Welcome to the first installment of a series of blogs titled “Meet The Angels” in which we will be profiling our lead angels. To start us off, we are proud to introduce the Chairman of iAngels, David Assia.
David Assia is a well-known figure in the Israeli tech scene. A pioneer of the local high tech and software industry, Assia founded several global technology companies, one of which was the first Israeli software company to go public on NASDAQ. For 22 years, Assia served as the CEO and Chairman of the Board of that company, Magic Software Enterprises, a global provider of software platforms for enterprise mobility, cloud applications and business integration.
In 2007, he left Magic Software and returned to his entrepreneurial roots as Chairman of eToro, which today is undoubtedly the largest social investment network. Assia is also an active angel investor, mentor and advisor for many startups, and takes an active role in the development of the Israeli software industry, as Chairman of the Israel Association of Electronics and Software.
From traditional corporate software solutions to innovative online social platforms, Assia does not only adapt to the changing technological trends, he defines them. And his latest endeavor is no different. As Chairman of iAngels, a new crowdfunding platform, Assia is working to bring startup investing to the masses.
When asked about his investment philosophy, Assia’s advice centered around three central tips:
Focus on the team
When looking at a new investment, Assia insists that the most important factor is the team. To truly understand the potential of the team, much more is involved than reviewing CVs and Linkedin profiles. Assia tries to get to know the founders, learning in detail what they have done in the past, in order to judge their future potential.
Through multiple meetings and conversations, Assia wants to make sure that they have long-term dedication to the company. He says, “To me it is important to see whether the team has the entrepreneurial nerves needed in this high tech rollercoaster ride. There are hectic and difficult periods in a startup, and I try to judge the team chemistry and whether they will stick it out in hard times.”
He believes that in an early stage investment, the strength of the team is often times more important than other parameters. “Even if this team is developing a product that the market is not ready for or the direction is not clear, if they are a good team then they will work together and find the right direction. Every startup has a business plan and changes directions a number of times before they eventually succeed.”
Connect to the need
After the team, Assia checks out the market and the actual need for the product. He likes to make sure that he really understands the need, and usually invests in markets that he is personally familiar with. Assia invests in four central markets: enterprise software, cyber security, fintech and internet/social.
He usually makes about 2-4 angel investments a year, and in this past year he has made 3 investments:
- Nanorep – Self-service assistance platform that allows organizations to provide an individualized customer experience, while cutting customer service costs. The company’s automatic search engine answers the many questions that customers have online, making the knowledge accessible to them at every stage of their customer journey. They have already licensed the software to hundreds of large companies and are working on scaling the operation.
- DBMaestro – Enterprise software solution that is bringing tracked changes to databases. They company enables you to track changes when multiple developers are working on one project, streamlining development stage deployment processes and reducing critical application downtime. DBMaestro already has 40 customers from around the world in the financial, healthcare and government sectors.
- Biocatch – Biometric authentication for cyber security. The cloud-based solution collects and analyzes more than 400 cognitive parameters to generate a unique user profile, helping to protect against cyber threats. The company just raised $10 million and already has pilots in major banks around the world.
Surround yourself with a team of experts
If you are not personally knowledgeable about a specific market, Assia believes that you should follow another angel investor that understands that market.
For exactly this reason, Assia became involved in the iAngels platform. He states, “There are certain angel investors that I really respect and who have made great investments, but I am less knowledgeable about those field that they are active in. Through the iAngels platform I can find out about deals that they are investing in and feel confident that they have done the due diligence and given their stamp of approval.”
The solution has a lot of potential for other investors, both accredited and non accredited, which do not yet have a developed network of industry experts. They can have access to a strong pipeline of deals and feel confident that an expert in a specific field has approved and led the deal.
To co-invest with David Assia, click here!
Investor Community Manager, iAngels