• Top investment opportunities
  • Startup of the Week: Flash Forest targets reforesting 1 billion trees
  • Fusion breakthrough brings clean energy closer
  • Meet the newsmakers at the OurCrowd Summit
  • Face to face with medical holographic imaging
  • When the going gets tough, OurCrowd gets going
  • US Dept of Energy lab picks Xage for clean energy cybersecurity program
  • India’s Tech Mahindra signs MoU with IQM for quantum research
  • Salesforce Commerce Cloud integrates ByondXR platform
  • Zoomcar launches electric car initiative in Egypt
  • Martha Stewart, Esquire, Consumer Reports recommend Tovala
  • More than 4,100 high-tech jobs

Startup of the Week
Flash Forest targets reforesting 1 billion trees

The world is losing its trees at a frightening pace. Every year, 15 billion trees or more are destroyed by deforestation and wildfires, and only 5 billion replanted. Reforestation is a costly, labor intensive, and often dangerous undertaking, making the process much slower than needed to maintain our fragile ecosystems. Canada’s Flash Forest employs technology and automation to replant trees at scale immediately after devastating forest fires. The company uses drones to deliver proprietary seed pods designed to increase germination rates and improve drought tolerance for seedlings. As a result, planting is 3X cheaper and up to 10X faster than manual planting. Flash Forest has demonstrated annual growth of 10X for each of the past two years and secured a multiyear, multimillion-dollar corporate contract through the end of 2025. The company signed a substantial funding agreement and partnership with the Canadian government, paving the way to achieve its goal of planting 1 billion trees by 2028. OurCrowd is co-leading Flash Forest’s Series A round.

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Fusion breakthrough brings clean energy closer

OurCrowd is investing alongside top VCs in an Israel-based, early-stage startup developing a container-size clean energy nuclear fusion generator that can produce enough power for a small city. The historic breakthrough of achieving fusion ignition at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility in California last week could mark the turning point for startups developing fusion energy technology. For the first time, researchers produced more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to drive it. This advance “will help us solve humanity’s most complex and pressing problems, like providing clean power to combat climate change,” says US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, who announced the historic milestone. See coverage of the US breakthrough and its business implications in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg and CNBC. Click below to sign an NDA and learn more about this investment opportunity in the clean energy of the future.

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Meet the newsmakers at the OurCrowd Summit

OurCrowd’s growing portfolio of startups make headlines almost every day of the year. At the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem on Feb. 15, you’ll meet many of the CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors behind the success stories featured on the business pages. This is your opportunity to meet more than 100 startup executives raising multimillion-dollar rounds in tough market conditions, developing breakthrough technology that’s improving our world, and bringing innovation to new global markets. Alongside Daniel Schreiber, CEO of Lemonade, seen above on Bloomberg TV, you’ll encounter must-watch entrepreneurs including Shai Magzimoff, CEO & Founder, Phantom Auto; Dr Gilly Regev, CEO & Co-founder SaNOtize; Zvi Schreiber, CEO, Freightos; Rajat Bhargava, CEO & Co-founder, JumpCloud; Gil Perry, CEO & Co-founder, D-ID; and David Maman, CEO, Binah.ai plus many, many more. If you are an OurCrowd investor, apply now for your free ticket using the personal invitation you received via email. If you are not yet an investor, grab a 20% December Discount until Dec. 31 by applying the promo code OCSUMMIT20.

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Face to face with medical holographic imaging

I got a chance to try out the HOLOSCOPE-i holographic system from our portfolio company RealView Imaging at the ICI 2022 conference in Tel Aviv. It’s the first FDA-cleared and CE-approved holographic imaging system that allows doctors to interact with dynamic holograms of the patient’s true anatomy, floating in free space at your fingertips, prior to and during operations. The long line waiting to try this amazing demonstration for themselves included many leading cardiologists. A prototype for the HOLOSCOPE-i is already in use at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Israel.

When the going gets tough, OurCrowd gets going

After the stratospheric levels of VC investing in 2021, Russia’s war in Ukraine and other global economic challenges have affected both public and private markets in 2022. It’s been a tough year, but we are still seeing investment levels above 2020, and being part of the OurCrowd community means we are there to help our companies through difficult times. As I told JD Alois at Crowdfund Insider, OurCrowd does more follow-on rounds than just about anyone else. The number of times we come back and invest is astounding. Our model has us take an active role in companies, helping them with their businesses. 

Top Tech News

US Dept of Energy lab picks Xage for clean energy cybersecurity program

The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory chose our portfolio company Xage Security to join its Clean Energy Cybersecurity Accelerator program, designed to propose solutions for securing renewable energy systems. Xage’s underlying tech, the Xage Fabric, was built specifically for difficult-to-secure operational technology environments, and to protect applications such as renewable energy. “Xage provides solutions to help operators secure complex, distributed operational environments. We’re proud to be part of this program and work to meet the needs of the next generation of energy systems,” says Duncan Greatwood, Xage CEO.

India’s Tech Mahindra signs MoU with IQM for quantum research

India’s digital transformation giant Tech Mahindra signed an MoU with our portfolio company IQM for research in quantum computing and to explore synergies in mutually beneficial areas of quantum computing, cryptography and communication technologies. The companies plan to jointly develop new quantum offerings for various industries including healthcare, cyber security and banking. “We have collaborated with IQM Computers with an aim to set new standards in the research and development of commercially viable use cases (of quantum computing) across industries,” says Nikhil Malhotra, Global Head of Makers Lab at Tech Mahindra, which services over 1,200 customers, including Fortune 500 companies, across 90 countries.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud integrates ByondXR platform   

Salesforce Commerce Cloud users can now build their own virtual stores using ByondXR’s platform, which is now integrated on the site. The ByondXR virtual store platform acts as an extension of an existing e-commerce site, creating a photorealistic, interactive 3D view of the store or showroom where end users can visit, engage, enjoy and shop. “With ByondXR and Commerce Cloud, companies will be able to create personalized, omnichannel experiences for customers by having products from the ByondXR platform automatically uploaded to the hosting site,” says Scot Gillespie, EVP & GM, Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

Zoomcar launches electric car initiative in Egypt 

Global car-sharing marketplace Zoomcar launched a program designed to encourage the use of electric cars in Egypt, Ahram reports. The company is investing $2M in the “Zoomcar Green” initiative, scheduled to get underway in Q2 2023. “The program contributes to building an integrated and sustainable ecosystem, and promoting the green economy. This comes as part of our commitment to improve the quality of life for future generations, in line with COP27 recommendations to transform towards using electric cars,” says Hany Olma, Vice President and Country Manager of Zoomcar Egypt.

Martha Stewart, Esquire, Consumer Reports recommend Tovala

As we approach the holiday season, Martha Stewart recommends our portfolio company Tovala as the Best Vegetarian Meal Delivery Service for busy foodies. The company offers the full package for people on the go with its pre-packaged, freshly prepared gourmet meals, which are cooked after being scanned by its smart oven. The good word about Tovala is spreading: It was among the winners of Esquire’s 2022 Gadget Awards and received a glowing review from Consumer Reports.   

More than 4,100 high-tech jobs worldwide

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