OurCrowd raises $5.5m for start-up financing platform

OurCrowd, a platform that identifies promising Israeli start-up companies for its membership of accredited investors, said Tuesday it had raised $5.5 million in capital to finance its own operations. The Jerusalem-based company also said it had successfully closed 12 company funding rounds from accredited investors in its first quarter of operation with an average deal size of $500,000. Total capital raised for the companies and the platform totaled over $12 million. "With completion of our initial platform funding round and 12 new company deals, we have emerged as a leader in the increasingly competitive equity crowdfunding space," founder and CEO Jon Medved said. (TheMarker Staff )

New reality show follows four start-up businesses

"Silicon Wadi," a new reality show about the trials and tribulations of four start-up companies, will air beginning February 27 on the YES satellite channel and will also be available as a video on demand. The series shows four start-ups as they face the difficulties of raising capital, overcoming disagreements among partners and operating without regular income. Daniel Sivan and Yossi Bloch, the producers of the four-part series, follow Yossi Taguri and Fiddme, a social network application focused on restaurants; Efrat Roman and her Cure Diva shopping enterprise for cancer patients; the Shop Rooster coupon application; and the social network Sleeve, which allows college students to share class notes. (Inbal Orpaz )

Ben Zaken indicted for alleged role in Financial Levers fraud

Jacky Ben Zaken, who once controlled the company Financial Levers, was indicted Tuesday in Tel Aviv for stock manipulation, aggravated fraud and conspiracy to commit a crime. Also indicted on related charges were Eitan Eldar, a partner in Arena Capital, and Zvika Kolenbrenner, a former portfolio manager at Internetica. The three companies are also facing charges. Prosecutors allege that in 2010 Ben Zaken and Eldar bought Financial Levers stock in order to fraudulently raise its share price and qualify it for inclusion in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's TA-100 index. They contend that Ben Zaken and Eldar also conspired to generate favorable news coverage. Ben Zaken's attorneys said a hearing scheduled before the formal indictment "will conclude that all his actions were performed in good faith and with full transparency." (Yasmin Gueta)