Israel's OurCrowd launches $50m digital health fund

Yossi Bahagon Photo: PR
Yossi Bahagon Photo: PR

OurCrowd Qure will invest up to several million dollars per startup in early stage, seed and Series A financing rounds.

Israeli angel investors crowdsouircing club OurCrowd today announced the establishment of OurCrowd Qure, a $50 million venture capital fund for digital health investments.

OurCrowd, led by Jon Medved, will invest $5-10 million of its money (the company recently raised $70 million for its regular activity, including investments like this one). The rest of the money will come from the company's investors club, composed of wealthy individuals from the US, Israel, and other countries. The fund is also raising money from non-member investors, and has secured a $10 million investment in recent weeks from parties in technology and health in Australia and Hong Kong.

Allen Kamer, who managed medical analytics company Humedica, sold to the United Health insurance company, and later managed that company's health data division, will manage the fund, together with Dr. Yossi Bahagon, who founded and managed a number of Israeli digital health companies in recent years, and formerly managed Clalit Health Services' digital platform.

OurCrowd Qure will invest in companies in the early stages, in the seed and "A" rounds, in other words up to several million dollars in a company, but usually less. The fund will also invest in end-consumer products and products for hospitals, but not in infrastructure systems for hospitals. The fund has already made its first investment in Zebra Medical Vision, founded by chairman Eyal Gura, which deals in automatic analysis of imaging tests.

OurCrowd Qure is already cooperating with Johns Hopkins, a leading US hospital, which will enable OurCrowd's companies to conduct trials on its grounds. Negotiations are currently taking place for additional cooperative efforts.

Bahagon said today, "There have already been 87 exits with an aggregate value of $10.4 billion by digital health companies to date in 2016 alone. The seed for establishing the fund was planted a year ago at an event entitled "Israel Launches its Next Area of Innovation," attended by late President Shimon Peres, the Ministry of Economy and Industry Chief Scientist, and representatives from Johns Hopkins University. We truly believe that Israel can be a leader in digital health, just as it is a leader in the cyber field."

Bahagon added that the first investments were from Hong Kong and Australia, not the US, where OurCrowd is especially well established, both for opportunistic reasons and because Hong Kong and Australia are hot markets in this field. "The US digital health market is very ripe, but also very noisy. It's very difficult to stand out in the lively activity going on in this market. The Asian Pacific region is less mature, bigger, and less competitive. They have special needs in this field, and a great appreciation for Israeli innovation."

"Globes": How are you cooperating with other parties in this field in Israel, such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) and Royal Philips's Sanara Ventures incubator, the Mindup medical equipment incubator in Haifa, and the TriVentures fund, which also invests in digital health?

"We hope to invest in syndication with the rest of these concerns, and it's very good that an ecosystem has been created in the sector. At the same time, as of now, we're the only fund (as opposed to an incubator, G.W.) specializing solely in this sector."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on November 1, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

Yossi Bahagon Photo: PR
Yossi Bahagon Photo: PR
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