Oct. 29, 2019

Another Step Forward: Welcoming Roger Hale, YL Ventures’​ New CISO-in-Residence

By John Brennan

We're thrilled to welcome Roger Hale (former CISO, Informatica) to YL Ventures as our new full-time CISO-in-Residence, as we seek to take our value-add platform for Israeli cybersecurity entrepreneurs to the next level!

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One of the benefits of our mission here at YL Ventures is the simplicity of our investment strategy: identify and invest meaningfully in a small number of the very best Israeli cybersecurity entrepreneurs each year.  This narrow focus has helped us, over time, build a foundation of processes and expertise to not only partner with the best cybersecurity talent in Israel, but also to operationally support each of our teams in a way that most investors cannot.  In a market as complex and dynamic as cybersecurity, we believe that this focus significantly increases our ability to make great decisions and impact company success.

Over the past several years, we’ve iteratively honed the details of this strategy, generally focusing on how we can optimize our value-add playbook for helping our startups scale from small teams in Israel to large companies with outposts in the U.S. and beyond.  My Partner, Ofer Schreiber, has written in the past about our value-add approach to investing, noting that our efforts are designed not only to benefit our active portfolio, but also to support founders pre-investment by aiding them in their ideation and exploration efforts.  Drawing on a global network of cybersecurity experts, backboned by our Venture Advisory Board of over 70 security experts, our core team of 12 is able to collectively provide input to founders at all stages as they seek to transform their visions into reality.

This approach to investing affords us the luxury of continuously and relentlessly improving on various aspects of our business, as our singular focus generates a tight feedback loop, which we are obsessive about transforming into action.  It is that drive to improve that has led us here, where I’m very excited to announce the next evolution of YLV value-add with the appointment of YL Ventures’ new CISO-in-Residence, Roger Hale, who comes to us from Informatica, where he served as Chief Information Security Officer.

As we recently combed through our current playbook in search of functions that could be improved, we identified several opportunities to augment our support when it comes to certain nuanced activities like optimizing the finer points of early-stage procurement processes or drilling in on killer use cases for problems that we’ve identified.  By diving in on these areas (as well as on many others), Roger will help YLV continue to differentiate itself in a crowded environment.

In adding Roger to the team, we are excited to strengthen some of our existing initiatives, while also finding new ways to bring value to our portfolio and the Israeli ecosystem.  Roger, whom I’ve gotten to know quite well over the past several years as a YLV Advisor, will bring a customer-centric point of view that is exceptional in its understanding of the challenges that CISOs confront on a daily basis.  Roger will help our companies navigate the obstacle-laden path to MVP and early customer adoption, while working with pre-seed founders as they seek to match their substantial skills and expertise with pressing large problems that customers face today. He will also be instrumental in identifying greenfield opportunities for early stage teams to pursue, leveraging his unique perspective and depth of understanding of today’s security challenges.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Roger for quite some time now, as his input has been incredibly valuable to YLV, our portfolio companies and the many prospective entrepreneurs that he has met over the years.  Roger’s passion for cybersecurity has permeated nearly all of our conversations, and we are thrilled to have someone of his considerable talents on board full-time. Needless to say, we are going to learn a lot from him.

I’m beyond excited to see what the future brings here at YLV, as Roger’s addition may be the latest great step forward for our firm, but it won’t be the last.  Not only does Roger bring a differentiated level of expertise, but his attitude and character fit in seamlessly with our multi-national team of low-ego, high-integrity, hard-working investors.

Roger – welcome aboard; I can’t wait to get started!