Startup Investing

‘Hope is A Global Thing’: Nas Daily shares an impact message

If you haven’t already encountered Nuseir Yassin, better known as video blogger Nas Daily, he’s the guy who has probably popped up in your Facebook newsfeed a few times over the last few years. Nas travelled the world for 1,000 days, uncovering impactful stories and sharing viral videos about them for millions of followers to enjoy. More recently, in his OCSummit19 plenary session, “Hope is A Global Thing,” Nas spoke about what drove him to change his stable trajectory and follow his passion, ending up an expert and world-renowned storyteller – and how the ability to tell a story can impact global innovation. I am convinced that opportunity exists in…every country and it is our responsibility as creators to showcase this stuff and your responsibility as investors is to invest in this stuff, the things that actually make the world a better place. – Nuseir Yassin, Nas Daily  Plus, check out his 1-minute (get it?) interview with former BBC correspondent Anna Kingsley to hear more of Nas’ insights: If you haven’t seen Nas Daily in the wild, check out Nuseir’s channel....

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Israel’s Flower Power: Startup Nation is leading the Cannabis Tech Revolution

As the rest of the world catches on to the positive impact of medical marijuana, Israel is ready to hit ‘go’ on CannabisTech – and impact lives around the world. Israel recently joined the ranks of a very small global club. It is now only the third country in the world to legally export medical-grade cannabis, joining Canada and the Netherlands. Finalized in January 2019, the new law unlocks a potential billion-dollar industry for Israel annually, not to mention a global market valued to reach $56 billion by 2025, according to a market forecast from Grand View Research. Download OurCrowd’s 2019 Cannabis Industry Report Historically the research of cannabis in the United States, and globally, has been limited due to its categorization as a Schedule 1 narcotic (alongside the likes of heroin and ecstasy). The Ministry of Health in Israel, on the other hand, has been researching cannabis since the 1960’s and monitoring medical cannabis since 2001, making it one of the first countries to do so. As a result, it has played a starring role in the rise...

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Why Uber Bought JUMP

When Uber bought a small electric bike company in April 2018, it came as a shock to many. What was behind the acquisition of JUMP Mobility Technologies, an OurCrowd portfolio company? What did it suggest about how innovative companies could stay on the cutting edge of business models and technologies? A disruptive innovation gives new consumers at the bottom of a market access to a product or service historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or skill. These innovators figure out how to compete asymmetrically with market leaders, ultimately overturning — or disrupting — the status quo. New technologies, new business models, social trends or government policy may catalyze this process. This is exactly what happened in JUMP’s case. Municipalities granted existing bike-sharing vendors in cities like New York, San Francisco and Portland near-monopolies and they naturally grew complacent. These vendors essentially used pre-iPhone technology. Manual bikes needed to be picked up and returned to bulky, and often inconvenient, docking stations. Consumers grumbled about the mobile interface, pricing and the need to return the bike to...

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Farewell ICOs: It Was Nice Knowing You

There was a meteoric rise in blockchain popularity in 2017. Everyone was in on it. The barber replaced chit chat about hot new stocks with advice about cryptocurrency portfolios. Cab drivers were fluent in ICOs. It was new, it was exciting, it was like investing in the internet in the 1990s. Many point to ICOs, or initial coin offerings, as a major catalyst for the cryptocurrency craze that took hold from 2017-2018. A simple way to understand an ICO is to think of it as a token at an arcade like Chuck E. Cheese’s. But imagine being able to buy tokens before the arcade ever opens. Tokens can only be used for this specific arcade, have a fixed supply and are not tied to any currency. Once the arcade has its grand opening, prices move up or down based on demand. Naturally, buyers holding onto “pre-launch arcade tokens” hope for a significant uptick in demand, driving prices higher. On the one hand, this demand would result in more games being played, blockchain companies sell digital “tokens” that can be...

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Angel Investing: A Three-Part Guide to Earning Your Wings | Strategy (3/3)

Angel investors dream of finding and investing early in the next Uber, Airbnb, Waze, or Mobileye. While it’s easy to get seduced by the hype, serial startup investors know it is hard to be successful in this asset class. With the help of members of OurCrowd’s experienced investment team and other industry resources, we have put together a quick, three-part guide to ‘earning your wings’. These articles highlight essential terms and strategies while referencing accepted industry best practices; with these basics in hand, getting started in startup investing can be a lot smoother. Part 1: The Basics | Part 2: Risky Business | Part 3: Strategy Part 3: Strategy Diversify One of the most important rules of investing is diversification. The more companies you invest in, the greater chance there is at least one “winner” in your portfolio to give you the return you’re looking for. In angel investing, you could focus on diversifying based on company industry, and business stage. Some experts say that 10-15 companies is the minimum sweet spot for building a strong portfolio, while the Monte Carlo...

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