- Ben Tytonovich
I’ve been in the VC business on and off since 2010. Surprisingly enough, it could be said that our business has remarkably changed since and it could also be said that it hasn’t changed all that much. Both can be true at the same time. When I first started thinking of Maple, I worked with the premise that “different is better than better”, or simply put, differentiation is everything. There was no point in yet-another-VC in the already crowded Israeli VC landscape. I began thinking of most of Maple’s ingredients a decade ago, but the philosophy really crystallized (perhaps unsurprisingly) through iterations and actual work with our founding teams (just like with every product development journey).
Our approach is based on 3 key ingredients -
Intense collaboration is key. When meeting with teams, we don’t mind if they don’t have a thesis at all or if their current idea isn’t fully baked yet. Through pre-investment collaboration, we can work together to optimize their direction and frameworks. Not with a superficial meeting once every month but by actually rolling up our sleeves and working together intensely based on cohesive playbooks and methodologies. This has been key in our work since the very beginning. It provides a real opportunity for the team to know us and for us to know the team and provide genuine value - before we decide to commit to each other for the next several years of our lives.
Specialization is key. There is an advantage to covering several sectors with a clear symbiotic relationship between them. Maple is dedicated towards several infrastructure domains - data infrastructure, cloud infrastructure, ML infrastructure, devops, devtools, cyber and other domains which will emerge in the coming years with similar characteristics and that our typical founders (elite engineers with high EQ) are looking to tackle. Grouping these symbiotic domains with one another helps us become better domain experts and it focuses us when cultivating our network to make a difference on top of it all.
Sharing a similar language is key. Collaborating with founding teams to such an extent wouldn’t really be viable if we weren’t speaking the same language (technically, psychologically and collaboratively). Sharing the same profile as the teams we work with - experiencing similar challenges as they did in the past, sharing similar skill sets, sharing similar values and perspectives - these are all crucial to our work and are the basis of a shared language, which is the underlying engine behind Maple.
We’ve been fortunate enough to gather a group of incredible LPs to back Maple in its journey, so that we can deliver on the above philosophy to the best of our abilities. Our LPs are some of the most talented founders, executives and institutionals from Israel, Europe and the US. With its final close now behind us, Maple Capital I is continuing on its journey at full throttle.