David Magerman

Managing Partner

David Magerman is a co-founder and Managing Partner at Differential Ventures. Previously, he spent the entirety of his career at Renaissance Technologies, widely recognized as the world’s most successful quantitative hedge fund management company. He helped found the equities trading group at Renaissance, joining the group in its earliest days, playing a lead role in designing and building the trading, simulation, and estimation software. After a decorated career in quantitative finance, he is using his data science, software development, and statistical modeling expertise to help  startups succeed in the global marketplace.

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Notable Investments

Knockri, Private AI, Human AI, Mona Labs

Questions & Answers

In a couple sentences, how would you describe your path to becoming an investor?

I started my career as a practicing data scientist with a PhD in CS (ML/NLP/AI). I spent 20 years as an engineer, scientist and senior manager at Renaissance Technologies, a quantitative hedge fund. I've spent the last 10 years as an LP and informal advisor to many VC funds. I co-founded Differential Ventures in 2018 to leverage my investing and engineering experience to identify good seed-stage investing opportunities related to the use of data science.

Investment Approach: What are the key factors you consider when evaluating a founding team?

We look for balanced teams with good technical experience, domain knowledge, and business savvy.

What's your style and approach when it comes to working with founders post-investment? What are the characteristics of founders you've worked well with?

We are very hands-on with founders post-investment, offering mentorship, guidance, help with decision-making. We make introductions in our network for hiring, sales, and follow-on investments. We work well with founders who know what they know and what they don't know and are eager to learn. We work best with teams that will pull knowledge and assistance from us when necessary.

If I'm coming to pitch to you or your firm, what's the one piece of advice you'd give me?

Be prepared to explain to us what is unique about what you are doing, what makes your team well-suited to execute your plan, and how you will deal with inevitable adversity.

How would you describe your own personal mission and values, and how do they impact the way you invest?

We want to invest in ethical and sustainable approaches to using data in data science applications. We take this approach not only because it is consistent with our values, but also because we believe inevitable regulation and market reactions will make those ethical and sustainable approaches most likely to give our investors the best return on investment.

What do you like best about investing in NYC, and what’s your outlook on the future of NYC tech?

NYC is a center for high-quality fintech and data science startups. We find the founders here practical, effective and grounded. We believe NYC will continue to be a mecca for founders looking to build and sell cutting edge products, to the investment community and beyond.