Israeli VC OurCrowd expects access to Islamic countries through UAE

By Alexander Cornwell

DUBAI, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Israeli venture investing platform OurCrowd expects to be able to access Middle East and other Islamic countries through its presence in the United Arab Emirates, its chief executive said.

OurCrowd, which invests on behalf of others, is planning to establish a locally registered company in the Gulf Arab state with offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi following the Israel-UAE normalisation accord.

"This all of a sudden went from an interesting, nice to have market to a must have market for us," Jon Medved told Reuters in Dubai on Wednesday.

OurCrowd, which says it has 60,000 investors in 183 countries on its platform, this month partnered with Emirati firm Phoenix to facilitate investments in Israeli and UAE start-ups.

Israeli-American tech entrepreneur Medved said Israeli start-ups would expand into the UAE, while local UAE start-ups would also be targeted for investments.

OurCrowd, which has $1.5 billion of committed funding, will also build funds for investors in the UAE, he said.

A flurry of business deals have been signed since the two small but influential Middle East states in August announced the accord - and signed it a month later at the White House.

The UAE, a regional centre for trade, finance and tourism, offers Israel links to many countries it does not have formal ties with.

"It's going to be access into markets in North Africa, the rest of the Middle East and the Islamic world in general," Medved said.

An official UAE government delegation visited Israel for the first this week during which several agreements with the Israeli government were signed.

"We've always been in the region but not really part of the region and this change makes a big difference," Medved said of the accord.

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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