Israel’s most active crowdfunding platform OurCrowd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Azerbaijan Investment Company (AIC) to promote strategic cooperation in the field of investment by Azerbaijan’s government in OurCrowd’s portfolio, the Israeli VC announced earlier this month.
The agreement makes OurCrowd the first Israeli business entity to sign a deal with Azerbaijan since the country opened its Trade and Tourism Offices in Israel.
AIC was represented in Israel by Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan, Mikayil Jabbarov, who chairs its supervisory board.
In the first stage, AIC said it will invest in 10 to 15 startups from the OurCrowd portfolio, specifically in companies producing technologies and innovations which have significant potential to encourage growth for the Azerbaijan economy. The investments will have a focus on energy, health, agtech, food tech, and education.
Both parties are also expected to examine ways to encourage startups that have received investments to establish their presence in Azerbaijan, further expanding the cooperation.
OurCrowd expects that other potential partners based in Azerbaijan, from both private and public sectors, will make similar moves.
“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,” Jabbarov said at the signing ceremony.
“The OurCrowd model of investment, and the companies that we support, are testament to the power of cooperation and partnership,” said OurCrowd founder and CEO Jon Medved. “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.”
“We see great significance in 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,” added Ori Sobovitz, OurCrowd partner for government relations.