OurCrowd Launches $100 Million Pandemic Innovation Fund

Fund to target solutions for COVID 19 and future pandemics, remote working/learning, social distancing

First investments to include MigVax - Israeli contender to produce oral coronavirus vaccine, and Sight Diagnostics - rapid, accurate and safe blood test technology in use at hospitals with COVID-19 patients

"It’s time for tech to move fast and fix things" – Jon Medved, OurCrowd CEO

OurCrowd, the world’s largest crowdfunded-venture investment platform, today announced the launch of its Pandemic Innovation Fund. The Fund plans to raise $100 million for investment in urgent technological solutions for the medical, business, educational and social needs triggered by global pandemics and other health emergencies.

"The rapid spread of the coronavirus has validated our vision of a connected digital world poised to solve any crisis through global communication and rapid response," said OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved.

"To ensure that we get the world back on track, there is now an urgent need for innovation. Technology can help us overcome many of the problems resulting from the crisis. It’s time for tech to move fast and fix things."

The pandemic has accelerated the pace of technology adoption across many domains. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella recently stated: "We saw two years of digital transformation in two months." The FDA has approved new digital diagnostic tools, and these will remain in use once the current pandemic has settled. Appstore downloads of remote working apps have soared. 75% of IT professionals reported changes to fintech firms’ cybersecurity programs to manage the transition to working from home. Salesforce predicts the use of AI-driven customer service and chatbots will more than double.

OurCrowd’s Pandemic Innovation Fund will focus on the following investment sectors:

  • Prevention & Containment– Vaccines, Testing, Personal protection, etc.
  • Treatment & Healing– Therapeutics, Diagnostics, Remote monitoring, Digital health, etc.
  • Continuity & Disruption Mitigation– Remote working, Distance learning, Robotic process automation, Home exercise, Cybersecurity, etc.

The Fund will both invest in new startups and select relevant companies already included in OurCrowd’s existing portfolio.

OurCrowd’s portfolio already has more than 20 companies actively working to mitigate the coronavirus crisis and its effects, some of which will be candidates for follow-on investment from the Pandemic Investment Fund. OurCrowd’s existing investments in technologies on the frontlines of coronavirus response include:

  • MigVax – Developing the MigVax-101 COVID-19 oral subunit vaccine for humans based on a proven platform developed over 4 years that was shown to be a highly effective oral vaccine against IBV (Infectious Bronchitis Virus) in poultry
  • Sight Diagnostics – Compact complete blood count analyzer that provides lab-grade results with 2 drops of finger prick blood sample in under 10 minutes
  • SaNOtize – Approved by Health Canada for multi-center Phase II trial of its Nitric Oxide Releasing Solution (NORSTM) for the prevention and early treatment of COVID-19
  • TytoCare – Remote physical exams and monitoring for primary care, chronic care and COVID-19 patients, protecting medical staff and reducing the burden on health systems
  • MeMed – Provides diagnostic insights to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections and is working on actionable solutions to help enable early intervention, before the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, and the implementation of measures to identify infection severity and improve patient management.
  • Techsee – Remote Visual Assistance powered by Computer Vision AI & AR used by leading brands like Vodafone and Verizon to provide uninterrupted tech support while ensuring safety of employees and customers under social distancing
  • Kryon – Robotic process automation used to transfer and verify millions of coronavirus test results with individual patient health records in a fraction of the normal time
  • Intuition Robotics – ElliQ AI-powered intelligent digital companion for the elderly, helping them stay sharp, connected and engaged
  • Zebra Medical Vision – Zebra-Med’s AI automatically detects and quantifies suspected COVID-19 findings on standard chest CTs, both contrast and non-contrast, and is already integrated in Apollo Hospitals Group in India

 

Advisors to the Fund, portfolio company experts, and top speakers from around the world will participate in the OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Conference – an online event on June 22, 2020, broadcast from Jerusalem.

The Fund’s general partners are:

  • Dr. Morris Laster – Healthcare executive with over 30 years’ experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, an expert in the identification, development, management, and financing of biomedical technologies who has founded six companies that have gone public.
  • Dr. Morry Blumenfeld – Venture Partner and Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board at OurCrowd, with a distinguished 30+ year career in medical innovation at GE Medical Systems.
  • David Sokolic – OurCrowd Venture Partner, 20+ year career at startups, technology leaders, and VC funds including, Microsoft, Radvision, and Battery Ventures.

"Together we must tackle the current pandemic as well as plan for future ones, because this story is just beginning. Entrepreneurs are uniquely skilled to provide fast and effective solutions to some of our greatest challenges. Our new fund will create the bridge between the innovations we need and the far-sighted investors able to provide the resources required to improve our world," Dr. Morris Laster, Fund Partner said.

The fund is open to both accredited private investors (minimum $50,000) and institutional investors (minimum $1,000,000) and further information about this opportunity is available at www.ourcrowd.com.

About OurCrowd: OurCrowd is a global venture investing platform that empowers institutions and individuals to invest and engage in emerging companies. The most active venture investor in Israel, OurCrowd vets and selects companies, invests its capital, and provides its global network with unparalleled access to co-invest and contribute connections, talent and deal flow. OurCrowd builds value for its portfolio companies throughout their lifecycles, providing mentorship, recruiting industry advisors, navigating follow-on rounds and creating growth opportunities through its network of multinational partnerships. With $1.4 billion of committed funding, and investments in 200 portfolio companies and 20 venture funds, OurCrowd offers access to its membership of 40,000 individual accredited and institutional investors, family offices, and venture capital partners from over 183 countries to invest alongside, at the same terms. OurCrowd’s portfolio is diversified across sectors and stages, ranging from seed and series A through late stage and pre-IPO firms. Since its founding in 2013, OurCrowd portfolio companies have been acquired by some of the most prestigious brands in the world, including Uber, Canon, Oracle, Nike, and Intel. To register and get involved, visit www.ourcrowd.com.

For Press Materials/Images: http://blog.ourcrowd.com/pif/

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200602005458/en/

Contacts

Press Contact: Leah Stern, OurCrowd Dir. of Communications / leah@ourcrowd.com / +44 747 019 6826