UOB partners Israeli startup OurCrowd for equity crowdfunding

Mr Jonathan Medved, founder and chief executive of OurCrowd (right) and Ms Janet Young, UOB group head of channels and digitalisation (centre).
Mr Jonathan Medved, founder and chief executive of OurCrowd (right) and Ms Janet Young, UOB group head of channels and digitalisation (centre).ST PHOTO: MARISSA LEE

SINGAPORE - UOB has partnered with Israeli startup OurCrowd to give its clients access to equity crowdfunding opportunities around the word, in the first collaboration between an Asian bank and an equity crowdfunding platform.

UOB is making a US$10 million (S$14 million) investment in OurCrowd, the bank said on Thursday (March 3). The size of the stake it is taking was not disclosed.

For a start, only a few thousand accredited UOB clients who meet the minimum income and asset requirements will be able to invest with OurCrowd.

But Mr Jonathan Medved, founder and chief executive of OurCrowd, said the partnership is a huge step forward for OurCrowd and the Asian tech ecosystem.

"We will further strengthen our activity here. Over time, we plan to hire teams that will be working in this market and getting full licenses from the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) for OurCrowd going forward," he said at a media conference at UOB Plaza on Thursday.

The collaboration also deepens UOB's support network for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises in the region as the bank can refer companies to OurCrowd to be considered for fund-raising, while the OurCrowd team will make the final decision on its portfolio companies, said Ms Janet Young, UOB group head of channels and digitalisation.

A three-year-old startup, OurCrowd has invested more than US$200 million in 93 companies and made four exits so far, including the listing of Israeli tech incubator Trendlines on the SGX Catalist board last year.

OurCrowd had 11,000 accredited investors around the world as of January, and about 100 new investors join the platform each week.