With this deal, OurCrowd is foraying into Asia and is focussed on developing the fintech ecosystem in the region.
Since its launch in February 2013, OurCrowd has invested over $200 million in its 93 portfolio companies, which include four exits. These include ReWalk (IPO on NASDAQ), Trendlines (IPO on Catalist), Nextpeer acquired by Rakuten/Viber, and BillGuard acquired by Prosper.
Apart from UOB, Sassoon Investment Corporation (SassCorp), the private investment holding company of Singapore-based Sassoon family, is also partnering and investing in the first leg of OurCrowd’s Asian expansion.
The strategic partnership with UOB will allow the Asia-focussed bank’s accredited investor-clients an opportunity to broaden their investments into OurCrowd portfolio companies, according to a company statement.
“As Singapore’s largest SME banks, UOB has deep experience from its long-standing support of entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs. This collaboration with OurCrowd is a natural extension of our interest in nurturing the growth of small businesses,” said Ms Janet Young, head of group channels and digitalization of UOB. In Asia, UOB operates through its head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, as well as branches and representative offices.
Young added, it can be challenging for small businesses to obtain financing, particularly equity financing in the early stages of growth.
She said, the partnership is “to connect smart ideas with smart money.”
Led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd vets and selects opportunities, invests its own capital and brings startups to its membership. It also provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and in many cases takes board seats.
“Together, we will empower scores of new entrepreneurs and match them with global investors and mentor networks. The beauty of crowdfunding OurCrowd style is that the investor in Asia can now access quality deal flow in Israel, Silicon Valley, and beyond, while a Singapore entrepreneur can easily gain top notch global backing,” said Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd.