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Liron Rose is a serial tech entrepreneur. He established AfterDownload, an Israeli startup which he later sold to the tech unicorn, IronSource. AfterDownload had gone from zero to $30 million in three years and had over 50 employees. IronSource acquired it for over $20 million.

Liron advises investors and sources technology, private equity deals, and alternative investments. His passion is to foster Israel’s brightest entrepreneurs in a quest for vision and leadership. Liron was one of the first investors in SimilarWeb, which is a known Israeli unicorn.

He was the Managing Director of TechStars Israel and he now runs Rose Innovation, where he helps investors get access to Israel’s startup nation ecosystem.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Liron Rose explains why Israel’s startup ecosystem is such a big deal
  • Why investing in SimilarWeb was a good idea for Liron
  • How Liron started investing in tech companies back in 2006
  • Liron shares his insights on when you shouldn’t invest in startups
  • Liron talks about the current status of the Israeli startup ecosystem
  • What Liron looks for in a company that he invests in
  • How and why Liron started AfterDownload
  • What to look out for when trying to sell your company
  • Liron’s low and proud moments in business

In this episode…

Something exciting is going on in Israel’s startup nation—companies are moving quickly from ideas to big exits or mega growths and this creates a vibrant space for enterprising individuals. Of course, not all the companies are achieving the same levels of success but Liron Rose knows of a few worthy of mention because he himself has built and sold his own start up company and has made investments in many others.

From investing early in SimilarWeb to starting, building, and exiting AfterDownload at $30 million in revenue before the sale, Liron is always on the lookout for great investment opportunities.

Liron Rose of Rose Innovation shares his entrepreneurial and investment journey with Dr. Jeremy Weisz in this episode of the Inspired Insider. Listen as Liron talks about the state of the Israeli startup ecosystem, what guides his investment decisions, what to look out for when trying to sell your company, and more. Stay tuned.

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders, like founders you’ve heard of something you’ve never heard of. This is part of the top Israel leader series, and some others you should check out Mois Navon of Mobileye, he talks about the mobile eye journey being acquired by Intel for $13.2 billion. That still baffles me how they run and you know, fast growing companies like Kendago Adam Feldman talks about how they grow e commerce companies and Uri Adoni, whose partner who’s partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners is author Unstoppable Startup check it out, it will be coming out or it’s come out by the time you listen to And he wants to share the secrets to Israel’s incredible track record which today’s guest will be sharing from the ground. Also this episode is brought to you by Rise25. I co founded Rise25 with my business partner John Corcoran and we help b2b businesses connect to their dream 100 partnerships and clients and help you with run and launch your podcast you know to me, Liron relationships is the number one thing in my life I’m always looking at how do I give to my relationships and the podcast allows me to profile a thought leaders and companies and give to them and give their and spread their message. So if you’ve thought about running, you know launching or running a podcast, email us at Rise25 you could listen to our my business partner and I banter like an old married couple and a video on actually, Liron the motivation behind the podcast was more personal actually. My grandfather was a Holocaust survivor and his legacy lives on because of the interview the Holocaust foundation did so People can also check that out on on the about page. So today’s guests I’m super excited and big No thank you, Sean Levy for introducing me to today’s guest. Liron Rose is a serial tech entrepreneur he established AfterDownload, which is an Israeli startup sold to the tech unicorn IronSource. And if you’ve not heard of AfterDownload and went from zero to $30 million in three years, they heard over 50 employees. It was acquired by IronSource for over $20 million. And he was Managing Director of TechStars Israel. He runs Rose Innovation, and he was one of the first investors in SimilarWeb, which is a known Israeli unicorn. He’s also invested in Kenshoo, Fiverr. You know, Liron, I have several people, BuyBox, experts who are friends and they have a great company. They are they love Kenshoo they’re, they partner on different Kenshoo things. They love it as far as the in the e-commerce ecosystem. So they’re Liron thanks for joining me.

Liron Rose

Thanks for having me.

Jeremy Weisz

So I think I want to encourage anyone should be contacting you. If they want to get into the Israeli ecosystem then vesting in the Israeli ecosystem. I feel like from doing this top Israel business series, people are missing out if they’re not in that ecosystem.

Liron Rose

Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, I’ve seen this study a couple of couple of days ago, you know, Tel Aviv or basically Tel Aviv represents the entire country. We’re a tiny country. We’re like number five ecosystem in the world. So if Silicon Valley or the Bay Area is number one, and then I think like New York is number two, Boston number three, then London in the UK. Number four. We’re number five. So like we are one of those leading ecosystems. And I think, you know, a lot of investors in the Bay Area in New York and Chicago have discovered the Israeli ecosystem invested lot of money into local startups. Sometimes, you know, the valuations could here could be a bit lower than what they, you know, they are in the Bay Area. So yeah, I think this is a, this is kind of like a big opportunity for for investments to get, you know, a view of like into the local ecosystem and get some exposure to something that is out of the US.

Jeremy Weisz

We’re going to talk about the AfterDownload journey, but I kind of want to work backwards, because when I was emailing with Sean, he basically said, what’s interesting about Liron is that he did invest it all in 2019. And I thought that was interesting. And you want to start off in your investment journey. Was you want to talk about SimilarWeb What did you see in similarweb? At the time, that was like, okay, that’s an obvious investment. You know, it’s risky investing.

Liron Rose

I mean, in this area, you know, like, nothing is obvious and similar web is an investment from 2009. So that’s over a decade ago. Wow. It’s like, it’s a coincidence. You know, I ran into this person I was sitting in a cafe in in Tel Aviv. And, you know, I’ve seen this this guy sitting next to me talking to someone. And you know, I said to myself, this is like, I don’t know, there’s something about this the way this guy talks that kind of intrigues me, I don’t know what he’s is up to, you know, you know, you know, just ask for a business card and whatever. So that’s what I did. And you know, and I never follow up, but I remember his name and then I think was like, six months after that, or a year after, you know, some some other people that I know Toby, you know, we’re investing into this, this company. SimilarWeb. You wanna you wanna have a look? And I said, Yeah, I remember this guy. I have, you know, I ran into him, like, you know, in a cafe and Yeah, this looks interesting. I’d like to have a look at the deck and so forth. And then I ended up investing. I think I was like the second or third check into the company. There were like five people back then. And, yeah, that well, they’re now like 500 600 people. So this company grew immensely. They’re like, basically, I think they’re like the leading rating company and if you want to, you know, have a look at it, review traffic sources and where people are going on the internet, you know, and seeing where they’re coming from. And do this on a geographical sort of break break downs and it’s both web and mobile now. It’s, it’s grown immensely. It’s a great company and you know, that I think they’re like, at some point there will be probably going for an IPO and

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