Philippe has founded, scaled and invested in companies that have made the leap from Israel to the US many, many times. He invests in culture-driven founders at the earliest stage.
"While Philippe was helpful in many tactical aspects, from advice during fundraising to thoughts on positioning, I think the most helpful thing is the sense of partnership and being able to discuss literally everything. Philippe is the kind of investor that goes with you all the way to building a big company."
Get to know
We're one global team but we've got our own stories. Here's what makes us tick.
How did your last job equip you for this one?
"Experiencing the thrill but also the harsh reality of being an entrepreneur and operator myself. It had been, like most start-ups, a series of roller-coasters that allowed me to build pattern recognition from lessons learned out of actions and subsequent mistakes. These experiences can hopefully help the founders of the companies I invest in."
How does a successful board operate?
"The board should be the extension of the team, made up of people who truly have the interests of the company at heart, who can contribute from their diverse and relevant backgrounds and are genuinely motivated to help. If you have investors who are aligned with the company’s vision, there shouldn’t be a contradiction between representing an investor on your board and consistently supporting the company’s interests. Don’t accept politics or power games. Your board members should be engaged, supportive and honest. The founder is responsible for making decisions, but if your board believes that you are about to make a poor decision, it is their duty to convince you of it."
Today, I’m excited by...
"... meeting and working with passionate entrepreneurs; these wonderful people who want to change the world."
What are you good at that you didn’t expect to be?
"Being a good husband and father (at least this is what they tell me)."
What do others not know about Square Peg?
"I join the weekly partnership calls at 12:30am. Yes, every week."
What impresses you in the first meeting with an entrepreneur?
"Humility and decisiveness, passion to solve a very big problem and a willingness to change the world. Being a fun, energising person that I feel I’d love working with, every day if necessary, including getting phone calls at 2am when the person is having cold sweats in the middle of the night."
What’s the most insightful question you can ask a founder?
"How can I help you? Not in the context of a customer support call, but at a deeper level. Firstly, I want the founders to know that if we end up investing and working together, I am here because I truly want to support them. Let’s not forget that VC exists thanks to entrepreneurs doing the hard work. This is not a one-way street where only the founder is on the spot, it is also about me proving that I am entitled to help her/his/their company. Listening to the answer also teaches me a great deal about the founders’ willingness to learn from others and expose their needs and challenges."
What is similar between Square Peg and the founders you back?
"Full honesty and integrity, no politics and relentless willingness to help each other. Complementary skills of the partners, similar to the quality of a founding team made of diverse talents.""
What was the greatest lesson an early job taught you?
"Run your business, don’t let it run you”. This is actually the title of a book I read a few years ago, but it characterises well a great lesson that I learned from my experience as an entrepreneur transitioning to an operator of large-scale businesses. Starting your own company can be a daunting task: long and lonely days and non-stop pressure to deal with challenges. But all this hard work is not enough. To get to the next level, you need to stop being a “super-employee” and become a leader who can attract amazing talents and a team that can help you scale the business."