Interview with Alex Benik of Battery Ventures

Battery VenturesBattery Ventures, interview with Alex Benik
Date: 19 Augustus 2014
Battery Ventures CrunchBase profile

I had the honour to speak with Alex Benik, partner at Battery Ventures where he focuses on IT Infrastructure technologies. He previously worked for the Yankee Group.

Battery Ventures is a large fund that invests in a wide variety of start-ups, divided in eCommerce&Retail, Digital Media, Industrial Technologies, Software&Services and Infrastructure.

Alex currently works with a number of known players in IT infrastructure, namely: Diablo Technologies, AppDynamics, Catchpoint, Chef, Cumulus Networks, Nutanix, Primary Data, and Stratoscale.

When he has the time, Alex blogs for GigaOM, where he writes in-depth articles on trends in the infrastructure arena.

I had a brief talk with Alex about his views on the IT infrastructure market and specifically his take on SanDisks acquisition of FusionIO.
[Read more…]

John W. Thompson: CEO Virtual Instruments and Chairman of Microsoft

Virtual Instruments LogoVirtual Instruments, interview with CEO John W. Thompson
Date: 19 June 2014
Virtual Instruments CrunchBase profile

For my CEO Series I interview CEOs and founders of start-ups in IT Infrastructure, SAAS, Fintech, Mobile and eCommerce. Their views are shared on my blog.

Recently I had the great honor to speak with John W. Thompson. It is hard to introduce such a heavyweight, so I will start by listing a few of the most notable positions he occupies. His positions, besides being impressive – are relevant to understand the viewpoints he holds and voiced during the interview.

After a long career at IBM where he held various executive positions, John W. Thompson became CEO at Symantec, which he helped build to a $6 billion company over a period of 10 years. In 2009, he was contender to be secretary of the Department of Commerce.

John W. ThompsonIn 2009 he became involved with Virtual Instruments (VI) as an investor and became CEO of VI in 2010. Besides this demanding role, in February of this year John W. Thompson was famously appointed Chairman of the Board at Microsoft, replacing Bill Gates. In this function he was involved in replacing former CEO Steve Ballmer with the current CEO Satya Nadella. Here is a link to his appointment speech.

Additionally, PernixData, Liquid Robotics, Domo and Seagate are among the companies where John holds advisory positions. [Read more…]

Interview with Moshe Bar – VC Partner at Atlantic Capital

Atlantic Capital PartnersAtlantic Capital Partners, interview with Moshe Bar
Date: 9 December 2013
Atlantic Capital Partners CrunchBase profile

Moshe Bar of Atlantic Capital Partners

Atlantic Capital Partners (ACP) is founded in 2010 and invests in the growth stage of start-ups in (enterprise) software and digital life domains. Currently ACP has three general partners, Fred van den Bosch, Dr. Marcus Engelbert and Moshe Bar and two venture partners; Raffaele Jerusalmi and Lars Dittrich.

Moshe Bar is a well known figure in the IT landscape. The list of companies he co-founded is substantial; Qlusters, XenSource, Hyper9, Qumranet, are the prominent ones. Moshe is now partner at Atlantic Capital Partners and serves on several boards.

I know Moshe through his time at Qumranet and decided to contact him for an interview, to find out more about Atlantic Capital Partners and his current investment focus.
[Read more…]

Interview with Steve Goodman – Partner at Toba Capital

Toba CapitalToba Capital, interview with Steve Goodman
Date: 18 November 2013
Toba Capital CrunchBase profile

Toba Capital

Toba Capital is a Vinny Smith company, differentiating itself by being heavily involved operationally in the companies they invest in. Partners at Toba Capital have CEO positions at one of the portfolio companies of Toba Capital, while vetting deals on other portfolio companies at the same time.

Their model makes sure that Toba is committed to the companies they invest in, and makes sure that the VC partners have hands-on operational know-how.

According to Walter Angererer: ‘One of the things we bring to the table is operational experience, instead of just flying in a few times a year to review the data. So each of the partners are dividing our time between managing our companies which is our primary task, and managing our portfolio companies’. That means that at Toba Capital, the partners limit themselves to 3 to 5 companies they are managing at the same time.

I interviewed Steve Goodman of Toba Capital to find out more about Toba’s investment model.
[Read more…]

Interview with Yaron Valler – Hasso Plattner Ventures

Hasso Plattner VenturesHasso Plattner Ventures, interview with Yaron Valler
Date: 18 November 2013
Hasso Plattner Ventures CrunchBase profile

Hasso Plattner Ventures

Hasso Plattner Ventures (HPV) currently manages 2 funds worth a total of 150m Euro. A third fund of 120m Euro is coming available later this year.

One of the main investors in HPV is Prof. Plattner, one of the co-founders of SAP. HPV invests wordwide, mainly in early stage deep-tech software and hardware companies, from applications to bare-metal.

Yaron Valler is Managing Partner at Hasso Plattner and investor in Diablo Technologies. We met a few months ago in Berlin, together with CEO of Diablo Technologies Riccardo Badalone.
[Read more…]