Asia appears to be the new hotbed of activity for the start-up sector with successful investors, executives and entrepreneurs right from Russia to Israel eager to identify and support seed and early-stage businesses in the region. The immediate aim of these firms is the multi-billion dollar opportunity that banks and traditional fund houses have been slow to grasp, says start-up founders who have been at the receiving end of the funding pipe.

OurCrowd, a Jerusalem-based crowd-funding venture-capital platform, has set up a $50-million fund exclusively for investing in health technologies — a market valued globally last year at $70 billion, and projected to cross $230 billion by 2020 — the company said in a statement. The fund is to invest in digital health start-ups at seed and series A stages in Israel, the US and the Asia-Pacific region.

US-headquartered venture-capital firm 500 Startups is set to deepen its exposure to South-East Asia’s start-up ecosystem with the launch of its second fund, 500 Durians II, investing between $50,000-150,000 in seed-stage firms, and have follow-on investments of up to $500,000 for those showing great progress.

Russian companies have also evinced interest in investing specifically in the Indian start-up ecosystem. Russian crowd-sourced courier service Dostavista has raised $800,000, and is set to launch its services across major metros of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.

Another Russian conglomerate, Sistema JSFC, aims to invest in 2-3 Indian start-ups every quarter, and is looking to scale up its presence in the country beyond telecom. The company has already launched a $50-million Asia Fund, to invest in start-ups in India and Asia. Mumbai-based start-up Seclore, which offers digital-rights management solution to organisations, was the recent entity to secure $12 million in Series B round of funding from Sistema Asia Fund.

Read the complete story in The Hindu Business Line.