On this week’s episode I interview Tomer Biger (Co-Founder & CEO of Noble) about his company and the embedded finance space they operate in + we cover the following topics:

  • Startup Tip of the Week: The power of partnerships and how to choose the right/best partners
  • Surprise January jobs data and what it means for the US economy
  • The FED’s latest actions
  • US China relations
  • Q1 corporate tech earnings


Transcript (this is an automated transcript):

MPD: Welcome everybody. I'm Mark Peter Davis, managing partner of Interplay. I'm on a mission to help entrepreneurs advance society, and as you've probably heard before, this podcast is part of that effort. Today we've got a normal partner meeting rundown with a little changes. Brett had a family situation, so he's out today.

There'll be no blockchain update and Mike is actually hell skiing with his team right now. So we are in Jackson Hole for a team off. I'm the old man who doesn't ski anymore, and so the rest of them are causing trouble. And I'm here recording. Before we jump in though, today, I wanted to also riff on a little bit of a topic every now and then.

If you've been listening to this for a while, you'll hear that I'm a pretty big history nerd. I was just finishing out Dan Carlin's latest hardcore history episode, which is covering the evolution of the Viking era. Fascinating. If you're into that highly re. But there's a documentary out that I think is, may maybe more broadly consumable that I think is pretty interesting context.

Now, before I jump into it, I'm gonna disclaim any documentary. You're getting a one-sided show and there's other color that you're not seeing in context. So take it with a grain of salt. But HBO has a documentary out called Novelly, and I'm sure I'm mispronouncing his last name. And it's about Alex Novelly.

If you haven't heard of, He is basically the opposition leader to Putin in Russia. The documentary is really wonderful in that it is a present firsthand account of his journey from running against Putin to actually being poisoned them, confirming that he was poisoned by the government. Russia with the intent to kill him, him surviving and then him deciding to return to the government and the psychology he's going through and all of that.

It's all real time. What I think is super powerful about it is in some ways, if the documentary is true to form, and there are other criticisms, I'm sure of him out there. I've already talked to some other buddies that I know from the region. He plays like a Nelson Mandela of. And is currently in jail in a pretty ugly place.

So it's an interesting story. He's in our headlines every now and then, but I think most Americans and probably other people listening to this, get little snippets about who this man is, but they don't really have a sense of the man and the character and the narrative. I thought this documentary does an incredible job.

It's about an hour and a half, it's movie format, which is not a given these days. With TV being and I think it's short to the point and entertaining. So highly worth the watch. Again, H B o novelty. And with that, let's jump into the partner meeting

Chris Zhang: Fong Ireland. 

MPD: What do you have for us today? 

Phuong Ireland: Hey, mark. Yeah, so today I'm gonna be talking about partnerships, which I think is a really powerful marketing tool and one that a lot of startups aren't using enough. If you choose the right brand to work with and you set up the relationship in the right way, partnerships can be a really cheap, fast way to build growth.

And there's a few ways in how they do that. So one is that they build trust. So if you're a relatively unknown startup and you're partnering with a bigger, more established brand, It can immediately give you credibility. So you know, for example, let's say you get lucky and you're able to create a partnership with Zoom.

Oh zoom is partnering with this brand I've never heard before. They're obviously vetted and trustworthy because Zoom is a reputable brand. Number two is they build relevance so it can plug you into a conversation or a cultural moment or a customer journey that you don't currently have access to.

Partnerships can let you share with your customers the social issues and the topics that you care about in a way that you can't do on your own. For example, when I worked with an apparel brand that was all about Bo body positivity, we partnered with the National Eating Disorders Association on a bunch of activities that strengthened our position on body positivity, and it showed a different dimension to our brand.

It also allowed us to financially support a cause that we cared a lot about. And then third, partnerships give you access to new audiences. So working with another brand introduces your brand to their audience and allows you to build that top of funnel that hopefully you can turn into convergence. So now that we've talked about how P powerful partnerships can be, let's talk a little bit about how you choose a good partner.

