Crowdfunding platform raising $100M fund for AI, deep-learning

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(Bloomberg) -- OurCrowd Ltd., a Jerusalem-based crowdfunding investment platform comparable to AngelList, is raising a $100 million fund to finance early-stage companies focusing on artificial intelligence, deep-learning and robotics.

Unlilke AngelList, a popular destination for budding startups seeking capital, OurCrowd acts more like a traditional fund by vetting deals and investing in companies alongside its users.

“This round of innovation is affecting all of the traditional industries,” said Jon Medved, OurCrowd’s chief executive officer and co-founder. “Everyone is running scared from disruption, and the disruption that is coming is artificial intelligence.”

The new fund, Cognitiv Ventures, is OurCrowd’s largest and the 12th to launch on the platform. It will give access to about 20 companies including KolGene, which generates real-time analytics on genetic tests; FreshKeep, which helps consumers extend the life of refrigerated food; and EquityX, which gives startups the tools to pay part-time employees with a combination of cash and equity.

Founded in 2013, OurCrowd’s model tries to widen the population of startup investors by allowing accredited financiers to put down as little as $50,000 in its funds -- a lot less than what would typically be required to become a partner in an investment vehicle. They can also provide as little as $10,000 of funding to a single company.

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