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Yoav was hell-bent against working with another VC after challenging experiences in previous ventures.

Yoav and Shmil reminisce about the formation of their partnership….

Shmil Levy
Sequoia

At our first meeting, Yoav said, “I want to be honest, I don’t like VCs.” He had already received an offer to sell the company and believed that was preferable to partnering with another VC. From the beginning, we were extremely impressed with his leadership capabilities and vision for the company and thought Kenshoo had massive potential. After several meetings with the Sequoia team, we managed to convince him that the company could go much further and that partnering with us would be unlike his previous experiences.

Yoav Izhar-Prato, Co-founder & CEO
Kenshoo

I had worked with VCs on previous start-ups and generally felt they were disruptive to the process of establishing a company. Meeting Sequoia opened my eyes to a different kind of VC relationship. Shmil and I both served in the same military unit and I felt I could be upfront with him. Since then, we’ve established a very honest and direct partnership.

Yoav Izhar-Prato

From the beginning, Shmil gave me the impression, “it doesn’t matter how good we are today. We need to prove ourselves every day.” They treat you as if you might be the next Steve Jobs. It’s so humbling, even intimidating but I really appreciate the way they assess people, ideas and markets. It’s a very humane and open conversation.

Shmil Levy

Partnering with Yoav and helping him build his company has always been a team-wide effort. It goes beyond just ‘working with Shmil’. We’re always exploring new ways to support his business in multiple arenas; from hiring, business development through financing and more, he has the entire Sequoia team behind him.

Yoav Izhar-Prato

They give advice but at the end of the day it’s your decision and they stand behind you, which for a CEO is extremely important. Their brand is amazing and highly regarded. Whether it’s about recruiting people or going into a sales pitch, they are really well respected.

Shmil Levy

I always advise entrepreneurs do thorough research on prospective investors. Not all VCs are created equal.

Yoav Izhar-Prato

These days, my first advice to any entrepreneur is get a good, strong partner like Sequoia. I am sure there are others, but I have never experienced anything like this.

Kenshoo revolutionized online advertising by changing it from a service-based industry into a powerful product-based technology. As the market leader, the company continues to create value and is in no rush to exit.

Kenshoo
A digital marketing software company that engineers technology solutions for search marketing, social media and internet advertising.
Milestones
  • Founded 2006
  • Partnered 2007
Founders
  • Yoav Izhar-Prato
  • Alon Sheafer
  • Nir Cohen
Partner