So number one, find complimentary brands. So complimentary brands have a similar audience but is not a competitive business. So if your business targets a Gen Z customer, Working with a brand that speaks to an older customer probably doesn't make a lot of sense, and your brands don't have to have the same equities, but they do need to share the same core values and ethics.

So going back to the example I used earlier as a brand that messaged about body positivity, we would just never partner with a weight loss brand or a brand that had a very narrow definition of beauty. Number two. As a startup, it's helpful to pick brands that are more well known and have a bigger audience.

So if you're relatively new and you have 5,000 Instagram followers, partnering with a brand that only has 2000 followers, probably not a great use of resources. If you are really concerned about growing your following. And number three, find partners that you enjoy working with and be a good partner.

You wanna build relationships for the long term, and this is essential to doing. Now once you find a partner, what are different ways you can partner with them? So there's a lot here and I'll probably come back in the later episode to dive more deeply into it. But here's some ideas I can get you started.

Number one is social media collaborations. So Instagram takeovers, joint reels, or joint Instagram live. I actually find that contests and giveaways can be really effective. When I ran a fashion brand, we once increased our Instagram following by 50. By doing a giveaway with four other more well-known brands in the beauty and food space.

We got access to four additional audiences just by giving away, a one single item of clothing. Number two, cross promotions. So for example, if you're a software company, bundling your product with a trial subscription to a partner brand can build awareness and trial for both brands.

And then number three, events in-person. Events can bring your brands to life in a way that can be shared in both brands, marketing channels, and it's just a great way to showcase your partnership. So that's all I have for today. Hopefully I was able to convince you of the huge opportunity that partnerships can create and that I sparked some ideas I can get.

You started. 

MPD: Fong very thorough and awesome as always. I just wanna double click on one thing you said that I just think needs to be echoed. Being a good partner, just building the relationships and being honest and following through and doing the things you say that's big. The people you're gonna interact with at those companies will go to similar companies typically, and can open up more doors.

And one thing that I think most people don't understand when they're early in their business careers is that everyone keeps moving through the next 30 years of their careers and the relationships you have. Very good advice across the board. I also wanna toss out, I think a good topic in the future would be how to secure these.

Cause it's really hard for some small companies to pull this off. Yeah, I agree with that and this was a very good one. Thank you. Thanks Mark. 

Phuong Ireland: See you guys next week. 

MPD: Hey, Chris, before we start, I know you're a big tennis fan, in my opinion, you're not a very good. Separate issue. Bar you. Yeah. That's a low bar.

But what do you think about the Djokovic situation? He took down your boy 

Chris Zhang: Rafa, right? For the record, he did not take down my boy Rafa. He equaled the Grand Slam titles. The raffle has, he just won the op. He open while injured kudos to him. But, Let's see. I think Raphael will come back in top and once at the French in, in, in a couple of months.

We'll see. And for the record for everyone, I'm a u s t a four and a half, so I'm pretty good. , 

MPD: what, four and a half? What's that it's like junior, it's junior varsity in high school, right? Isn't that what you Nah, 

Chris Zhang: It's okay. It's it's a little above our, above average, let's say.

But, mark, what? Are you negative too? 

MPD: Yeah. You're just, now you're just. No. If you don't, if you can allow an underhand serve, I'm probably at least a three. An underhand serve, required underhand, serve, required , 

Chris Zhang: pickleball serve. 

MPD: Yeah, no, pickleball has been my go-to sport. Little easier on the news, and I figure most people playing it are 75, so I have a lot, I have 30 years to get.

And like age into it. So by the time I kind of age appropriate, I'll be really good. That's my thinking. Anyway. Yeah. All right. Tell me about the market. What have we 

Chris Zhang: got? Sure. This week is straightforward. Three major thing happened here that everyone should know about the Fed earnings and jobs.

So let's start with the Fed. We had yet another F O M C meeting this. Or the Fed decides what to do with interest rates. The short of it is there's no surprises here. 25 basis point hike, bringing us to 4.5 to 4.75% range. The, this is the smallest hike since the hiking path started almost a year ago.

