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Toyota partners with Israel’s OurCrowd to hunt for innovation

“The future belongs to the bold who are implementing game-changing technologies,” said Minoru Murata, executive vice president, regional CEO and CTO of Toyota Tsusho.

Toyota Tsusho Corporation, the trading arm of Toyota Group, will partner with Jerusalem-based venture capital crowdfunding platform OurCrowd to source and invest in innovation in Israel and worldwide.

The partnership, announced Wednesday, will see OurCrowd act as a technology scout for the Japanese general trading company, seeking start-ups primarily in the field of autonomous driving. An emphasis will be placed on sensor technology, image recognition, data compression and security.

 The scouting agreement will also target technologies in other sectors, including smart cities, med-tech, digital health, environmental technologies and big data in agriculture.

“The future belongs to the bold who are implementing game-changing technologies,” said Minoru Murata, executive vice president, regional CEO and CTO of Toyota Tsusho. “Toyota Tsusho and its 58,000 employees all over the world are proud to be leaders in our focus industries, but to ensure our future leadership we must identify, invest and work with start-ups who are changing the world we live in. Our partnership with OurCrowd will bring us these key technologies and leaders to work together on the next generation of global challenges.”

 The partnership will operate under the framework of OurCrowd’s Corporate Innovation Program, which aims to utilize its 13 global offices to connect industry-leading corporations with promising start-ups.
Since OurCrowd was established six years ago by serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist Jon Medved, the platform has become Israel’s most active venture investor, raising $1.28 billion in commitments and investing in 170 start-ups and funds.
The equity investment platform, which boasts 35 “exits” to date, consists of almost 40,000 registered, accredited investors from more than 180 countries.
“We are proud to be partnering with a general trading company such as Toyota Tsusho,” said Medved. “Not only do they represent a 70 year tradition of excellence in global business, but they are focused on solving real global problems. Together, we can help start-ups turn into ‘scale-ups’ by providing access to Toyota Tsusho’s unrivaled platform that can deploy new technologies and products quickly and effectively in over a 120 markets around the world. This is good news for start-ups and good news for the world.”
For more information, please visit http://www.itrade.gov.il/ or contact the Economic and Trade Mission, Embassy of Israel in Thailand.