Today we’ll introduce you to a special website.
Sure, we often show you new “funding platforms”—the websites where you can invest in promising young companies before they become household names.
But the site we’ll show you today goes even further:
Not only does it feature extraordinary start-ups… it also puts its money where its mouth is:
It invests its own money into these companies, right alongside yours.
Introduction to OurCrowd
The website I’m referring to is called OurCrowd.
Like other platforms we write about here at Crowdability, OurCrowd connects private companies that need capital with individual investors—folks like you who are looking to make investments with significant upside potential.
But OurCrowd is unique in that it also acts like a venture capital fund.
You see, after it determines that a promising start-up is worthy of being featured on its platform (only about 2 of every 100 companies make the cut), it puts skin in the game:
It writes a check to the company with its own money.
Then, once it’s committed its own capital, it offers you the ability to invest alongside it—on the same terms, at the same time.
This lowers your investment risk:
It puts you on a level playing field with professional venture investors.
The Right Incentives
We’re supportive of OurCrowd’s “hybrid” approach to funding start-ups—in other words, we like that it’s a funding portal and a venture firm.
We believe this approach incentivizes OurCrowd to feature only the most promising opportunities—and we’ve already seen proof that it works.
Here’s just one example:
In June 2013, OurCrowd raised $1.2 million for a company called ReWalk.
ReWalk makes a bionic assisted walking system. Simply put, it allows paraplegics to walk again.
On September 12, 2014, ReWalk Robotics (NASDAQ: RWLK) went public.
By the end of the day, folks like you who’d invested in ReWalk through OurCrowd were sitting on gains of 536%.
A Few of Its Current Companies
OurCrowd specializes in fast-growing technology start-ups—companies aiming to be the next Microsoft or Facebook, or even the next Fitbit.
Here are a few of the companies that it's currently featuring:
Mark One—a start-up bringing molecular sensing technologies to consumer electronics. For example, fill one of its high-tech “cups” with any liquid, and it will instantly tell you the nutrients inside. Wired calls it “impressively precise.” You can invest alongside OurCrowd, as well as professional investors like Intel Capital.
Influitive—a software start-up that helps companies harness the marketing power of their most passionate customers. Its founder sold his last start-up to Oracle in 2012 for $960 million. Customers include IBM and LinkedIn, and co-investors include OurCrowd and top-tier venture firm First Round Capital.
ElMindA—a medical technology company pioneering the next generation of brain diagnostics. Its solution received FDA clearance in 2014, and the company was recently included on Fast Company’s annual list of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies” alongside Apple and Tesla.
Every week, new companies like these are listed on OurCrowd—in fact, you’re probably already seeing them in Crowdability’s weekly deal round up on Monday mornings.
That adds up to a lot of promising companies—and a lot of capital:
In 2015 alone, OurCrowd will invest an estimated $120 million into start-ups.
Deploying that level of capital in a year is already on par with many of the world’s leading venture capital firms—and OurCrowd has aspirations to increase that number to $1 billion per year.
The Next Microsoft?
So what’s the catch?
Well, first of all, these investments have a relatively high minimum of $10,000.
Secondly, according to SEC regulations, you need to be an “accredited” investor to invest in private deals like these. That means you need to have a $1 million net worth, or earn at least $200,000 in annual income.
(If you’re not accredited, don’t worry: due to a new set of laws called “The JOBS Act,” all investors will be able to get into deals like these in just a few months.)
And finally, despite the progress that many of OurCrowd’s companies have made, they're still start-ups—so if you’re thinking about investing, manage your risk by investing in a portfolio of start-ups over time.
But it’s exciting to discover new companies on its platform—and it’s exciting to think you might back the next Microsoft or Facebook and profit from its success.
To learn more about OurCrowd and its start-ups, you can sign up for free here >>
Please note: Crowdability has no relationship with OurCrowd or with any of the companies featured on its platform. We’re an independent provider of education, information and research on start-ups and alternative investments.