But coming into this, market, it was a hundred percent priced in. So in itself that this wasn't really market. All the attention was given to the statements that followed by the Fed officials. And there are plenty to digest here for both the doves and what we call doves and hawks.

So doves are people who believe in an easing of interest rate. Policies and hawks are the opposite, which is we're tight more tightening of the policy. So on the dove side, The key sentence here to watch and everyone's talked about this, is Chairman Powell came out and said, and I quote, that Disinflationary process has started specifically, he also mentioned that the easing of the inflationary pressure from goods as opposed to services, we talked about this last week and housing.

He also highlighted that the missing the only missing ingredient here is disinflation in core services, excluded housing. And this is further, further evidence by the ISM data that came out just now, and it's incredibly strong. So we're still not there yet, is basically saying, and on the haw side, he basically said the Fed needs, and I quote, substantially more evidence to be confident that inflation is on a sustained downward path and could still deliver a couple more heights.

Yeah, that's, so that's what happened. And basically there plan to digest from both sides and Mark took it positively at the end when all said and done and rally a little bit on, on the back of that. 

MPD: So what are we expecting the Fed to do going forward?

Clearly he's sending very carefully mixed messages. I think those words are probably very script. Yep. What do we think's gonna happen now? Are we at the end of this or what's 

Chris Zhang: the deal? Look, the, I think I mentioned this last week too we're the attention on that in policies will still be there always but the focus will be on it less and less going forward.

What specifically, what if you look at the short term interest rate market? Short term? Short term interest rate futures, specifically if f found futures Market's expectation on Fed decision is still all over the place in my opinion. So market is pricing in currently a peak interest rate of 5%, which means we're only 50 basis point away, but market is still pricing in 25 basis point cut in December of 2023.

So this year and the Fed has come out and said even during the statements that was released this week, that is not gonna. And more importantly, the by next summer the market is pricing in at a hundred basis point cut by let's say May, 2024. The question here that we wanna ask is that too aggressive?

Is that too. Accommodative, is that too rosy of what you know, of the expectation and if your conclusion is Yeah. A hundred basis point, cut. No, no. There's no supporting evidence that'll happen. Labor markets serve at restaurant, so we as we'll talk about in bid and likely there's a be a soft landing then you really have to question why.

We need a hundred basis upon cut, why can't interest rates stay on course and elevate it for longer than that? And. So if your conclusion is no, we won't get there, then there will be some adjustment downward in risky assets for sure. All right. More to watch what else is going on? Second thing I wanna talk about if you don't mind more questions earnings, which is, it's been a big hit it, big topic this week.

Yeah. Launch this short, again, big week for tech com tech companies. And the results are at ba a really a big mix back. So Apple posted a 5% revenue drop, and QU did an underwhelming sales across basically all of its flagship products and iPhone max and wearables. Amazon showed the least profitable holiday quarter since 2014, and the largest annual loss on a record.

More importantly, what has been Amazon's only bright spot in earnings in recent years. The, AW, AWS and cloud computing business is also guiding lower expectation for Q1 this year. So that wasn't good for sentiment And alphabet also miss expectation for both top line and bottom line. Citing faculty, a slowdown in advertising spent across YouTube and Google search.

Again, it's core business. So that's on downside, on upside meta, which is probably the only outlier here. Basically b Annas earnings and its expectations across the board and simultaneously also announced a, I'm sure it was a planned a shared buyback program, effectively passing all the cost savings from the internal cuts and expense.

Restructuring straight to shareholders. So that's music to any investor's years and no surprises there. Stock actually rallied 20% this week on the back of that. So yeah, that's it. It's a lot. A lot has happened. Things are still trickling in, so we're now at the end of the earning seasons.

Yeah. But the big names have come out and generally guiding towards a weaker economy this year. And weaker expectations and earning. With a few surprises on the outside, 

MPD: but this is what you told you, you keep saying this is like the second phase of the contraction of the market that the fed's initiating, right?

