He Invested in WeWork and Now Runs $150MM Israel Focused Fund

Leading with Meaning Series- Business to and from Israel

In Episode #291, Nathan interviews Michael Eisenberg. Michael’s a canny investor who’s on the cutting edge of the VC scene in Israel. He invested in Wix and Conduit while working with Benchmark – now he’s set up his own firm, Aleph. Listen in to hear about Aleph’s investments in an AI dashcam, Michael’s journey from unemployment to top VC, and why scale-up is the new start-up.


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Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? – Good to Great
  • What CEO do you follow? — Jeff Bezos
  • What is your favorite online tool? — Gmail
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? —There’s so much to do in this world. Keep working.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:40 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 02:00 – Welcoming Michael to the show
  • 02:06 – Started Aleph 3 years ago with a partner – wanted to invest in Israeli startups
  • 02:40 – Michael’s been a venture capitalist in Israel for over 20 years
  • 03:20 – Started a merchant bank for technology startups in Israel
  • 04:00 – Invested in the first online photo-sharing site in 1994 and sold for over $100 million
  • 05:00 – Worked at Benchmark in Israel for several years – invested in Wix, Conduit, and other startups
  • 06:00 – Raised $150 million for Aleph in 2013
  • 06:20 – Core mantra is: “Different is better than better”
  • 06:50 – Aleph is an equal-partnership firm in terms of return and decision-making influence
  • 08:15 – Invest almost exclusively in Series A
  • 08:40 – The Thing About Cycles – Michael’s blog post about cyclical investing
  • 09:10 – Currently investing in Nexar, an AI-powered dashcam
  • 10:15 – Nexar can give you real-time information based on location and the license plates of the drivers around you – it takes information from drivers’ speed and location.
  • 11:20 – Have already covered more mileage than Google Streetview
  • 12:10 – Invested $4 million in Series A
  • 13:08 – 15 months in; 9 months since the launch
  • 13:18 – Collecting about 80k license plates each day
  • 13:46 – Connect with Michael on the Aleph website or through his blog
  • 16:20 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Invest in disruption: “Different is better than better”
  2. Michael’s currently investing in a smart dashcam that has an enormous capacity to collect data.
  3. Keep working. The world is full of opportunities.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

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