Home Venture Capital Tom Livne stepping down as Verbit CEO, will serve as Chairman, focus...

Tom Livne stepping down as Verbit CEO, will serve as Chairman, focus on VC

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Tom Livne, who co-founded transcription unicorn Verbit and has served as its CEO since its inception, is expected to retire from the position of CEO by the end of the year and be appointed chairman of the company. At the same time, Livne will join Yaniv Jacobi’s Oryzn Capital venture capital fund, after being a limited partner in its second and third funds. Jacobi was the first investor in Verbit.

Livne, who is also currently working on several new technology initiatives, co-founded Verbit in 2017 with Eric Shellef and Kobi Ben Tzvi, who both left the company long ago.

Verbit, which has developed an AI-powered real-time transcription and captioning platform, looked to be on top of the world in August 2021 when it raised $250 million in a Series E at a valuation of $2 billion, with $100 million going to early investors and employees in secondary deals.

In all, Verbit managed to raise about $600 million, of which $250 million were in secondary transactions – an amount that went into the pockets of early investors, entrepreneurs, and employees. Livne himself became richer by tens of millions of dollars and, while continuing his role as CEO, also began to invest. He invested in funds that financed him at the beginning of his career, including Viola and Oryzen, among others. Later on, he also invested in companies such as Wix, JFrog, Walkme, Kaltura, Hippo, Similarweb, ironSource, and Datadog.

One of the challenges burdening Verbit is its recent acquisition spree, with some of the acquired companies struggling to integrate and enhance the company. Additionally, the advancement of various artificial intelligence technologies has impacted revenue, as some clients have opted for cheaper alternatives, even at the cost of accuracy.

“Once an entrepreneur meets with significant capital, it is a heavy responsibility that requires careful attention and management,” said Livne. “Over the past two years, I have been able to double my liquid capital along with extensive philanthropic work. I founded the Livne Foundation together with a body called the Keshet Donor-Advised Fund headed by Maya Natan, with this fund also including some of the top Israeli high-tech professionals like Alan Feld and more. In my will, I have already defined that I expect to give a significant portion of my capital to charity in secret, as written in the Torah and as the best entrepreneurs in the world such as Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates do. I am proud to donate millions of shekels to organizations such as Reichman University (of which I am also a graduate and in the General Assembly) and the Orphans’ Fund, which I founded after the war began and had the privilege of being the first donor.”

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