OurCrowd Blog

Booking my seat on the historic first flight from Israel to the UAE

Israel and the UAE stand to create a partnership of prosperity that will warm the economies of both countries and transform the lives of millions in the region. In December 2019, after more than a decade of doing business with the Gulf, with me and my team having to travel from Jerusalem semi-incognito on our US passports, I became the first Israeli investor to appear on a public platform at a business conference in the United Arab Emirates. Since news of the peace deal between the UAE and Israel was announced August 13, my Inbox has been flooded with messages from friends and business contacts in the Gulf. Since direct phone contact was established on August 16, my phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from the Emirates. We are now talking to more than a dozen potential partners in the UAE who are keen to explore the uncharted and enchanting prospects of business and investment with Israeli startups. Like many people, I have not flown abroad for months. It looks like my first trip will be to the UAE, perhaps on...

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Some of the world’s biggest investors are gearing up for a food fight

Companies making plant-based milk and meat products are heating up Hot on the heels of Beyond Meat, the plant-based burger company that scored the most successful IPO of 2019, I see the beginnings of a non-dairy milk war. Producers of plant-based milk substitutes are racking up record sales of products made from oats, peas, soy, almond, coconut and rice. In July, Blackstone, Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, Howard Schultz and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation took a 10% stake in the Swedish oat milk company Oatly at a $2 billion valuation. The market is potentially huge and while Oatly is clearly the front runner with sales in 2019 of $200 million, investors are sniffing around other dairy substitute companies, realizing there will be many other creams in the crop. Noops, a newcomer offering non-dairy oatmilk desserts, closed a $2 million seed funding round in July led by 25Madison. Meanwhile, Beyond Meat is still on fire. Its second quarter sales, announced August 4, jumped 69% to $113 million. Its main rival, Impossible Foods, creators of the plant-based Impossible Burger and Impossible Sausage, increased distribution from 150 grocery stores...

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4 Takeaways from OurCrowd’s HR Club: How Executives are Maintaining Team Morale and Productivity During the Coronavirus Pandemic

While summer may usually be time for employee vacations, team bonding activities, and planning on how to end the year strong, this year has obviously proven different. How are companies keeping morale high while employees across the tech industry experience personal challenges, job uncertainty, and remote working challenges?   Last week, we launched the OurCrowd HR Club for our portfolio company executives to exchange knowledge, meet industry leaders, and discuss current market trends. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from OurCrowd experts as well as top industry leaders Paul Farmer, Talent & Culture Executive at Halma; and Odelia Pollack, CEO of ESOP-Excellence; as they discussed how HR executives can help their employees navigate the current crisis. Here are 4 takeaways we got from Paul and Odelia, and the surrounding discussions with portfolio company HR representatives: Communicate, communicate, communicate: Paul could not stress enough how important it is for managers to communicate daily with their employees to ensure productivity and morale during these tumultuous times. Communicate consistently and show employees you care. Develop and communicate a plan of what the team...

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