A good startup is usually made up of at least four components: A good idea, a strong team, dedication and funding. While the first are in the hands of the entrepreneurs themselves, the latter is dependent upon a handful of people with who you may get no more than a few minutes to pitch your idea.
That is why a new method to fundraise beyond the usual VC-rounds and asking your grandmother to dip into her savings has taken the startup world by storm: Crowdfunding. But while Indiegogo and Kickstarter have led to many an obscure project hitting the jackpot (think Pebble, which raised a whopping $10 million), most startups would still rather have the backing of serious investors with an understanding of the startup world.
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That’s where the hybrid model comes in, with OurCrowd, an Israeli crowdfunding platform that allows only accredited investors to invest in startups that have been curated by the OurCrowd team. This allows startups to gather lower financial commitments, but from a larger pool of investors, while still maintaining the focused direction of standard fundraising.
Here we share with you six startups that have raised over $1 million using OurCrowd.
1. Nativeflow – $2.1M raised in January 2013
Founders: Eitan Bauch & Avi Yehuda
Many companies nowadays are shifting towards a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. Essentially, this means that employees bring their own smartphones or laptops to work, and access restricted company information with their personal devices (of course this also means more than a few pennies saved for employers). The downside for companies, however, is that sensitive corporate information is spread across an increasingly wide array of devices, applications, and geographies, posing serious security risks. Nativeflow’s solution prevents the intentional and unintentional leaking of sensitive information by offering a product that secures any data on any device and inside any application being used by employees. Importantly, its product is “invisible” to the end-user, allowing employees to enjoy the “native” user experience that can motivate them to bring their personal devices into work in the first place.
2. Fireblade – $1.6 million raised in February 2013
Founders: Shay Rapaport & Erez Azaria
FireBlade addresses the huge need to protect websites from the ever-increasing threat posed by sophisticated cyber security attacks. FireBlade’s solution harnesses the power of cloud computing to help websites prevent losses and boost revenues by providing them with real-time insights into their site’s traffic and user activity, while protecting against damaging cyber-attacks and theft of corporate digital assets.
3. enVerid – $1.5 million raised in August 2013
Founders: Udi Meirav & Israel Biran
enVerid has developed a patented air treatment and energy saving system for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems that brings technology originally used for maintaining air quality in submarines and space stations to commercial buildings. enVerid’s differentiated energy saving technology enables businesses to save substantially on heating/cooling energy costs annually, bringing a return on investment to customers quickly.
4. Webydo – $1.4 million raised in November 2013
Founders: Shmulik Grizim & Tzvika Steinmetz
Webydo provides graphic/web designers with total creative freedom and independence to build websites with little technical knowledge required. The company’s technology platform targets the $20 billion web designer market, enabling non-technical designers to build and manage sophisticated websites without writing any code, removing the need for web developers as part of the process. Webydo’s patent-pending automatic code generating technology enables a drag-and-drop method of designing and building a website that anyone can use—it is the “Adobe Photoshop of Website design”.
5. Argo – $1.3 million raised in June 2013
Founders: Amit Gofer
Argo’s mission is to fundamentally change the health and lives of individuals with spinal cord injury. Argo has developed a revolutionary exoskeleton device called the ReWalk, providing paraplegics with an independent, natural walking experience that provides them numerous social, psychological and physical benefits. The Company offers two ReWalk models – the ReWalk Personal for use at home, currently available in Israel and Europe; and the ReWalk Rehabilitation that is now available in Israel, Europe and the U.S. The company’s founder, Dr. Amit Gofer, is a quadriplegic who invented the device because of his own personal story and experience.
6. Viewbix – $1.1 million raised in September 2013
Founders: Jonathan Stefansky & Hillel Scheinfeld
Viewbix has developed a unique approach for helping small and medium sized businesses turn their online videos into mini-websites, thereby turning viewers into customers. Viewbix’s technology enables businesses to easily add calls to action and interactive applications to existing digital videos that allow them to engage viewers directly from within a video player. Once a “Viewbix” is created, the interactive experience can be shared across web, mobile and social platforms. Viewbix says its videos drive viewer engagements at a rate of more than 20 percent, which is 16 times higher than average video engagement rates.
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