Angular Ventures
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Angular Ventures

Why I’m joining Angular Ventures

Global from day one. Maybe now this should just be a picture of my Zoom set up?

After almost four years at Airtable, I’m thrilled to announce that I’m joining Angular Ventures, a specialist first-check VC firm investing in pioneering enterprise and deep-tech founders across Europe and Israel, as a full partner. (Read thoughts from my partner Gil Dibner on the new fund and my joining the firm).

This isn’t where I thought I’d end up. As the founder of a bootstrapped company, and an early employee twice over (most recently at Airtable, where I built our first growth team and led partnerships), I get my energy from the messy, early stages of company building. So after I left Airtable, I assumed I’d take a few weeks to catch my breath and then get back to building.

But there was something about what Gil Dibner and team are building over at Angular Ventures that caught my attention. So If you’ll indulge me, let me tell you a quick story…

As part of my role at Airtable, I held office hours with startups to discuss their business operations, and if/how Airtable (plus other no/low code tools) might be able to help. This afforded me the opportunity to speak with hundreds of startups over the course of the last few years.

What I loved about these calls is how tactical they were. When you’re discussing business processes (especially if you’re trying to rebuild them using Airtable), you can’t get away with generalities. You get right into the details. We want to build a system to manage customer onboarding. Where do we start? What specific variables should we track? How should we think about designing this system to scale as we ramp up marketing spend? What metrics should we capture?

You may know the saying: “Amateurs talk strategy. Professionals talk logistics.” These are the logistical questions of entrepreneurship that rarely get discussed in the open. They’re too messy and too specific to get summarized easily in a viral Twitter thread. But they are the heart and soul of building a business from the ground up. And discussing them was easily my favorite part of the week.

In the end, these conversations helped me realize two things. First, I realized how powerful having someone that has a mastery of system design and no/low code tools could be for startups. (I still believe “no code operations” is the next big job in tech.)

Second, I realized how much I missed working with companies at the earliest stages of their growth. Airtable was scaling and those early stage problems were long gone. I yearned to go back.

That second realization happened to coincide with a call from Gil at Angular.

I had already had the chance to work with Gil in the past. A few months prior he had invited me on to Angular’s Insights series, which led to introductions to a few CEOs from Angular’s portfolio, all of whom were impressive and building fascinating companies. I realized quickly that in Gil I had found an investor that was maniacally focused on making high-conviction early stage investments and helping his companies succeed.

So we kicked off a long courting process. Lots of long walks through Regents Park, Hyde Park, and along the Regents Canal. A few pandemic-style takeaway coffees, huddled in the cold during London’s long, gray winter. It was just as romantic as it sounds.

After a few months, and many hours of conversation, I came away with a better understanding of the type of firm I might consider working for:

First check. I knew that if I were to make the move into investing, I needed to have the ability to back companies early. Pre-product, maybe even pre-company. Venture capital, in my estimation, is about believing in something before anybody else, not elbowing your way into a company everybody agrees is a good idea. I want to partner with founders during those uncertain, messy, early days of company building when support is in short supply. Angular Ventures is perhaps the best example of that type of firm in all of Europe and Israel.

Entrepreneurial. I knew that if I wasn’t going to join an early stage company, then I needed to join an entrepreneurial venture firm. The global multi-stage firms are impressive, but they’re established. I wanted the ownership (and risk) that comes with trying to build something new. What I realized is that, while Angular’s results are already outstanding, the firm is still in its early days. And I’m so excited for the opportunity to help write its next chapter.

People-first. I first learned about venture capital from the team at Founder Collective, where I worked as an associate. Eric, Dave and Micah taught me that this business is not about technology, it’s about the people behind the technology. Similar to FC, I knew I wanted to work at a firm that was committed to building real, deep, lasting relationships with people. I’ve been impressed by the vibrant village of founders, advisory partners, and co-investors that Gil has brought into the Angular community.

If it’s not obvious yet, I think that Angular is the perfect fit and I’m thankful to Gil and the whole Angular team for taking a chance on me.

So, if you’re building an enterprise or deep-tech company in Europe or Israel, and you’re looking for a co-conspirator, investor, sparring partner and collaborator, please drop me a line at david@angularventures.com! I’d love to meet you.

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