Crowdfunding start-up OurCrowd opens office in Singapore

Crowdfunding platform OurCrowd opened its new office in Singapore on Nov 28, 2016. Mr Denes Ban (left) is partner and managing director of Asia, and Mr Jonathan Medved (right) is founder and chief executive.
Crowdfunding platform OurCrowd opened its new office in Singapore on Nov 28, 2016. Mr Denes Ban (left) is partner and managing director of Asia, and Mr Jonathan Medved (right) is founder and chief executive. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Israeli crowdfunding platform OurCrowd has opened an office in Singapore - its first in Asia - to tap on the fast-growing market in the region.

The move comes after the start-up received its Capital Market Services licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in August. In March, United Overseas Bank (UOB) announced its US$10 million (S$14.3 million) investment in the start-up for an undisclosed stake.

The new office in Henderson Road, which opened on Monday, is headed by Mr Denes Ban, an entrepreneur and angel investor who has invested in over 30 firms and founded a number of start-ups, including travel app PocketGuide.

OurCrowd founder and chief executive Jon Medved said: "Asia more broadly, and Singapore in particular, is becoming a globally recognised financial hub for the next generation of innovative technology companies.

"We expect to tap into exciting new deal flow, as well as bring more and more Asian investors to join us in funding global technology companies."

Asia is one of the fastest-growing markets for OurCrowd, said Mr Medved. OurCrowd has helped 16,000 accredited investors in its global network invest more than US$320 million into its portfolio of 100 companies and five funds. These firms span sectors such as mobility and transportation, machine learning, cybersecurity, digital health, agriculture technology, big data and robotics.

Ms Janet Young, head of group channels and digitalisation at UOB, said that the opening of OurCrowd's Singapore office increases the ease in which startups can seek professional advice on equity crowdfunding, while accredited investors among UOB's customers will be able to broaden their investments into these promising startups.

"We understand the ambitions of startups and emerging enterprises and want to help them grow into sustainable businesses. Today, UOB banks one in every two small businesses in Singapore and we recognise the importance of funding as a key factor for business growth. Through our partnership with OurCrowd, these companies can benefit from alternative funding options to help them scale up their businesses, especially in the early stages of growth," Ms Young said.