Israeli venture investment platform OurCrowd, one of the most active Israeli venture capital funds, has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Azerbaijan Investment Company (AIC). The agreement makes OurCrowd the first Israeli business entity to sign an agreement with Azerbaijan since Azerbaijan opened its Trade and Tourism Offices in Israel. AIC was represented by Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan, Mikayil Jabbarov, who chairs its supervisory board, and who came to Israel to promote strategic cooperation in the field of investment by Azerbaijan's government in OurCrowd’s portfolio.
In the first stage, AIC said it will invest in 10-15 startups from the OurCrowd portfolio, especially in companies producing technologies and innovations which have significant potential to encourage growth for the Azerbaijan economy, with a focus on energy, health, agtech and foodtech, education and more. The two sides are also expected to examine ways to encourage startups that have received investments to establish presences in Azerbaijan, further expanding the cooperation. OurCrowd expects that other potential partners based in Azerbaijan, in both the private and public sectors, will join the move and make additional investments.
At the signing ceremony Jabbaran said, "The Memorandum of Understanding between the Israeli company OurCrowd, and the Azerbaijan Investment Company has been signed to attract investments in startup projects and transfer the best practices of leading Israeli companies to our country. This new area of cooperation will contribute to the establishment of an innovative ecosystem in our country".
OurCrowd founder and CEO Jon Medved said, "The OurCrowd model of investment, and the companies that we support, are testament to the power of cooperation and partnership. The opportunity to sign an MOU with Azerbaijan will allow us to expand our reach, and help new entrepreneurs and startups realize their dreams. Moreover, this agreement will play a significant part in advancing the cooperation between Israel and Azerbaijan. By bringing together entrepreneurs and investors in both countries and around the world, we will be able to expand our ecosystem, and build new innovations together."
OurCrowd partner for government relations Ori Sobovitz added, "We are proud and excited to be the first Israeli business to sign an agreement with the Azerbaijan Investment Company since Azerbaijan opened their Trade and Tourism Offices in Israel. We see great significance in the signing this agreement with a country with such a strong relationship with Israel. This agreement is the result of longstanding and good relations between Israel and Azerbaijan. Moreover, it is an expression of the real synergy between the two countries, and presents the opportunity to apply our portfolio companies’ innovations, solutions, and best practices in a new market, with significant mutual benefit."
Founded in 2013, OurCrowd has raised $1.8 billion in investment in 250 portfolio companies through 27 funds, and has recorded 46 exits, as well as the Nasdaq launches of Beyond Meat and Lemonade, and a number of high profile acquisitions including, Jump Bike by Uber, Briefcam By Canon, Argus by Continental, Crosswise by Oracle, Replay by Intel, Corephotonics by Samsung, and CyberX by Microsoft. Today, OurCrowd's investment platform has 93,500 qualified investors from 195 countries, including: hundreds of venture capital funds, hundreds of multinational companies and thousands of private investors.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 8, 2021
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