Dave Carvajal: Very excited to speak with you this morning Itzhak, it’s great to have you, thanks for joining us.
Itzhak Fisher: Thank you for having me.
Dave Carvajal: Help us understand, what have been some of the noble accomplishments in your illustrious career? How have you helped move the needle? What are some of the ways you’ve created enormous enterprise value?
Itzhak Fisher: So, I came to the US in 1994 and I started my first startup, it was RSL Communications. I formed a partnership with Ronald Lauder. It was the good old telecom days where telecom was as hot as the internet now. And we started a company end of 94’ and in 97’ we took the company public on a billion-dollar valuation.
Itzhak Fisher: I started from being a one-man show, putting a business plan together, hiring my first employees into building it into a company that had 4,000 employees, in 22 markets around the world with over $1.2 billion dollar revenues and at one time even profitable and that was my first big play and I tell everybody that meets me today I actually had a unicorn. So, then we didn’t call it a Unicorn but that was my first achievement. While I was at RSL I did two deals that were notable.
Itzhak Fisher: One is I acquired a company called Deltathree for $10 million dollars which was a voiceover IP company. Early mover there were like two companies in the space, IDT & Deltathree. We took that company public also at $360 million-dollar evaluation all the way to a billion so I double Unicorn at that time. And another company we did in the telecom days, im talking much much earlier in my career we bought international directory assistant company in Germany.
Itzhak Fisher: We bought 25% stake for like $25 million-dollars, we sold it like 3 or 4 years later for $400 million dollars. Those are early investments that were highly profitable for me. In 2000 I sold all my shares and became an angel investor. So throughout my angel investing days I’ve invested in over 100 companies.
Itzhak Fisher: My lifetime IR is over 67%. The most notable deal, not money wise, but the most notable deal that had the most effect on my career is a company called Buzz matrix. I invested in Buzz matrix when they didn’t have a product yet. I became one of the founders. The company became the leading company in social media analytics.
Itzhak Fisher: We sold the company for $124 million dollars to Nielsen in 2007 and as part of the sale I joined Nielsen 75% of my time and I became one of the top 5 and I became, I learned a lot about data, analytics, media consumer which is the main areas that I am doing now,
Itzhak Fisher: I find those areas fascinating. And they give you insight about how to manage your business in a more effective way and be at the tip of innovation when it comes to different type of businesses.