Mind the Tech NY2021
“Over time, Israel will start and feel more like Silicon Valley”
John Curtius, a Partner at Tiger Global, was speaking at Mind the Tech NY 2021 with Forter CEO Michael Reitblat, who said “it is all about execution, about how we build our team”
“Over time, Israel will start and feel more like Silicon Valley,” said John Curtius, a Partner at Tiger Global, at Calcalist and Bank Leumi’s Mind The Tech NY 2021 conference. “It is a real ecosystem today. I was in Tel Aviv for a week a few weeks ago and the stat that astounded me is the fact there are more than 70 unicorns, which is more than in all of Europe. And I think it is only going to accelerate, there are amazing founders, amazing engineering talent, and really global ambitions in a way we haven’t seen before.”
Curtius was speaking on stage with Calcalist reporter Sophie Shulman, and sitting alongside Michael Reitblat, the CEO and co-founder of Forter, which just this May raised $300 million in a round led by Tiger Global. When asked about his company’s rise, Reitblat said he realized how far his company, which offers fraud prevention for online retailers, got when “I was at a conference about two years ago, and I realized I bought my plane ticket with a customer; I booked the hotel with a customer, everything I wear, even now, is from our customers, so it is very clear that everything I do in my life and everything we see people do in their lives is going through our systems.”
On the decision to go to business with Forter, Curtius explained that: “We do very thorough due diligence and we focus on a few aspects. One we focus on customer feedback, with Forter, for example, we spoke to over 20 customers,” noticing that “in Forter’s case the feedback was nines and tens across the board. That got us really excited.”
“Then the other thing we focused on was the ability of the team to execute, you can have a phenomenal product, but we want to develop conviction that the management team will continue to grow and evolve. What we really focused on is resilience, in some of our best-performing companies we consistently saw situations where there was a plot twist, a roadblock, so we want to back people who do not get deterred, have a north star they focus on, and realize it is a long journey, and that is what we see with Michael,” he added.
When asked about the challenges his company is facing and about having Tiger Global’s support, Reitblat explained it is not all about the money. “Money is helpful, money is helpful for us to think long-term, to be able to take risks as a more mature company, but still act as an early-stage company,” he said. “But it is all about execution, about how we build our team, how do we make sure our executives understand our vision, and employees, even the new ones, even the interns also understand, and everyone is going in the same direction at the same pace.”
Watch the full conversation in the video above.