Zopa backer SoftBank has announced a $25m (£18.12m) convertible equity investment into Israel-based crowdfunding platform OurCrowd.
The money was made available via the SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and will be used to expand the OurCrowd platform, build its investor base, and accelerate the identification of high-potential, tech-enabled private companies.
Under the terms of the agreement, OurCrowd will also enter into a strategic partnership with SoftBank Investment Advisers (SBIA) to consider investment opportunities via OurCrowd’s online investment platform.
Both SBIA and OurCrowd will work together to share market research across a variety of sectors in their respective ecosystems.
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“As a strategic investor with a global reach and a network of market-leading technology companies, they will be a pivotal partner in helping OurCrowd realize our vision of democratising access to venture capital,” said OurCrowd’s chief executive Jon Medved.
“SoftBank has been investing ahead of major technology trends for over 40 years and we believe there is huge, embedded potential in the private markets ecosystem,” added Yossi Cohen, head of SBIA’s operations in Israel.
“In OurCrowd, we have an investment partner with the networks and pedigree to help promising Israeli startups to potentially emerge as international tech champions.”
OurCrowd has been named as Israel’s most active venture capital firm for the past nine years in a row.
Since its launch, the platform has invested more than $1.8bn into 280 different companies and 30 different funds. The platform is open to both institutional and individual investors, with a minimum investment of $10,000.
SoftBank is known to be one of the fintech sector’s most active investors, and it recently led a £220m fundraising round for UK peer-to-peer lender Zopa, ahead of a planned public listing.