Art by Mike Sullivan
April 7, 2022 6:00 AM PDT

Somebody forgot to send Oren Zeev the memo about how Silicon Valley venture capitalists are supposed to act. The investor has fewer than 3,000 followers on Twitter, where he rarely opines on the kinds of trending topics that light up venture land. He conducts meetings with startup founders at a two-story coffee shop in Palo Alto, Calif., Cafe Venetia, rather than in posh offices on Sand Hill Road. His greatest narrative violation may be that he doesn’t invest in crypto.

“I don’t have strong domain expertise and I don’t have the motivation to develop it,” Zeev said. “So why would a crypto company want to take money from me?”

And yet, the 57-year-old Israeli-American has quietly become a player in venture capital, despite operating as a one-man shop and having a tendency toward bluntness in conversation. In 2021 alone, Zeev—whose limited partners include Peter Thiel and top university endowments—invested $683 million and backed 10 new startups across two new funds, Zeev told The Information, a pace that exceeds that of more established VC firms. Around 80% of that money went to doubling and tripling down on earlier startup investments, according to fund documents viewed by The Information. That’s an unusual approach for a solo investor.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Reality Check Venture Capital Entertainment
A16z’s Gaming Metaverse Play; Cognixion’s Assistive Reality Progress
Jeffrey Zirlin of Sky Mavis. Photo: Bloomberg.
As investment pulls back and tech stock sell-offs continue, leave it to Andreesen Horowitz to dangle a bit of hope for startups aiming to power through to the next boom. The Menlo Park firm announced Wednesday the creation of its first fund focused on the gaming industry, totalling $600 million. And though there’s a current of optimism for immersive tech behind this fund, I would bet that it...
Latest Briefs
 
Meta Merges News, Media Partnerships Teams Under Campbell Brown
Cisco Systems Forecasts Revenue Drop, Blames China Lockdowns
Ex-Apple AI Director Goodfellow Returns to Alphabet
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Apple's Tim Cook (clockwise from top left), Bob Iger, Al Gore and Mike Rockwell. Images by Bloomberg, Shutterstock. Art by Mike Sullivan.
Exclusive Facebook Apple
The Inside Story of Why Apple Bet Big on a Mixed-Reality Headset
In 2016, Apple’s board of directors gathered inside one of its buildings in Cupertino, Calif., for a glimpse into the company’s future.
Elizabeth Spaulding, CEO of Stitch Fix. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive E-commerce
How Stitch Fix Fumbled a Make-or-Break Pivot
Stitch Fix planned to revive sales growth by turning its original strategy on its head. Inside the company, there were warning signs that the effort would struggle.
Photo by Bloomberg. Art by Clark Miller.
The 1:1
‘I Don’t Know How Steve Jobs Would Survive Today in This Environment’: Tony Fadell Has Opinions to Share and Scores to Settle
Within Silicon Valley power circles, being “on the beach” is a euphemism that covers a continuum of unemployment, from “retired rich” to “brief pause between high-powered jobs.” Tony Fadell has been metaphorically on the beach for six years, ever since leaving Google, which paid $3.2 billion for Nest Labs, the maker of smart thermostats he co-founded, in 2016.
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo by Bloomberg.
These Enterprise Software Firms Are Top Targets for Private Equity Takeovers
Big deals are on the way. The sharp drop in tech stocks over the past six months, making companies cheaper to buy, is likely to trigger an increase in merger activity, bankers say.
Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg and Rupert Murdoch. Photos by AP; Bloomberg. Art by Mike Sullivan
Opinion Policy
Meta and Alphabet Should Get Used to Paying for News
If you’re concerned about dreadful trends in the journalism business, such as mass layoffs and private-equity takeovers, then you’ll probably like the scheme Australia devised last year to funnel funding from platforms to traditional media.
Data Point Entertainment
Netflix Cancellations Rise Among Long-Standing Subscribers
Netflix is losing its grip on long-standing subscribers. New data show that people who have been subscribers to Netflix for more than three years accounted for a significantly greater share of cancellations in the first quarter than they did two years earlier.