Israeli venture capital firm OurCrowd has partnered with Waterfund, a US-based global water investment and trading firm, to build a dedicated investment portfolio of 15 technology companies leading water and agriculture.
Waterfund has committed $ 50 million to the portfolio managed by OurCrowd, the parties announced last week, with an initial investment in San Francisco-based vertical farming company Plenty, Inc.
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The companies also announced that they are jointly working on an innovative platform on water called Aquantos, a financial product that will issue blue bonds, which support projects related to ocean conservation, as well as other products from the ocean. investment in water.
“The lack of private capital has hampered the enormous growth potential of the water innovation sector. Waterfund’s partnership with OurCrowd is designed to address these challenges by providing equity investments in innovative technology companies and debt financing for carefully selected projects and water-saving technologies, ”said Scott Rickards, CEO of Waterfund.
“Waterfund is constantly on the lookout for innovations to attract private capital to water,” he added.
Waterfund was founded in 2013 and invests in, operates and manages water treatment solutions and technologies. The company also publishes advanced data analytics through its proprietary platform developed in partnership with IBM (the “Water Cost Index” or “WCI”), enabling metrics-based investment decision making and risk mitigation. climate-based.
Rickards said interest in blue bonds is expected to increase significantly, indicating increased interest in green bonds – designed to support climate or environment-related projects – as a result of the Accord. Paris. The 2016 treaty saw states engage in climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance.
“In the years that followed, we saw an increase in the number of businesses, municipalities, states and banks issuing green bonds. We expect demand for next-generation water-focused bond products to experience similar growth, ”said Rickards.
A 2019 Morgan Stanley report found that 85% of individual investors were interested in sustainable investing, up 10 points from 2017. Among millennials, interest is 95%, according to investigation.
Rickards further indicated that the OurCrowd-Waterfund collaboration will focus on water projects in the Middle East “to acquire cutting-edge technologies to address water scarcity in a fundamentally new way.” Waterfund has an office in Saudi Arabia, Waterfund Saudi Limited, in Riyadh.
The Abraham Accords, which saw the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalize their relations with Israel last summer, followed by Sudan and Morocco, “present a huge opportunity to bring in new water and water technologies. ‘agriculture to the challenges of water scarcity across the Middle East, “said CEO and Founder of OurCrowd, Jon Medved.
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“Alongside Waterfund, our mission is to invest and help create game-changing technology companies,” Medved said, adding that the partnership with Waterfund “will drive more private capital to address critical challenges of the world. ‘water”.
OurCrowd, one of Israel’s most active venture capital firms, manages $ 1.5 billion in funding and committed investments in more than 240 holding companies and 25 venture capital funds. OurCrowd has a number of partnerships in the United Arab Emirates.