Investor-Entrepreneur & Investor-Investor Relationships

Sivan Shamri Dahan,
Managing Partner at Qumra Capital

Sivan is a Managing Partner at Qumra Capital, one of the leading Israeli venture capital funds for growth companies.

The fund manages over $800 million, with an impressive portfolio of companies including JoyTunes, Augury, Riskified, Jfrog, Minute Media, Fiverr, and Appsflyer.

After growing up on a kibbutz, Sivan has been a sales executive at several telecommunication companies worldwide and worked her way from being Evergreen's Investment Manager to a Managing Partner at Qumra Capital.

Sivan and I talked about topics ranging from entrepreneur-investor and investor-investor relations, and the host of things that entails, and how to navigate such complex relationships best, ensuring a good fit between investor and investee. Positive sentiments between investors and fellow board members were also discussed.

A big topic of conversation was the industry's pervasive FOMO – and how to improve one's senses, so there are more good investments than missed opportunities. A venture capital firm like Qumra engages in approximately 4 investments annually, each consisting of $20-30 million out of a total fundraising round of $50-70 million; there needs to be considerable consideration to ensure quality investments and good communication between investor and entrepreneur. Sivan shared what she considered inconsequential in choosing entrepreneurs to begin engaging in due diligence with - the personal connection, personal values, way of thinking, and the gratefulness the entrepreneur displays from participating in the process and from those involved. This intrinsic value will accompany the investment throughout, both to and for the entrepreneur. The investor will remember that they are a strategic partner, but at the end of the day, the people who know the company best are the CEO and the management team. Sivan went on to add that the roles of CEOs and investors of hyper growth-stage companies will play a pivotal role in propelling the Israeli economy forward while building great companies in the Startup Nation.

The dynamics between investors are critical – sometimes there is jealousy, competition, friendship and more. Sivan believes investors and board members must engage in compassion when making decisions in the hyper-growth stage especially. We also conversed about the need for foreign investors to understand that although the heart of the R&D is in Israel, the bulk of the sales may be elsewhere in the target market. Therefore, they need to understand the multi-dimensional aspect of it to keep it going. 

Sivan discussed her experience as a female investor and how much her independence, resilience, trusting her gut instincts, and assertiveness enabled her to see different opportunities & to navigate her path as an investor. Sivan conveyed a very human dimension accompanying investment decisions and how they hurt when entrepreneurs choose other investment opportunities. Throughout the years, she has learned to acknowledge and respect her emotions without putting up defences. 

All engagements, be it successful or not, are learning opportunities for the investors to better themselves in preparation for the next investment prospects. Hopefully, Sivan's compassionate voice can serve as a reminder for entrepreneurs that in front of them stand humans, with thoughts and emotions of their own, and any prospective partnership is one for the long haul.

In conclusion, Sivan expressed her hope of seeing 50% of entrepreneurs being female, but even 20% will be a good start - something the ecosystem should wholeheartedly support.

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