Top 50 Emerging Leaders 2021 continued (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Merav Rotem-Naaman, managing director and general manager of Israel and Europe, Verizon Ventures
Merav Rotem-Naaman is a managing director and general manager who leads the investment activities in Israel and Europe for Verizon Ventures, US-listed telecommunications group Verizon’s corporate venture capital (CVC) arm. She has worked in the technology industry for over two decades, where she has served in both transactional and strategy roles.
Christopher Bartlett, senior vice-president of corporate development at Verizon and head of Verizon Ventures, said of Rotem-Naaman: “Merav began her career in CVC investing in January 2014 as the head of AOL [an internet services firm now part of Verizon]’s venture investment arm in Israel.
“In that role, Merav ran AOL’s Nautilus incubator and made investments in seed-stage startups. In 2016, Merav was named to form Verizon Ventures office in Israel. As the managing director of Israel, Merav was responsible for building the presence, brand and team for Verizon Ventures in Israel as well as positioning Verizon Ventures as the leading trusted global corporate VC. In 2020, Merav added Europe to her general manager role.
“Since establishing the Verizon Ventures Israel team, Merav has led approximately 10 investments in support of Verizon business, network and 5G mobile edge compute, including her 2020 investments in [internet-of-things technology provider] Wiliot and [network automation technology provider] Cellwize.”
At Nautilus, Rotem-Naaman mentored and collaborated with entrepreneurs, having invested in 11 Israel-based early-stage companies in the programme. One of the startups, music production services marketplace SoundBetter was acquired by music streaming platform Spotify for an undisclosed amount in September 2019.
As managing director of Verizon Ventures Israel, Rotem-Naaman works alongside closely with fellow managing director Tammy Mahn and investment manager Gidon Azaryev to identify and back early and late-stage companies. The Israel-based portfolio companies include machine learning software developer Iguazio, public transport optimiser Optibus and mobility insurance provider Voom (formerly known as SkyWatch).