Meet Omri Green, the newest member of the DTC investment team. Omri is a partner based in Israel and is interested in meeting early-stage founders across Israel and Europe. We grabbed 30 minutes with him to hear about how he found his way to venture investing, what he thinks of the investment environment right now, and what he does in those few off hours he has to think about something other than technology.
Welcome to the team, Omri!
What got you interested in investing in the “building blocks” side of tech?
My father is an engineer and in Israel the technology sector is very strong. But it wasn’t until I joined the army and I saw what people can do with software engineering and semiconductor development that I really got interested in tech. It was amazing. So, after the army I became an electrical engineer.
Why venture capital?
In venture capital, you get to see the best people and the best technologies. If you’re in a good team like DTC, you’re also having a lot of fun because your colleagues are smart and you’re learning every day.
Venture is a people business and I really like people. I was an engineer by training. I moved for a few years in 2008 to Silicon Valley to work for Dune Networks (that was acquired by Broadcom). That move started this transformation towards venture. Sitting in a cube in San Jose writing code as an embedded engineer team did not play to my strengths like working with people in venture does.
Even as an engineer, I was always connecting the dots between engineering and business and liked working directly with customers’ engineering teams. That made the moving from engineering management to business development and sales easy. At the end of the day, sales is working with people to solve problems.
In venture, you are not working with just one good team. If you invest well, you are working with several great teams that are solving problems. And you’re meeting many, many more. It’s those relationships that make venture fun for me.
How are you approaching the venture market right now?
It has been an intense two years in Israel, for sure. We have more than 50 unicorns. There’s been a huge amount of money invested and a huge amount of innovation here. I think the next few years will be great for early-stage companies.
There’s still so much money going into early-stage companies. But, founders are already preparing for the economics changing. In the last few years, funding conversations have been almost exclusively about round size and valuation. There was no time to talk about growth plans or KPIs. Now, founders see what’s happening on NASDAQ and hear investors asking about ARR and multipliers and results.
I think we are going to go back to something like the SaaS Funding Napkin where companies will need to think more about how they plan to get from Seed to Series A to Series B and to exit. This is not a bad thing. We’ve been maximizing attention on the big early rounds when really, founders and investors should care more about the impact later on. At the end of the day, we want to build products together that a meaningful number of people will use.
What keeps you optimistic about innovation?
I’m optimistic because I’m coming from a country of more than nine million people. We’re a small country but with smart people, extraordinary technologies and innovation (we are the Startup Nation). With that we’ve made a huge impact – way beyond the absolute number of people or engineers we have. That’s the whole idea, right? Let’s make a huge impact that makes our lives, and life globally better. There are challenges but that’s part of it. If there is no challenge, it’s not interesting. So many of the technologies we’re seeing emerge have potential for huge positive impact. It’s great to play a small role in that.
How do you spend your time off the clock?
My wife and I really try to find balance between what we do at our jobs and our family. Raising our kids is a major part of our lives and I really enjoy it. I run (but not enough), read, and enjoy traveling. One of my 2022 goals is to find a new hobby but to be honest, I’m not sure I will get that KPI done.