There's no surprise in this. Yeah. And I assume it's bleeding beyond tech. So you've got these earnings popping all over the place, but the market's up. Yeah. So how do we reconcile the two? Is it, to me it's are people just happy to see that we're in the second phase and they know what this means?

Or is there something else happening that's driving the market back 

Chris Zhang: up? Yeah, no, fair question. The fact of the matter is s and p is up 9% your day. There's no denying that. But if you, as usual, if you looked a little deeper and look at the sectors of s and p and you'll see something very clear.

So last year people said, oh, we've been in a bubble for a long time, so it's spelled time for me. Rev. And sure enough many segments including tech were hit majorly last week or last year. But what we've seen year today so far is what I would consider a mean ver reversion to yet last year's mean reversion.

Okay. And for instance if you look at, if that makes any sense, It does, but if you look at the segments of s and p that were hit hardest last year, we're talking about consumer discretionary that were down 38% last year. Communication services that are down 41% last year, real estate down 29%, infotech down 29%.

These just happened to be the segments that led the rally year to. So consumer discretionary up 15% communication services up 14% real estate, 9% infotech 9%. And this is how it always happens, right? Market tends to overshoot in both upside and downside. So the way I'm looking at this shows to me that at Ellie, that this is a me reversion to last year's major selloff in these sectors.

And so flip size sectors that actually performed Okay. Last year. Yeah. Was last year's 

MPD: selloff too extreme or, and this is the correction, or how do we interpret that? 

Chris Zhang: Yeah, look, mark is never moving in straight lines, right? So you can argue that last year's selloff wasn't extreme enough on a, 10 year, 20 year basis.

But in the fact of the matter is one year s and p down 20%, all these sectors down 40, 50%, that's a lot of volatility. There's downside in one year. So there it's almost it's due for a correction to the upside when you know your four multiples, your PE earning point P multiples are, have adjusted below five year writing average.

It's normal for it to correct a little bit to the outside, but will this sell out? Continue? That's a different question. I personally believe I, per personally, I believe that we are we're likely to test the bottom again at some point. So this could still be just a relief rally.

And more importantly, reversion too, the mean reversion last year. Okay. And what's going on with 

MPD: jobs? Anything significant. 

Chris Zhang: So jobs , this is the most interesting thing. Non far, we just got the nu this was hot off hot off the press. From this morning we got the non-farm payroll data for January, and this came in as an absolute shocker to basically everybody.

In the month of January, the US economy added 517,000 jobs, which is three times the expect. By everybody on Wall Street. And subsequently the unemployment rate dropped to a 54 year low at 3.4%. On top of that, there were also upward rev revisions to both the November and December data. Okay?

So incredibly strong data. The one interesting thing here before I talk about, what I think about the implication of this is that the growth of average hourly earnings is actually calming down year to year on year. That was we're, so we're up 4.4%, which is about 20 baseline, lower than the number in December.

And so that, this is a little bit of a juxtaposition here, right? So you've got an, economist's added so many jobs, but wage growth is slowing down. So this could be a combination of maybe the jobs that are added are more on the lower paying side or just because employer, employers are still hoarding employees, hoarding jobs.

But are trying to control wage increase, right? Trying to not pay out this, these big bonuses end of the year on Wall Street and whatnot and just trying to wait out this soft landing that could transpire this year. So that's what happened. And an absolute shocker.

What, yeah, it's all in my mind. Exactly. People are so digesting this. So this will take a week for people to really dig in and find out what, what happened. But some implication on this from my mind so far is look the, we've seen all, we've all seen the news, the tech companies are firing, but it will take time to show up in data, right?

These, a lot of these sort of jock cots are being implemented over two to three, four months, a quarter. And and maybe also compensated by some hirings in in, in certain sectors that are finally coming out of the recover, coming outta the covid, like travel entertainment. Yeah. So there's some offsetting effect on that and, but there's no question that this data will give the fed more dry powder to stay on course and with the hikes and maintain at least maintaining higher interest rates going forward.

Got it. Very helpful. And to my mind, this is yet another sort of straw indication of a potential soft landing in the economy. Which 

MPD: I appreciate that's the macro perspective that's always so helpful is that hey this approach is working. There's a lot of problems with it.

