OurCrowd launches $100M Pandemic Innovation Fund to invest in tech startups that target solutions for COVID 19 and future pandemics
OurCrowd, a Jerusalem, Israel-based venture capital firm and the world’s largest crowdfunded-venture investment platform, today announced the launch of $100 million Pandemic Innovation Fund for investment in urgent technological solutions for the medical, business, educational and social needs triggered by global pandemics and other health emergencies.
OurCrowd’s Pandemic Innovation Fund will focus on the following three investment sectors. First the fund will invest in: Prevention & Containment– Vaccines, Testing, Personal protection, etc. Second, the fund will also focus on Treatment & Healing– Therapeutics, Diagnostics, Remote monitoring, Digital health, etc. Third, the fund will invest in Continuity & Disruption Mitigation– Remote working, Distance learning, Robotic process automation, Home exercise, Cybersecurity, etc.
Founded in 2013 Jonathan Medved and Steven Blumgart, OurCrowd breaks barriers to startup investing, providing global, VC-level dealflow, due diligence and terms to accredited investors. OurCrowd sources deals, performs due diligence, and opens investments to its members, leading every investment with its own money.
“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.
“To ensure that we get the world back on track, there is now an urgent need for innovation. Technology can help us overcome many of the problems resulting from the crisis. It’s time for tech to move fast and fix things.”
The pandemic has accelerated the pace of technology adoption across many domains. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella recently stated: “We saw two years of digital transformation in two months.” The FDA has approved new digital diagnostic tools, and these will remain in use once the current pandemic has settled. Appstore downloads of remote working apps have soared. 75% of IT professionals reported changes to fintech firms’ cybersecurity programs to manage the transition to working from home. Salesforce predicts the use of AI-driven customer service and chatbots will more than double.
According to the company, the Fund will be invested in new startups and select relevant companies already included in its existing portfolio. Its current portfolio already has more than 20 companies actively working to mitigate the coronavirus crisis and its effects, some of which will be candidates for follow-on investment from the Pandemic Investment Fund. OurCrowd’s existing investments in technologies on the frontlines of coronavirus response include:
- MigVax – Developing the MigVax-101 COVID-19 oral subunit vaccine for humans based on a proven platform developed over 4 years that was shown to be a highly effective oral vaccine against IBV (Infectious Bronchitis Virus) in poultry
- Sight Diagnostics – Compact complete blood count analyzer that provides lab-grade results with 2 drops of finger prick blood sample in under 10 minutes
- SaNOtize – Approved by Health Canada for multi-center Phase II trial of its Nitric Oxide Releasing Solution (NORSTM) for the prevention and early treatment of COVID-19
- TytoCare – Remote physical exams and monitoring for primary care, chronic care and COVID-19 patients, protecting medical staff and reducing the burden on health systems
- MeMed – Provides diagnostic insights to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections and is working on actionable solutions to help enable early intervention, before the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, and the implementation of measures to identify infection severity and improve patient management.
- Techsee – Remote Visual Assistance powered by Computer Vision AI & AR used by leading brands like Vodafone and Verizon to provide uninterrupted tech support while ensuring safety of employees and customers under social distancing
- Kryon – Robotic process automation used to transfer and verify millions of coronavirus test results with individual patient health records in a fraction of the normal time
- Intuition Robotics – ElliQ AI-powered intelligent digital companion for the elderly, helping them stay sharp, connected and engaged
- Zebra Medical Vision – Zebra-Med’s AI automatically detects and quantifies suspected COVID-19 findings on standard chest CTs, both contrast and non-contrast, and is already integrated in Apollo Hospitals Group in India.
With $1.4 billion of committed funding, and investments in 200 portfolio companies and 20 venture funds, OurCrowd offers access to its membership of 40,000 individual accredited and institutional investors, family offices, and venture capital partners from over 183 countries to invest alongside, at the same terms. OurCrowd’s portfolio is diversified across sectors and stages, ranging from seed and series A through late stage and pre-IPO firms. Since its founding in 2013, OurCrowd portfolio companies have been acquired by some of the most prestigious brands in the world, including Uber, Canon, Oracle, Nike, and Intel.