Boaz is one of Israel’s veteran technology VC investors with 20+ years of investment experience. He co-founded Qumra Capital, Israel’s pioneer Late Stage Growth fund with $250m AuM in 2014. Prior to Qumra, Boaz served as Managing Partner of Evergreen Venture Partners from 2004, and a General Partner from 1996, where he also led its activities together with Erez Shachar, Qumra’s co-founder. At Qumra, Boaz is a board member in the following companies: JFrog, Signals Analytics, AppsFlyer & MinuteMedia. Previously he served on the board of some of Evergreen’s most significant exits including Exalink (acquired by Comverse), P-cube (acquired by Cisco), Dune Networks (acquired by Broadcom), Aeroscout (acquired by Stanley Black & Decker), Metalink (IPO), BigBand (IPO), AVT (IPO) and Envara (acquired by Intel).
Boaz combines deep-dive analysis and strategic business thinking, and prior to Evergreen was Director of Business Development and Marketing of M-Systems (NASDAQ: FLSH) where he built and scaled the sales and marketing infrastructure in Europe and Asia. Before M-Systems, he was a senior consultant at POC, one of Israel’s leading management consulting firms, working with many of Israel’s leading technology companies.
Qumra has a great reputation and recently closed your second fund at $150m – congratulations! Can you tell us a little about Qumra II?
Qumra II follows the successful deployment of Qumra which includes an exciting portfolio of hyper growth companies. Qumra II employs the same strategy of investing in late stage companies (proven market fit and recurring revenues) that are led by exceptionally ambitious and visionary teams. We look for management teams with the passion and ability to transform businesses into global market-leading companies.
You have successfully invested in a number of companies since founding Qumra in 2014: tell us about your current investment focus.
We are sector agnostic, meaning we don’t focus on a specific vertical, but the companies we invest in should all be mature with a recurring sales model. It is interesting to note that we do have high representation of B2C companies in our portfolio like Fiverr (online freelance market place), Minute Media (sports publishing), Sweet Inn (hospitality) and Talkspace (on line therapy).
Can you tell us about what sort of Growth companies you are investing in?
Our relationship with the companies we invest in begins way ahead of the actual investment. We make it a point to develop a relationship with founders and to follow up as they grow their businesses. We know that just as we choose our investments, they choose their investors and we believe it has to feel right. By the time an investment is on the table, we have the background and history that helps us understand how they will tackle the future challenges. We especially like companies that are transforming large traditional markets and disrupting their business model in order to meet shifting consumer demands. For instance, TalkSpace, Qumra II’s first investment. It’s a text-based therapy platform that has made therapy affordable and accessible. Users are assigned a fully licensed therapist and can message them at any time, while the therapist usually gets back to them within a few minutes and at the most a few hours. Users are no longer tied to a specific time during the week or need to make office visits. We love it.
What are your thoughts on the state of the Israeli growth stage ecosystem in the next 5-10 years?
The Israeli growth market has seen a huge evolution in the past 5 years. Qumra was Israel’s first dedicated late stage capital provider at the time when annual amount invested in such companies capped at~ $300m. Just four years later, late stage investment peaked at $1.6bn While impressive, this amount is still below the percentage of late-stage investments allocated to the States. There are currently 50+ privately held Israeli companies with revenues exceeding $30m and growing rapidly that are able to reach meaningful IPOs and M&As and I believe that, with each major exit, this market will continue to significantly grow.
You are one of the veteran Israeli technology investors in the industry, I’m sure there are plenty of stories: any favourite moments in particular?
As a founder, I love coming in each morning to our office in Tel Aviv and seeing that the vision of a late stage fund that will fill the gap of growth capital materialised into $250m in two funds dedicated to late stage companies. We have got a great team in place and a supportive LP base. We have been so busy meeting with companies we have only recently had the time to renovate the office from which we started the initial fund-raise. And the new warm look of our office symbolises who we are. A home to exceptional companies.