And, but yeah, the soft landing concept is the dream. Hey I wanna do one more topic. The media has had a lot of saber rattling in the American media US China dynamic in the last couple weeks. Yeah. There's a balloon that was flying over doing surveillance in Montana. I don't know what the hell's in Montana that anyone cares about.

Nothing against Montana. It's great. But what's the strategic significance of a balloon there? I don't know. Yeah. Is there a military base? What are they looking at? The there's a We're expanding our military operation in the Philippines. And then I read yeah one of my newsletters that I get a signal excellent newsletter for folks who are interested in geopolitics.

And the underlying subtext is our news headlines are saying, Hey, we now for military base in the Philippines. But apparently that doesn't actually change our military capability cuz the first two mil military bases were so large we don't need the extra two. And so it sounds a lot. We've also got the general, who had the leaked paper leaked, who knows what's up?

Yeah. That, hey, we're gonna be in World War III or War with China in two years. Who knows? But there is a media narrative that's coming out in America that I think is prepping people for an escalated conflict. , and I don't know the level to which that's designed by design or just by a myriad of little anecdotal things that are reflecting in a conflict.

For those who Chris haven't, don't know too much about you yet. And Chris came over from China at 16. Obviously he, English is his second language, which is uncanny given his almost no accent. What is the narrative in. What are people hearing in China? Cause I know you listened to the media over there.

Yep. If we're getting light hey, things are going south, what are they hearing? 

Chris Zhang: Yeah, no, good question here. I do track both sides media. I don't like to be one side. I'd like to hear on the ground of what sort of everyone is really saying about this, I think since the opening of of the country after, in the aftermath of Covid in China the attention, at least in Chinese media has been more focused on the economy and everything else.

A lot of these sort of news headlines you've seen in the States there, to me, there they're not so much, escalation. It's more posturing, it's more deterrence. Then an escalation. And the Chinese media has been largely ignoring all these things. The Philippine news and of course it's balloon , which they are just claiming is a civilian aircraft is not, it's not a military operation.

Who knows? We'll 

MPD: find out in 20 or 30 years when 

Chris Zhang: the historians write about it. Exactly. I think the chi, China's trying to diffuse the conflict and focus on economy right now because they need it. And then, and if they're gonna do something about Taiwan, they need to first fix up their economy first.

And given the real estate sector is still in the slum right now but everything else is booming. Jobs coming back, shops are being open and people are, lives are almost a hundred percent back to normal pre covid. That's their focus right now. So I wouldn't read too much into what's happened in the past couple of weeks.

I will focus on the broader picture. Okay, so what, so once they fix it up the economy, that what you know is attention gonna be shipped back to Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan. And and I do think some preparation work done on that front, maybe underground in, in China. Not, I don't believe they want to and from China's side won't escalate any attention with the us but the US is feeling the pressure for sure, right?

With the economy is uncertain at best right now. But China is fast growing and fast recovering and taking over a lot of the resources and setting up operations globally. So it's, yeah, it's a, it's more about deter. Chris, 

MPD: insightful as always. Thank you buddy.


Chris Zhang: Talk to you later, mark. 

MPD: And a quick reminder for everybody listening, Chris is a s e c registered r a, so nothing he said should be construed as investment advice. 

Chris Zhang: All right, cool. 

MPD: That's the part I'm meeting for today. We're gonna switch gears a little bit. We've got a special guest on today, Tomer Bigger, who's the founder and CEO of No.

An Israeli based company that we're actually investors in and pretty psyched about. They are doing some really interesting stuff in and around the embedded finance space, and so he's gonna train us up a little bit about what he's doing in the industry. So hope you enjoy

Tomer. Thanks for being here, buddy. Appreciate you joining us. 

Chris Zhang: Great to see you, mark. 

MPD: All right, before we jump into what you're doing over at Noble, can you give us an overview? 

Chris Zhang: Sure. So 

Tomer Biger: basically the main thesis around embedded finances saying that today consumer or businesses, the main way for them to consume financial products is from the bank.

