OurCrowd and Waterfund announced on Monday that they will build a dedicated investment portfolio of 15 leading water and agricultural technology companies. Waterfund dedicated $50 million to OurCrowd’s portfolio, with an initial investment completed in Plenty, Inc., a vertical farming leader. The partnership will build Aquantos, which is an innovative new product platform to issue Blue Bonds as well as other water-related investment and agricultural products, mainly in the Middle East region.
Waterfund, a U.S. group, invests, operates, and manages water treatment solutions and technologies as well as directing private capital into global water assets. It also publishes advanced data analytics through its platform that was developed along with IBM to enable innovative, metric-based investment decision making and climate-based risk mitigation.
Israeli investment platform OurCrowd helps institutions and individuals invest in emerging companies, and is considered one of the most active venture investors in Israel. Some of its portfolio companies have been acquired by leading giants such as Microsoft, Uber, Canon, Oracle, Nike, and Intel. In addition, OurCrowd is also active in over 195 countries with $1.5 billion of committed funding, and has investments in over 240 portfolio companies and 25 venture funds.
“This new financial tool and others are being designed to enable water projects in the Middle East to acquire leading technologies to address water scarcity in a fundamentally new way,” Scott Rickards CEO of Waterfund said.
According to the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, sustainable investing assets currently total over $30 trillion globally, showing a 34% over the last two years, with $12 trillion invested in the U.S.
“In 2016, the Paris Agreement heightened interest in green bonds; in the years since, we’ve seen a spike in companies, municipalities, sovereigns and banks issuing green bonds. We expect that demand for next generation water-oriented bond products will see similar growth,” Rickards said.
Noting the recent agreement signed between the United Arab Emirates and Israel for joint economic, scientific, and diplomatic endeavors, Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd noted: “The Abraham Accords present a huge opportunity to bring new water and agricultural technology to the water scarcity challenges of the entire Middle East. We are excited to be working together with Waterfund to drive more private capital to address the critical challenges of water.”