OurCrowd to set up $50 million digital health fund

With money raised from crowdfunding platform and other investors, Qure will be global with an emphasis on Israel

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

A graphic describing the nexus of digital technology and health applications. (Courtesy VLX Ventures)
A graphic describing the nexus of digital technology and health applications. (Courtesy VLX Ventures)

OurCrowd, the Jerusalem-based crowdfunding venture capital platform, said Tuesday it was setting up a $50 million fund exclusively focused on investing in digital health technologies.

The new OurCrowd Qure fund, as it is called, will raise the money through the crowdfunding platform, from its own resources and from other investors, Dr. Yossi Bahagon, an OurCrowd managing partner who will co-lead the fund, said in a phone interview.

The fund will focus on digital health startups at seed and series A stages in Israel, the US and the Asia Pacific region. “It will be a global fund, with emphasis on Israel,” he said.

This is OurCrowd’s first sector fund dedicated to the rapidly developing digital health market valued globally at $70 billion in 2015 and projected to be over $230 billion by 2020, the company said in a statement.

It is also Israel’s first fund exclusively focused on digital health care, said Bahagon. “There is a lot of interest and I believe we will be able to raise all the money we set out to raise,” he said.

OurCrowd's Yossi Bahagon (Courtesy)
OurCrowd’s Yossi Bahagon (Courtesy)

The fund has already raised $10 million and has invested in one startup, with two more in the pipeline, Bahagon said

“Digital health is one of the fastest growing sectors in terms of funding and M&A activity,” said OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved. “Exclusively focusing on digital health is important given the complexity of healthcare delivery and markets.”

OurCrowd Qure has established a collaboration with Johns Hopkins University to provide both OurCrowd and the startups it invests in with guidance regarding the value of the technologies developed, to help fast track access to the market and provide feedback on the products and insights on what products and developments the market needs.

“The health system is complex and an innovative idea is not enough,” said Bahagon. “You need to have someone to speak to, to guide you through the system, provide you with feedback. We see this venture creating not just an investment arm but a digital health ecosystem.”

“We feel these companies will enrich the innovation ecosystem in and around Johns Hopkins,” said Christy Wyskiel, head of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures.

The fund will be led also by OurCrowd managing partner Allen Kamer, a co-founder of Humedica, a health and analytics company, which was acquired by UnitedHealth, the largest US health insurer in 2013.

“Digital health solutions are more necessary than ever as the global population ages and healthcare demands accelerate quickly while supplies and services fail to keep pace,” said Kamer, “Digital health solutions offer the promise of delivering more for less and aim to positively impact the health of current and future generations.”

OurCrowd's Allen Kamer (Courtesy)
OurCrowd’s Allen Kamer (Courtesy)

Bahagon, a family physician, was founder and CEO of Luminox Health, an Israeli healthcare startup specializing in digital medicine which was acquired by OurCrowd in June 2016. Previously, he founded and managed one of largest digital health platforms in the world at Clalit – the second largest Health Maintenance Organization in the world.

The OurCrowd platform has almost 15,000 investors from over 110 countries and has invested over $300 million into 100 portfolio companies and funds.

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