So the, the incumbents, the financial institutions that we all know. Embedded finance basically says that we as consumers gonna start consuming different financial services. Not necessarily from a bank can be either a software or a platform that we are using. Best example I always give is Shopify.

I'm an e-commerce seller on Shopify. I might also be using a working capital from Shopify cause they know me very well. They know how much I'm selling, they know what's my volumes, how much going, et cetera. So essentially it's being able to get different financials, products and offering at the spot and in the context.

Of different actions that I'm doing as either as a consumer 

Chris Zhang: or okay. 

MPD: And why is this such a big deal, right? When average person's out hearing, hey financial products are being integrated into kind of purchase flows. This doesn't sound that interesting. Can't I just use a credit card?

Why is this so 

Chris Zhang: significant? I 

Tomer Biger: think it's amazing from so many different ways. Maybe if I had to pick one of them is again, continuing the example of Shopify. If I'm gonna be an e-commerce seller, going for a loan from a bank they know how to do, auto loans, they can do maybe mortgages.

They gonna do the standard stuff. E-commerce, what is that? Who are you? Who are you selling to? How does that actually works? This usually financial institution don't know how to treat those type of businesses, new businesses that are informing as part of as part of the internet economy. And being able to shift the power and give other companies, tech companies, tech enabled companies or platform, the ability to offer those financial services to the customers that they already know and they're interacting with on a regular basis.

Actually gonna create a lot of opportunities and value for these consumer-owned businesses that gonna be able to access more financial services as opposed to what they had with the traditional financial industry. 

MPD: Yeah. When I look at it thinking, wow, this is expanding the long tail of financing options to almost anything you can buy now, which is seems insignificant.

When you look at it from that, the macro perspective and the impact on way people actually purchase, it's massive trend. Massive. Tell us about Noble. What are you guys doing? How do you play in that market? Definitely, 

Tomer Biger: so Noble, we, I like to think about us as the enablers. For the for basically the shift of lending products from the offline to the online.

So basically FinTech, I guess the main domain that was able to shift from the offline work to the online work was payments companies like Stripe, et cetera, that really helped either e-commerce seller SaaS businesses to being able to process payments online very easily. That was the first. But lending products are much more complex.

They have different set of infrastructure that they acquire, different set of regulations and novels, infrastructure to allow that to move those financial products, lending products from the offline world to the online world. And essentially supporting the embed embedded finance thesis around, again, enabling new companies, tech enabled companies to build those different lending product.

In much more efficient ways, scalable way that will eventually be the benefit of different, both consumer and businesses that are trying to consume those different lending 

MPD: products. What were embedded finance companies doing before you were around? How did they do, how do they underwrite any of the customers?

When we bumped into you, I couldn't believe this didn't. Wasn't already in place given the volume that's flowing through the market. Yeah. So 

Chris Zhang: first of all, in lending you have 

Tomer Biger: so many problems. You have, so many challenges starting with the different licenses that you need. Then where do you bring the capital that you need in order to empower those different lending offerings?

But also underwriting is the health of the problem. This is where we started to focus on how do we give companies a very easy and intuitive infrastructure that will allow them to build the credit underwriting infrastructure from scratch and in a very scalable way. And to your question, what companies have done up until this date is basically either this was a great barrier for them to being able to start offering those lending products and or if they wanted to pursue that way, they had to build everything in house.

And eventually it's a major challenge. So again, a company like Shopify that has the means to start building this stuff they can do it, but we actually wanna make sure that not just the Shopify Shopifys of the world will be able to do this, but every company that actually wanna create more meaningful relationship with their existing customer base by giving them add.

Financial products will be actually be able to do that in a very easy and efficient manner. 

Chris Zhang: How did you get 

MPD: here? I know you've been an entrepreneur for a while, but what is your story? How did you Lando with this company? 

Tomer Biger: Yeah, so actually me being as entrepreneur, I think it goes way back just in my first experience when I was, I think 17 or 18.

