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CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast

On our #CIBCInnovationEconomy podcast series, hear from leaders, entrepreneurs, experts and venture capitalists about the changing dynamics of the North American innovation economy

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Passionate Problem Solving with Insight Partners Managing Director Deven Parekh

Photo-Deven Parekh
Deven Parekh

Episode Summary

As every startup entrepreneur and enterprise CEO knows, the growth stage is all about scaling up the company, which typically requires a cash infusion. That's where investment gurus like Deven Parekh come in. As a Managing Director at Insight Partners who has been with the firm for more than 22 years, Deven has some insightful advice to share for entrepreneurs hoping to secure funding to fuel their business. Over the course of his career, the companies he’s invested in have all had major payouts—Buddy Media was acquired by Salesforce, Football Fanatics was bought by GSI Commerce, and eventually eBay, and Media Mind was sold to DG Fast Channel after the IPO. During this episode, the global investor shares the top qualities he and his team are looking for in software companies worldwide.

Episode Notes

On the lookout for large markets
Deven shared a few of the main characteristics he and his team are looking for when it comes to finding businesses to invest in. First, he said they’re most interested in targeting large markets to maximize growth opportunities. In addition, they look for businesses with a technology product that’s not easy to replicate so they can keep competition at bay, and an exponential increase in momentum in terms of buyer interest. And last but not least, Deven noted they typically look for solid teams with great management leaders who truly feel passionate about the problem they’re helping to solve. 

In-person interactions minimize risk
As the pandemic continues to subside over time, more of its long-term impacts on the business world will be revealed. Deven commented that for investors, arranging in-person meetings followed by dinner or drinks isn’t just a nicety—it can actually help to minimize risks by building trust on a personal level. Although many companies will continue to use tools like Zoom and a hybrid working environment for the sake of convenience, meeting in person will continue to play an important role in creating a foundation of trust and collaboration among teams.

Invest in your passions
Deven’s overall advice to entrepreneurs was to choose a problem that you’re passionate about solving and make it the main focus of your business. While it can be tempting to dive into hot new trends in the market, he recommends following your passion instead because you’ll be more likely to actually find a solution to the problem you’re trying to solve. Deven commented that people tend to complicate the road to success, but it’s really quite simple: identify a pain point, work on solving it, and convince customers to buy your product.

CIBC Innovation Banking delivers strategic advice, cash management and funding to innovation companies across North America, the UK, and select European countries at each stage of their business cycle, from start up to IPO and beyond. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

Show Contributors: 

Deven Parekh

Insight Partners

Michael Hainsworth


CIBC Innovation Banking