Since the dawn of the internet age, the world of investments has changed dramatically. Gone are the days where banks were an essential participant in the process, and investors were limited to the traditional stock market.

Today’s access to information has made the market much more transparent and accessible. This has opened up the potential for investors to be multi-faceted and gives them the freedom to explore many avenues of deploying capital. Rami Karabibar is an excellent example of someone who is forging his own unique path in the industry while utilizing his full range of skills.

Example of Modern Investment: Rami Karabibar

As a young graduate with a background in computer engineering, Rami was picked up as an associate consultant by Bain and Company – a leading management consulting firm. Thanks to the knowledge that he gained there, the tech market door stood wide open for him: Rami was hired by one of the largest and most prestigious global private equity firms – Warburg Pincus – where he contributed to closing a $100M+ investment in the cybersecurity firm eSentire Inc. The next stop on his career path was Waymo, formerly Google’s Self-Driving Car Project. Holding a key position there, Rami was tasked with scouting out companies for Waymo to acquire. One of the most notable was his work integrating the senior engineering team from the former robotics company Anki (a startup that raised $200m+ in investments cumulatively) to their autonomous trucking department.

Rami Karabibar Rami Karabibar Photo: Rami Karabibar

Rami’s scope of skills and experience reach much further than that. Beyond investing, he has spent a considerable amount of his career fundraising or being involved in the sale of companies. For example, at Warburg, he was a key player in the sale of A Place for Mom, which was one of the top-performing investments in Warburg’s technology sector over the past decade. At Waymo, he led key aspects of the first external fundraise of over $3B – the second largest round of financing for a private tech company in U.S. history.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only uncovered American market vulnerabilities, but also spurred innovation by pushing founders and investors to address unexpected problems and adapt to completely new circumstances. For investors, this means reconsidering investments with companies that may not have been on their radar a year and a half ago. It also means looking for new companies, to support a diverse pool of founders whose novel technologies are likely to help the country recover and blossom economically after the pandemic. For founders, like Rami Karabibar, this means directing vision and efforts toward real-life problems and issues that have emerged from our recent global challenges. COVID-19 has pushed many companies to develop technologically advanced and creative solutions to problems related to the pandemic, but it also accelerated the investment surge in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

During the first two decades of the internet’s presence, we have seen many incredible startups find success through the many facets of innovation of online shopping. These companies have re-invented the wheel and, as a result, the customer’s experience of accessing, purchasing and receiving goods has transformed to meet the digital era. During the COVID-19 pandemic this was essential, as most of the world’s population was mandated to stay at home, essentially eliminating the option for brick-and-mortar purchases. Unsurprisingly, these startups have been incredibly prosperous for investors that were quick to act.

However, when we look to the future of tech innovation, there is a new market on the horizon that is catching the eye of many investment management experts, like Karabibar. The focus is shifting away from goods to services, with the online market generating new and creative solutions to modern-day problems. The first stage of this market development happened back in the '90s, when very basic platforms like Craigslist stepped into the scene. By the 2010s mobile device usage had become so widespread that accomplishing a task at the click of a button was customary. This allowed for the emergence of simple online service providers, such as Uber, whose success was measured on a simple scale of whether the service was provided or not. Online service platforms have since evolved greatly, with the addition of game-changing features like customer reviews, search filters and structured information. Fully stacked or managed marketplaces take on the responsibility of creating trust between the provider and the customer.

As technology is emerging to meet the needs of these more complex services, we are on the brink of a revolution. Startup companies are also beginning to tackle the regulated service industry, which is guaranteed to change the landscape of tech investments. Regulated industries are complicated, as licensing does create standardization but it also severely limits supply. With technological innovation continuing to develop, there is great potential to expand the licensed supply pool – moving beyond the limitations of geographical location and utilizing improvements of real-time video, richer telepresence technologies, and superior visualization technologies. Add to that the immense potential of AI and automation, and the future of service-directed tech startups is incredibly exciting.

Rami Karabibar is confident that this new market will be both highly profitable and highly impactful, as he himself is involved with the startup company EvenUp whose mission is to help injury victims and their attorneys achieve better outcomes in their cases by using machine-learning and automation. Although nothing is for certain in this world, it is indisputable that the online service market is full of rich potential and that it should be on the radar of any investor or investment manager looking to get ahead of the game.