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United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) today announced Asia’s first strategic collaboration with a leading global equity crowdfunding platform, OurCrowd. It pairs the Bank’s strengths and depth of experience in serving entrepreneurs as well as small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the region with OurCrowd’s expertise in investing in some of the world’s most promising start-ups through equity crowdfunding.
The collaboration will see UOB making a US$10 million investment in OurCrowd. The accredited investors among UOB’s clients will now have an opportunity to broaden their investments into OurCrowd’s portfolio companies.
Through this collaboration, innovative Asian companies with differentiated and highly scalable technology products and services will now get access to another source of funding through OurCrowd’s equity crowdfunding platform. Through equity crowdfunding, they can seek relatively small investments from a large number of investors in return for equity or shares in their start-up company. It provides them with the funding needed to develop their concepts, products and services into viable business models. Moreover, they can also tap into OurCrowd’s global investor network to jumpstart their international expansion and business development.
Ms. Janet Young, Head of Group Channels and Digitalisation, UOB, said: “As Singapore’s largest SME bank with an extensive regional network, UOB has deep experience from its long-standing support of entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. This collaboration with OurCrowd is a natural extension of our interest in nurturing the growth of small businesses."
“SMEs are the foundation of Asian economies, providing high levels of employment. However, it can be challenging for small businesses to obtain financing, particularly equity financing, in the early stages of growth. Because of this, UOB has partnered with OurCrowd, to connect smart ideas with smart money.”
This collaboration is OurCrowd’s first foray into Asia and represents a significant step towards developing the FinTech ecosystem in the region.
OurCrowd Founder and CEO Jon Medved said, "The UOB-OurCrowd collaboration represents a huge step forward for OurCrowd and the Asian tech ecosystem. Together, we will empower scores of new entrepreneurs and match them with global investors and mentor networks. The beauty of crowdfunding OurCrowd style is that the investor in Asia can now access quality deal flow in Israel, Silicon Valley and beyond, while a Singapore entrepreneur can easily gain top notch global backing."
Sassoon Investment Corporation (SassCorp), the private investment holding company of the Singapore-based Sassoon family, is also partnering and investing in the first leg of OurCrowd’s Asian expansion.
 OurCrowd is ranked as a top 10 company in the KPMG FinTech 100 Leading Global Fintech Innovators Report 2015
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