Israel’s largest crowdfunding platform OurCrowd has launched a Pandemic Innovation Fund, the company announced Tuesday. The fund plans to raise $100 million for investment in urgent technological solutions for medical, business, educational, and social needs triggered by global pandemics and other health emergencies.
The Pandemic Innovation Fund will focus on investment sectors such as prevention and containment (vaccines, testing, personal protection), treatment and healing (therapeutics, diagnostics, remote monitoring, digital health), and continuity and disruption mitigation (remote working, distance learning, robotic process automation, cybersecurity).
The fund will invest in new startups and select relevant companies already included in OurCrowd’s existing portfolio.
OurCrowd already has more than 20 companies actively working to mitigate the coronavirus crisis and its effects. These companies include MigVax, the newly formed Israeli company created as an affiliate of the Migal Galilee Research Institute to advance the effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine; Sight Diagnostics, the complete blood count analyzer that provides lab-grade results with two drops of blood sample by finger prick in under 10 minutes; SaNOtize, the Vancouver-based company developed by an Israeli scientist which has been approved by Health Canada for the multi-center Phase II trial of its Nitric Oxide Releasing Solution for the prevention and early treatment of COVID-19; and others. Some of these companies will be candidates for follow-on investment from the Pandemic Investment Fund.
Advisors to the fund, portfolio company experts, and top speakers from around the world will participate in the OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Conference online event on Monday, June 22, which will be broadcast from Jerusalem.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the pace of technology adoption across many domains.
“The rapid spread of the coronavirus has validated our vision of a connected digital world poised to solve any crisis through global communication and rapid response,” said OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved.
The fund’s partners include Dr. Morris Laster, a healthcare executive with over 30 years experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, and an expert in the identification, development, management, and financing of biomedical technologies who has founded six companies that have gone public; Dr. Morry Blumenfeld, a venture partner and chairman of the Medical Advisory Board at OurCrowd, with a career in medical innovation at GE Medical Systems; and David Sokolic, an OurCrowd venture partner with a 20-plus career at startups, technology leaders, and VC funds including Microsoft and Radvision.
“Together we must tackle the current pandemic as well as plan for future ones, because this story is just beginning. Entrepreneurs are uniquely skilled to provide fast and effective solutions to some of our greatest challenges. Our new fund will create the bridge between the innovations we need and the far-sighted investors able to provide the resources required to improve our world,” Dr. Laster said.
OurCrowd says the fund is open to both accredited private investors (minimum $50,000) and institutional investors (minimum $1,000,000). Further information is available here.