Israeli firm takes venture world with crowdfunding approach

Israeli venture capitalist Jonathan Medved launched his OurCrowd funding platform five years ago by billing it as a novel way to enable individual investors to get a piece of the action on the country's vibrant start-up scene, traditionally the playground of well-heeled venture funds.

Now, his firm has blossomed into a $650 million behemoth, he has taken stakes in dozens of cutting-edge start-ups and watched 18 of his portfolio companies enjoy "exits" through public offerings on global stock markets or acquisitions by larger tech giants.

An estimated 10,000 investors and entrepreneurs from around the globe descended on Jerusalem on Thursday for OurCrowd's gala birthday bash and investor conference. But as the firm marks its anniversary, questions remain about whether its creative approach is a wise investment for small investors.