In a recent episode of the Dealmaker’s Podcast, Alon Arvatz, co-founder of PointFive, shared his remarkable journey through the tech industry. From his early exposure to tech companies to founding successful ventures, Alon’s story is a testament to determination, adaptability, and a commitment to making an impact.
This blog post delves into the key insights and experiences Alon shared during the podcast, offering readers a glimpse into the world of tech entrepreneurship.
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Early Influences: A Foundation for Tech Aspirations
Alon was born and grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel. His journey in the tech world began at a young age, with his mother instilling in him the confidence to pursue his passions. Growing up with a father who was deeply involved in the financial aspect of tech companies as their CFO, Alon had a unique perspective on the industry.
Visiting his father’s workplace, he was captivated by the world of technology and its potential.
From Infantry to Intelligence: Pivotal Turns
Alon’s path took an unexpected turn when he joined the military, initially opting for infantry. However, a hearing impairment led to his reassignment to the intelligence corps.
This twist of fate proved to be a pivotal moment, exposing him to the realms of cybersecurity and technology. It was here that he realized tech wasn’t just about coding; it was a vast world encompassing security, defense, and cyber attacks.
Tech Entrepreneurship: Nurturing the Spark
Post his military service, Alon set his sights on entrepreneurship. With a background in cybersecurity and a newfound passion for technology, he embarked on a journey that would lead to the creation of successful ventures.
The podcast delves into Alon’s decision to study accounting and law, which unexpectedly paved the way for his first venture, Kanfey Kesef—a non-profit focused on teaching financial literacy to teenagers.
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From Education to Tech: The Birth of Cyber School
Kanfey Kessef laid the groundwork for Alon’s next venture, Cyber School. Leveraging his network and expertise, Alon and his co-founder established a training and education company focused on cybersecurity for teenagers.
Cyber School became an entire organization across Israel with a curriculum extending to dozens of courses, workshops, and even summer camps. The venture expanded rapidly, even crossing borders to the U.S., demonstrating Alon’s entrepreneurial prowess.
What started out with a couple of weeks’ visit quickly turned into three to four meetings a day, with Alan visiting school after school. Ultimately, the initiative grew to a hundred projects a year.
Navigating Growth and Challenges
Alon reflects on the evolution of his ventures and the challenges that came with growth. As his companies expanded, the demands and expectations shifted. He emphasizes the importance of aligning teams around a unified strategy, a lesson he learned through trial and error.
Along the way, his company partnered with Rapid7 for a time, learning valuable lessons that would shape his path ahead. The inception of IntSights emerged from Alon’s experience at Rapid7, where he identified a critical issue faced by enterprises—efficient cloud cost management.
IntSights, targeting mainly enterprises, aims to optimize infrastructure usage, focusing on the efficiency of cloud cost management rather than mere financial aspects. Eventually, the company raised a total of $71.3M in funding over five rounds. By the time it was sold to Rapid7 for $350M, the company had an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of $30M.
Lessons Learned: From Humility to Impact
Working at an American enterprise got Alon thinking about the challenges they were facing with managing their cloud costing. Soon after quitting IntSights, he started a company that eliminated wastage in cloud storage to make it more efficient and affordable.
PointFive is Alon’s latest venture, a project that he was so confident of that he reached out to a top-tier VC Index Ventures. That was despite being turned down by other investors during the economic downturn of 2022. Alon successfully raised $16M to get the venture up and running.
Storytelling is everything, which is something that Alon Arvatz was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel (see it here), where the most critical slides are highlighted.
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PointFive has a subscription-based business model that mainly targets enterprises, charging them on the basis of how much they use the infrastructure. On average, their minimum spend is $10M per year.
Alon’s journey has been shaped by several pivotal lessons. He emphasizes the value of humility, acknowledging that listening and understanding customer needs are paramount.
This shift in perspective has allowed him to build products that not only prioritize security but also cater to broader operational and value-driven requirements.
Looking Ahead: The Book and Beyond
Alon’s recently released book, “The Battle for Your Computer,” delves into the success story of the Israeli cybersecurity industry. Through interviews with industry leaders, he uncovers the factors that propelled Israel to the forefront of cybersecurity.
With this book, Alon hopes to share the story of an industry that provided the foundation for his own success.
Alon Arvatz’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of adaptability, determination, and a willingness to learn. His experiences offer invaluable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of humility, strategic alignment, and a commitment to solving real-world problems.
As Alon continues to make an impact in the tech world, his story serves as a source of inspiration for the next generation of innovators.
Listen in to the full podcast episode to find out more, including:
- Confidence and early exposure can ignite a lifelong passion for technology and entrepreneurship.
- Adapting to unexpected turns can lead to newfound opportunities and expertise in niche areas like cybersecurity.
- Building alignment around a unified strategy is crucial for navigating the challenges of scaling a tech venture.
- Listening to customers and understanding their needs is paramount, even for seasoned entrepreneurs.
- Humility and a willingness to learn from every interaction are essential for long-term success in the tech industry.
- Opting for the right partner over the best deal can be a game-changer in building a successful venture.
- Sharing industry insights and experiences through books can be a powerful way to give back and inspire future generations of tech innovators.