The platform, which has raised some US$1,000 million, has facilitated the success of companies like JUMP, which was recently acquired by Uber.
Although born and educated in California, Jon Medved has spent almost all his working life in Israel. It was there that he founded his first company - a fiber optic communications company - before continuing with another and another until entering the venture capital industry, moving to the “dark side of the force” as he likes to joke.
Building on the experience he had acquired as both an entrepreneur and an investor, he decided to create OurCrowd, the world’s largest equity crowdfunding platform, a model through which a company receives equity in exchange for a stake in its earnings or shares. “We are trying to redefine the venture capital industry. The big difference is that we are global and venture capital is rather local,” says Medved during a brief visit to Santiago.
His visit to the Chilean capital occurs in the context of the platform’s expansion into new markets, a strategy under which it has just closed an agreement with Vision, a general fund administrator linked to Boris Garafulic. “We are working with Vision to attract our investors to the country and also so our companies can come and find partners and cooperate. Ultimately, we would like to find firms here in which we could invest and take to the rest of the world,” explains Medved.
He is aware that Chile is not the largest market in the region but says that they chose it because it seems to him the most “balanced” in terms of economic and political stability and because it has a relatively active community of investors.
With a business model under which it carefully selects the companies in which it invests - only 1% of applicants manage to pass the process - OurCrowd is also highly selective about its investors who must have high standards and, in countries like the United States, have a minimum capital of US$1 million.
In this way, OurCrowd have been able to raise more than US$1,000 million for companies like Hyperloop One and JUMP, the bike-sharing platform that was recently acquired by Uber for close to US$200 million. “Everyone knows that innovation is where you have to put your money or at least part of it. They are the faster-growing companies, but it is not so easy to do when those companies are far away, in other countries. That is where we come in, in this case through Vision; we enable people to do it because we are a global firm,” says Medved.
With 31 exits to its credit, OurCrowd focuses on technology firms in areas such as artificial intelligence, drones, agriculture, health, cybersecurity, big data and fintech. “We are looking for explosive markets that will change the world,” he concludes.
For further information about Chile as an innovation hub, read this article.
Source: El Mercurio