VentureCrowd completes first Israeli crowdfunding deal with Knowmail

VentureCrowd, Australia’s leading alternative assets investment platform, today announced the successful completion of a $155,000 crowdfunding round for Knowmail. The company is the first Israeli startup to be funded through VentureCrowd under a partnership with investment management firm Kentgrove Capital.

VentureCrowd raised $155,000 in convertible notes, as part of a larger US$3 million funding round led by reputable venture capital firms CE Ventures, AfterDox, Plus Ventures and 2B Angels. The investment gave sophisticated investors on the VentureCrowd platform the opportunity to access convertible notes at an interest rate of 4.5 per cent per annum.

Knowmail, one of few startups to participate in the Microsoft Accelerator Program, is creating an artificial intelligence personal email assistant for enterprises that helps employees focus on the most important and relevant emails first, from any device. Knowmail’s machine learning algorithms prioritise emails based on their importance and an employee’s work habits.

VentureCrowd investors were given a unique opportunity to invest in the software technology company ahead of its plans to rapidly scale the business globally; an opportunity traditionally limited to major venture capital firms and high profile investors.

The deal is the first of a pipeline of equity crowdfunding opportunities for Israeli startups planned under a partnership between VentureCrowd and Kentgrove Capital that give investors a chance to be involved in the world’s second largest startup hub.

“Israel is a booming hub for startups — in 2015 alone, there was more than US$3.6 billion in funding for startups and more than 100 startup exits valued at over US$9 billion,” said Luke Fay, Interim CEO of VentureCrowd.

“Yet Australian investors have had little opportunity to invest in these startups as access has been difficult for all but ultra-high net worth individuals and institutions. By partnering with Kentgrove Capital and gaining a presence on the ground in Israel, VentureCrowd has opened the door for Australian sophisticated investors to get access to deal flow alongside some of the world’s best angel investors and venture capital firms.

“We expect to bring several more Israeli startup opportunities to VentureCrowd investors in the coming months, alongside the growing portfolio of startup, property and credit deals we have on the platform.”

The successful funding of Knowmail on VentureCrowd comes on the back of several new and follow-on investment rounds in startups including GAMURS, Jayride and US-based Fame & Partners, as well as a unique opportunity to invest in a documentary feature film Superhuman.

In another first, VentureCrowd this week launched its first technology infrastructure investment opportunity with a crowdfunding campaign for broadband satellite company Kacific. The company is raising over US$20 million in its current funding round to deliver high speed internet services to 140 million people in the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Eastern Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

VentureCrowd is providing its investors with access to this unique investment alongside high-profile lead investors that include former CEO of an Australian investment bank and the co-founder and chairman of listed technology company Appen.