The Israeli global crowdfunding venture firm OurCrowd announced this week its launch of a $200 million Global Health Equity Fund. News of the collaboration with the WHO (World Health Organization) Foundation was shared at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative in New York City on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The fund will focus on healthcare solutions with a potentially global impact.

“COVID-19 was a wake-up call for me as an investor,” said Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd. “The pandemic opened my eyes to health inequity around the world and reinforced the potential of innovative technology to save lives.”

The Global Health Equity Fund (GHEF) will target companies focused on innovation in healthcare and related industries that directly affect health, including energy transition and agriculture.

“I am proud of our track record of identifying healthcare investments that have delivered value to patients and investors. This new fund builds on that success with the explicit orientation of having impact,” said Medved. “The collaboration with the WHO Foundation will allow us to identify even more exciting investments and facilitate the commitment of investors and entrepreneurs to equitable access to the technologies we support.”

OurCrowd is aligning its fund with the WHO Foundation’s Access Pledge in order to provide solutions to populations experiencing inequity. Any company selected by the GHEF will develop an Access Plan for their solutions andOurCrowd and the WHO will support them with an advisory board.

“Despite clear models for successfully balancing economic return with equitable access, such as the provision of medicines for HIV and AIDS, the world failed to deliver solutions for COVID-19 to everyone, everywhere,” said WHO Foundation CEO Anil Soni. “It is imperative that we deploy solutions in response to that failure, including directing investment to innovation and aligning both to equity as a goal from the start.”

OurCrowd has long invested in medical startups, but Medved said that the collaboration with the WHO Foundation “will allow us to identify even more exciting investments and facilitate the commitment of investors and entrepreneurs to equitable access to the technologies we support.”

OurCrowd has already invested in around 350 companies, making it one of Israel’s most active investors. Since it was founded in 2013, OurCrowd has received over $1.9 billion in commitments, and deployed capital into more than 347 portfolio companies and 39 funds across five continents.

Notable OurCrowd investments in health, energy and agtech and foodtech include Alpha Tau Medical, which focuses on treating solid malignant tumors; BrainQ, a non-invasive technology to treat stroke and other neurological pathologies; H2Pro, a system for the wide-scale production of green hydrogen; and Beyond Meat, which develops and manufactures a plant-based meat substitute.

“As we face multiple existential challenges at the national and at the global level, we know that innovators and emerging leaders are getting things done,” said Greg Milne, CEO of the Clinton Global Initiative. “The Global Health Equity Fund will help unlock new opportunities to expand the reach of these innovative approaches around global health, by harnessing the power of investors around the world to support solutions being driven at the community level.”

Medved will lead the GHEF team together with OurCrowd Managing Partner Morris Laster and the firm’s team of clinical experts. WHO Foundation’s Impact Investment Officer Geetha Tharmaratnam will provide support.

 
JNS

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