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OurCrowd Resilience Fund helps unlock $100 million boost for Israel’s startups

Emergency funding vehicle triggers matching funds from multiple investors, secures more than 1,000 jobs

Investments from the OurCrowd Israel Resilience Fund have helped unlock more than $100 million in new capital for Israeli startups impacted by the war with Hamas and Hezbollah.

The fund has received more than $17 million in commitments since it was launched in October. It is actively deploying the millions received, and plans to invest in about 40 companies by mid-April, securing or creating more than 1,000 jobs, says Jeff Kupietzky, an experienced CEO and investor who joined OurCrowd to manage the Israel Resilience Fund.

“There is a ripple effect of investing $17 million, which helps to unlock $100 million in capital. Together with sustaining jobs in Israeli startups at this critical time for the economy – that’s an achievement our investors can be proud of,” Kupietzky says.

“The total number of employees in the 35 companies we have approved so far comes to more than a thousand,” he says. “Those are jobs we have directly helped to preserve or even create in Israeli startups.”More info on Israel Resilience Fund

Our Crowd’s Israel Resilience Fund is the most active of several initiatives created in the aftermath of the October 7th attacks by Hamas to buttress Israel’s technology startups as their executives were drafted into the army, the Israeli economy slowed, and investment rounds had to be postponed – a serious problem for startups burning through limited reserves before the next injection of capital.

The impact of the funding from the Resilience Fund has been multiplied many times over by its role in acting as a catalyst for other investors and venture capital firms to join funding rounds that might otherwise have been smaller, or not happened at all. The Israel Innovation Authority also offered to match funding for some companies successfully attracting new investment.

“I understand why investors are wary in these tough times, but Israel’s high-tech economy has repeatedly shown that it can not only weather such crises, but emerge strengthened from them, so we created the Israel Resilience Fund to provide the leadership to encourage others,” says Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s CEO. “By the simple fact of us taking a stand and leading an investment, we cause insiders and other investors to stand alongside us, so that our relatively small investment acts as a multiplier, creating a snowball effect that keeps growing.”

“We all participated,” says Jeff Kupietzky. “Sometimes OurCrowd was first in, sometimes it was the Israel Innovation Authority, sometimes we came in to match other investors. Together, we all created this multiplier effect that means Israeli startups in need of urgent funding are more than $100 million better off than they were in early October, despite a national crisis.”

“Our decision to have a matching requirement, whereby companies could receive investment from the OurCrowd Resilience Fund only if the amount was matched by other investors, encouraged the companies to look for more funds, and also encouraged other investors to come forward, increasing the size of many of these rounds,” Kupietzky explains.

More than 100 investors have pledged to support OurCrowd’s fund to date. They include Melanie Sturm from Colorado, who joined a recent tour organized by OurCrowd for investors to see the shattered communities near Gaza for themselves and meet survivors, security officials, and startup CEOs whose companies have been approved by the fund.

“I wanted to show solidarity, to bear witness to all that happened on October 7th and thereafter, and to learn how the society —including its business sector — is recovering,” Sturm says. “I returned never prouder to be a member of the Jewish people, and committed to doubling down on my investment in Israel.”

“Investing in these companies makes me feel really good,” she told The Jerusalem Post.

Great companies

Ron Fisher, a Senior Adviser at the SoftBank Vision Fund, says he accepted OurCrowd’s invitation to join the Israel Resilience Fund Advisory Board and invested in the fund himself to demonstrate his commitment to “making sure that the Israeli technology ecosystem continues to survive and grow.”

“I was amazed when I was meeting with young CEOs,” Fisher says. “They were saying: ‘We understand everything that’s happening around us, but our responsibility is to make sure that Israel survives and continues to progress, and the tech ecosystem is vital to that. So our obligation is to continue to build great companies.’”

“I cannot tell you how much everybody who participates should appreciate what you are doing for the good of Israel,” Fisher told a global audience of OurCrowd investors.

More confidence

Erran Heffetz, a former Israeli Air Force F-16 pilot, is the CEO and Co-Founder of Bites, a startup that counts Amazon, Unilever and other global giants among its customers. Bites qualified for investment from the Resilience Fund after he and senior colleagues were drafted into the IDF reserves in October and had to postpone a planned funding round.

“During the first month we focused completely on continuity, that the existing customers should not feel anything at all in terms of the product or service,” Heffetz says. ” This has been extremely challenging – how to manage the company when at least 50 percent of the time you are completely unavailable.”

“One of the most important things about the Israel Resilience Fund is that it’s not a bailout fund,” he says. “Its aim is to support successful companies that are growing and have good investors, who happily are still supporting us. The Israel Resilience Fund allows me as a CEO to clear my mind, in the minimal hours that I have, so I can focus on the growth of the company. It also gives more confidence to other investors to come as well.”

“You’ve got the chance to invest in companies that otherwise would not be in a position to raise this amount of funds in such a quick way,” Heffetz says. “I see it as an opportunity. This is the time when we prevail, this is the time when we get creative. This is the time when we invent the best things.”

Companies approved for the fund receive more than just money. They also qualify for business development support, expert mentoring, and connections to a global business network, courtesy of PwC Israel.

“The expert advice and mentorship from PwC Israel and its partners will help these startups to continue to grow, directly benefiting hundreds of employees and positively impacting the Israeli economy,” Kupietzky says.

OurCrowd has waived all management fees and carried interest, making the investment opportunity even more effective for participants.

For more information about OurCrowd’s Israel Resilience Fund, click HERE:

More info on Israel Resilience Fund

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