So I grew up in Israel. Like every good Jewish boy, I went to a Shiva in Jerusalem. And it was near the Western wall. And me being and the Yeshiva think one the other day I saw a poster. Somebody is looking a guy for his son's bar mitzvah to arrange all the food, basically to bring a table with the food and drinks to nail the western wall and basically help them to set everything up.

I took the challenge. I, it was easy money. I started with this instance and I actually saw that it's actually a problem, like a lot of families are trying to do bar mitzva in the western wall every day, and it's a real challenge to bring all the food with you from the parking lot and walk 20 minutes by food and bring it to the western wall.

So I thought to myself, Hey, this is a nice opportunity. I didn't think in those terms back then, but it was like, Hey, it's something here. Maybe I can actually expand what I've done. And and since this first instance one event became two events and two events became. Five events a week in the busiest weeks that I had.

And marketing. I have a lot of experience in marketing to synagogues, if you wanna ask me about that later. But eventually the business grew quite quite significantly in in five or six months. And this was my first experience and I think this has really caught me. Like I really built something with my own two hands and started something from zero to one.

So I think this is something as a, again, as a teenager, really, shaped my way later on in life. So after that army least in Israeli have a mandatory army service and then univers. Even when I started my career in the tech industry, I was always passionate about going into places where it was zero to one.

The part of the business that nobody wanted to touch, everybody says it's, I don't wanna deal with that and try to make something great out there. Essentially those experiences working in other companies led me eventually to also start Noble two years ago. Which is again my second experience doing 0 2 1 and I'm really 

Chris Zhang: having fun with it.

MPD: That is like the Israeli version of a lemonade stand story. Great. Small, almost kiddish business, but a. That's beautiful. Now you're obviously based out in Tel Aviv right now. That is correct. Yeah, I know that's the hub out there and for, I think most people know this, Israel, far and away is the most innovative entrepreneurial country per capita in the world, far more than the us, China, everywhere on a per capita basis.

What are the challenges of starting a company in Israel? It sounds like when you hear that line that it's a slam dunk, to be an entrepreneur out there. What are the issues people face? 

Chris Zhang: Yeah. It's a great 

Tomer Biger: question. I think the, the first the first thing is B bureaucracy, not just being, Building a startup, but even building a business still in Israel, it's sometimes can get very complicated.

How do you have to deal with the authorities or the banks and things like that. It's something which is quite complicated. The second one, as, especially in the tech industry. The ability to be able to start selling very quick especially to the us. This is the big, the biggest market.

This is where you are gonna find the biggest customers, and this is where you're gonna eventually, investors would like you to scale the business. Of course, time zones and and other cultural differences are sometimes could be barrier for Israeli entrepreneurs when they're trying to build their business.

But essentially, I also think that is an advantage, really forces you from day one. To go and meet the real customers and not to go to your friends and family, and the ones that will adopt your product in day one. So actually, at least for the last point, I actually look at this as an advantage.

MPD: Tomer you're clearly an entrepreneur, top to bottom. Thank you for being on. 

Tomer Biger: Thank you very much, mark. Have a great 

Chris Zhang: day.

MPD: All right everybody. Thanks for listening. That's the episode for today. Peace out from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.


Interplay Family Office LLC (“Interplay”) is registered as an investment adviser with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any level of skill or training. Information about the qualifications and business practices of Interplay is available on the SEC’s website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov._ Interplay only transacts business in states where it is properly registered or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements. Offering of asset management services through Interplay is pursuant to an investment advisory agreement.The views expressed in this <<insert advert type, i.e., podcast>> are subject to change based on market and other conditions. The <<insert advert type>> may contain certain statements that may be deemed forward looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Any projections, market outlooks, or estimates are based upon certain assumptions and should not be construed as indicative of actual events that will occur.Information communicated during the <<insert advert type>> does not involve the rendering of personalized investment advice but is limited to the dissemination of general market information. A professional adviser should be consulted before implementing any of the strategies or options presented. The <<insert advert type>> is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned herein. Neither Interplay nor its advisory persons render tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax and legal advisors for advice concerning your circumstances.