Assaf Wand is the CEO and co-founder of insurtech startup Hippo which offers intuitive and proactive home insurance by taking a smarter, tech-driven approach. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel see it here that I recently covered. Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Alejandro : Alrighty. Hello, everyone, and welcome to the DealMakers show. So, without further ado, Assaf Wand, from Hippo, Welcome aboard. Assaf Wand : Thanks for having me, Alejandro. Alejandro : Originally, from Israel. So, how was life growing up in Israel, the startup nation? So, regulated industries are a perfect fit for Israelis.
Alejandro : Got it. I see that you have in terms of background, you did a little bit of law. Is that right? Assaf Wand : Yeah. Amongst the stuff that I did, I actually also have a law degree. Alejandro : I also have a law degree, so I understand what it means to be a recovering lawyer in one way or another.
At Tamir Fishman, but then right after that, you went into Intel Capital to become an investment associate. Was that before you started as a founder, or after? Assaf Wand : This is like a lengthy kind of thing, which is always make . I started working as a trader, basically, in an Israeli investment bank.
I started working as a trader, trading at night U. I was a captain in the Air Force, so when I started my undergrad, I was Basically, think of it as an e-trade full-employee stock option enabling employees to trade their stock options just like you trade your stocks. Up until then, it was a very manual process. You had to go to the CFO. This is the Stripe price. This is a vesting period and all that. Then you need to call the investment bank.
Fax something. It was very manual and really, really painful. So, we left the bank. We started this company. Alejandro : What was the name? Assaf Wand : A very creative name. It used to be called , which used to stand for Wand .
It was like a service company. It was a service business that we offered this service to different public companies. It was a really interesting time. We set up the company. The company was doing really, really well, and then the market collapsed.
So, I started thinking of what we could do with that. So, basically, offering you insurance on your options that are going to be invested. At the end of the thing, we were acquired by one of the U. Then I went into Intel Capital. Alejandro : Okay. Really cool. How big was the company when you did the acquisition? Assaf Wand : Oh, timing. We were like four founders and then six more people.
So, was it like a big shock to go to the other side of the table? It was like within a very, very short time span there were like four acquisitions that negated our position. What I mean is that I think  was bought by J. Morgan or by Chase, and then Chase was bought by J. Morgan, who basically started this whole consolidation going when you think about it like that. Alejandro : Yeah. I understand. During your time in Intel, did you make any investments that were interesting?
Did you identify certain patterns from founders that help you identify what a successful founder looks like? Assaf Wand : Yeah, I wish I could take credit for something like that. A I was a junior member of the team. Because of that, you have several ways to actually go, and my belief in growing in the venture capital as a junior person was to find all of the non-successful industries that nobody wants to take and drill into them. This is actually more the funds analysis was that there are several instigators for you to change a computer.
One of them was batteries. At that point of time, it was just about the transition between desktop to laptops. Centrino was the chip that Intel came up with. The biggest pain in laptops was that the battery would last for an hour and a half. So, we were looking, and I was looking, because nobody wants to take that position, into different battery technologies.
Assaf Wand : That was one thing, and the second instigator where they were looking which was actually a lot closer to was video games. So, this was two significant instigators.
There was also a new operating system every time Windows came up with a new thing, you kind of need to replace your computer.
Alejandro : Then why did you make the switch to McKinsey? Assaf Wand : The switch to McKinsey was slightly different. At that point of time, I was around 29 years old; basically, was heads-down, from the military, working like crazy throughout Intel Capital. I wanted a break. I wanted to diversify myself. I wanted to broaden my horizons, and I decided I wanted to go to business school.
I was fortunate enough to go to the University of Chicago. Then decided after that where I wanted to work, and I went to McKinsey. I have an amazing network. Consultants are about consulting and basically handing over the solution to someone else. I took the McKinsey job. I usually say it from all of the other reasons. I wanted to live in New York. I needed someone to take care of the Visa.
I wanted a company which is strong in international, and I can potentially go back to Israel. I can take an assignment in Israel and maybe find a woman. Why is that the case? Assaf Wand : I think the company is amazing as reported. The company is very supportive of the people that left the company as well. Then there is another component which is I think is very much . Think about a McKinsey study. You take a random person. It basically gives you the confidence that smart people can learn any new industry in a very fast way and be competent.
The second thing, it demystified for you how the companies are working. Everything is done in a very professional way. This is like this. Alejandro : And they did launch again as an entrepreneur, so what was this next experience like? Assaf Wand : Next experience, I went back to Israel, and co-started two companies. So, one company that we started built the largest multi-tenant tower business in India.