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(CNN) — OurCrowd is an Israeli company trying to change the way start-ups are funded.
The company is structured as a hybrid venture capital and crowd-funding platform, allowing investors from around the world to invest directly in Israeli start-ups.
This model gives investors the structure and professionalism of a venture capital deal, chief executive Jon Medved tells CNN, but couples it with the speed and choice of angel investing. It’s essentially acting as a web-based match making service for start-ups and investors.
Medved explained to CNN that OurCrowd's first task is to seek out promising early stage Israeli companies. It then places them on the platform for it's members to look at and choose from. Investors on the platform can then invest via OurCrowd-managed partnerships. In order to invest, members must be accredited and be prepared to invest a minimum of $ 10,000 per deal.
Medved, backed by a team of deal makers, is trying to capitalize on what he calls the “Series A funding crunch.” He’s referring to the second round of investment, following seed funding, when businesses may need an extra boost to succeed.
“If you’re not going to get to Series A, you're not going to get to promised land,” Medved told CNN.
So far, OurCrowd has funded 17 companies, injecting $ 500,000 on average. It has raised more than $ 10 million in funding.
Click the links below to hear what Medved looks for in a start-up.
Research firm Strategy Analytics has published its global phone shipments for 2012, and the results showing a total of 1.6 billion units shipped. Samsung dominated the list, followed closely by Nokia, with Apple coming in third with a fairly steep drop below its competition despite experiencing a record year. Chinese manufacturer ZTE came in fourth despite suffering a drop in sales.
According to the report, Samsung shipped 396.5 million phones last year, with Nokia coming in a tad lower at 335.6 million. Apple is third in the list, with total shipments coming in at 135.8 million, followed by ZTE at nearly half that with 71.7 million. Total shipments from other vendors totaled 635.4, for a grand total of 1.6 billion phones shipped globally in 2012.
This represents a slow but steady increase in mobile phone sales annually, with 2012 growing over 2011 by about 2-percent. Samsung nabbed 25-percent of the market share and experienced fairly substantial shipment increases, with 2011 coming in at 327.4 million units. Nokia, meanwhile, suffered a large drop in shipments, with 2011 coming in at 417.1 million units and 2012 falling to 335.6. ZTE also experienced a relatively large drop over 2011 from 78.1 to 71.7.
Nokia is said to have experienced its drop due to competition from Samsung, which dominated the mobile market, and Apple, which interfered with sales in several locations. Speaking of Apple, 2012 proved to be a record year for it, with the company experiencing 46-percent in growth, largely due to increased demand in Asia and the US/Canada.
[via Business Wire]
Research firm pegs 2012 global phone shipments at 1.6 billion is written by Brittany Hillen & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 – 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.
Despite rising fuel costs, one sector that is not witnessing a downturn is defense. Rising tensions over Iran and growing security concerns are not only driving regional governments to boost their weaponry but are forcing them to boost protection as well.
The Middle East spent $ 111 billion on defense in 2011 and one company that wants to tap into that market is the Streit group, a Canadian company that is using the Middle East's strategic location to boost its growth.
Guerman Goutorov, chairman and founder of the Streit Group, began his quest from the garage of his home in Canada.
“I was the welder, I was the painter and only one employee in the company,” he told CNN’s Leone Lakhani at the world's largest privately owned armoured car manufacturing plant.
With a handful of tools Goutorov set out to build him first armoured car. He recognised its value as a niche market.
“Originally I came from Russia. I was in the police force for five years. Then I see so many criminal situations happening. I decide to bring something that can protect the people – and I start to look for armoured cars but I end up making them myself.
That was back in 1996. Today Goutorov is at the helm of the Streit group, the largest privately owned armoured vehicle company in the world.
But he operates his business not from Canada or Russia but from Ras Al-Khaimah – or Rak for short – in the United Arab Emirates.
It is the group’s single largest operation. One building in particular is 400,000 square feet.
“We have 386 employees right now but we will be by the next six months around 500 employees,” Goutorov said.
Goutorov said he chose to locate in the UAE because the business practices suited them – and it was more cost effective than some if its neighbours.
“We visited the UAE, and we visited Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq and our choice was UAE.”
Currently, 140 vehicles a month are produced in the Rak plant. Every part of the process is done in house.
When a commercial car is first brought in, it's stripped of all of its interiors. The upholstry, the wiring. brought right down to the very bare bones. It takes four to 10 days to armour the car from the ground up.
Streit says 70 percent of the cars are made for commercial rather than military security vehicles.
The bulk of the business is armouring commercial vehicles. And the trick is to keep it low profile. A bus for instance can look ordinary from the outside. On the inside it's reinforced by steel.
Vehicles assembled at the Rak plant are exported all over the world. But Goutorov said – with the volatility in the region – the Middle East is still the largest market
“I would say 30 percent is Middle East and the rest of th world is around 70 percent. Different political situations, different countries would see some progress. Its going on in Africa and also in South Asia.”
Goutorov plans to double the capacity at the Rak plant – and increase production of its military vehicles.
“Next year, we should be going to 60/40. 60 percent commerical . 40 military side. The purpose is the same – they have to protect the lives, they have to save the soldiers, they have to save VIPS, individuals and government entities.
Goutorov is gearing up to expand his business in Rak – to meet the rising demand for security worldwide.