature, bigger, and less competitive. They have special needs in this field, and a great appreciation for Israeli innovation."

"Globes": How are you cooperating with other parties in this field in Israel, such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) and Royal Philips's Sanara Ventures incubator, the Mindup medical equipment incubator in Haifa, and the TriVentures fund, which also invests in digital health? "We hope to invest in syndication with the rest of these concerns, and it's very good that an ecosystem has been created in the sector. At the same time, as of now, we're the only fund (as opposed to an incubator, G.W.) specializing solely in this sector."

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report December 2016

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