Gateways to Israeli Tech
Kobi Samboursky, Glilot Capital: VCs should be involved in the day to day operations of the business
Speaking to CTech as part of a special investor survey, Kobi Samboursky of Glilot Capital Partners, said the upsurge in wages will continue as long as companies continue to grow
Samboursky shared his views in CTech’s exclusive investor survey conducted with participants of the Poalim Hi-Tech and Calcalist Road Show event. The event brought together dozens of startups who pitched their venture to more than 20 leading Israeli investment groups and investors.
What trends are you most excited about investing in?
Cybersecurity and cloud are very exciting areas for us. In addition, fintech has become a very exciting trend.
What’s your latest, most exciting investment?
We have invested in a bunch of early stage companies that are still in stealth mode. From the later stage companies I would mention Cider Security and CYOLO.
Which industries seem well-positioned to thrive long term? What companies are you excited about (whether in your portfolio or not), which founders?
Again, Cyber, Cloud and Fintech are great industries. I would also mention Upstream Security, Ermetic and PayEm.
What areas are either oversaturated or would be too hard to compete in at this point for a new startup?
Almost every area in B2B SaaS is saturated, however, I believe that in every sector a great team could generate high value.
What are you - as an investor - looking for in an entrepreneur or a startup?
It always starts with the founding team, they need to be brilliant, have the right experience and background, but at the same time be open to new ideas and direction. Field comes second and only after that comes the idea/product.
What is your approach to VC involvement in the management of the companies they invested in?
VCs should be involved in the day to day operations of the business. VCs should have deep understanding of the pulse of the business and have the ability to assist the companies on their most strategic/critical issues, such as product market fit, hiring of key personnel etc.
What should be the level of a fund's involvement in solving a company's HR problems?
At Glilot, we like to develop real operational capabilities to help portfolio companies in all stages of their journey. This relates to HR as well. We have and are continuing to develop a hands-on ability to assist portfolio companies in HR issues.
Where will the solution to the HR crisis come from?
I believe it’s going to be a mix of different solutions. Education is the best long term solution. In the short run, remote R&D centers are the common solution. I believe that growing diversity and inclusion in our ecosystem is also a significant part of the solution.
How long will the current upsurge in wages continue?
As long as companies continue to grow and are able to get enough funding to do so, the spiral will continue.
How harmful is it to companies, to the investors?
It is harmful to both, but good companies and good investors are overcoming the increase in wages. As long as companies continue to grow aggressively they can deal with the growth in wages. As soon as growth stops, this is when high wages turn into a real issue. Similarly with investors, as long as they continue to show great performance, increases on the cost side can be overlooked.
How can the damage of the growing gaps between tech workers and general workers in the Israeli economy be minimized?
Only through inclusion and diversity. The tech segment is growing and will continue to do so. However, it will never include the entire population. What is critical though is to make sure all parts of the Israeli society are taking part in it. If this will not be the case in 10-20 years we will pay a big price socially and eventually it may shake the roots of our society.
Share with us your golden tip for an entrepreneur presenting a pitch.
Be yourself. You are not presenting the market or the idea, you are presenting yourself. Investors are mostly interested to learn about the person in front of them. If you fake it they will figure it out sooner or later.