Israel Vs. Silicon Valley: A Conversation with Gigi Levy Weiss

Gigi Levy Weiss is the type of angel investor only Israel could have produced: a star youth tennis player turned air force pilot who, before becoming a professional investor, worked as a key executive in several Israeli tech companies like Amdocs and online gaming company 888 Holdings.

But, after a ten thousand dollar investment in a friend’s company earned him a $550K check eleven months later, Gigi began investing regularly in Israeli companies.

Gigi is now considered by Israeli founders and VCs one of the most coveted early stage investors. His portfolio includes many of the biggest names in Israeli companies like SimilarWeb, MyHeritage and Meerkat, just to name a few.

More recently, Gigi co-founded the NFX guild, a Silicon Valley based accelerator that works with both early and later stage companies that have a marketplace or network effect.  His experience has given him a unique perspective on the differences and shared values between Silicon Valley and the Israeli start-up scene. I have never met Gigi in person, but we had a chance to catch up this week, and what follows is our unedited conversation.