Tomer Tagrin is the co-founder and CEO of Yotpo, a customer content marketing platform that's recently achieved Unicorn status after its latest series of funding pushed its valuation north of $1 billion. Tagrin founded the company back in 2010 along with his university friend, Omri Cohen. Prior to that, he worked as a chip designer for Intel. Find out more with these ten things you didn't know about Tomer Tagrin.
1. He has a degree in Software Engineering
After leaving school, Tagrin spent two years serving compulsory national service in the Israeli Defense Force. As a member of the Artillery force, Tagrin commanded around 30 people and specialized in training up the next generation of commanders. After leaving the force, he returned to education at Tel Aviv University, graduating in 2011 with a BSc in Software Engineering.
2. He launched his first start-up in 2008
Yotpo may be the startup that's bought the most success to Tagrin's door, but he was already demonstrating his entrepreneurial flair back in 2008. That was the year he launched his first start-up, Ikick, a company built around importing the Chinese game "jianzi" to Israel. Ikick wrapped after a year, but it gave Tagrin the opportunity to experience what it was like to run a business from the ground up. He was responsible for the entire process, from negotiating with manufacturers to branding the product to distributing it to stores.
3. He worked as a chip developer
Ikick may have given Tagrin a taste for running his own business, but it took him a few years before he went back for another bite. After graduating from university, he left the risky business of starting a company to other people and took on a regular job as a chip design developer with Intel. During his time with Intel, he was responsible for developing logic analysis as a member of the logic design team.
4. A bad experience inspired Yotpo
For 18 months, Tagrin was perfectly happy with working the 9 to 5 at Intel. He may have enjoyed his previous start-up experience at Ikick, but he had no particular desire to repeat history. And then a bad experience changed his mind. Speaking to martechseries.com, Tagrin explained how a poor purchasing decision inspired him to come up with the idea for Yotpo. "I came into this as a consumer, actually. I made a bad purchase of a camera online as a result of trusting fake reviews, and resolved to help others avoid the same fate," he explained. "I saw the massive opportunity in going beyond just the product page and showcasing UGC across the entire buyer journey, from awareness to consideration to purchase to re-engagement—anywhere a shopper might appreciate that extra bump of confidence from social proof, which is everywhere."
5. He co-founded Yotpo with Omri Cohen
After seeing the potential for a company like Yotpo, Tagrin decided to set about creating one. But he didn't do it alone. In November 2010, he teamed up with fellow University of Tel Aviv graduate Omri Cohen to finalize and move forward with his plans. Cohen, who now serves as Yotpo's COO, previously worked as a member of the ASIC team at Essense Security Limited. His main duties there lay in developing the future wireless mac protocol of the business and analyzing their current wireless protocols. He also spent a brief time as a software engineer at the MIC Radio Software Team. The pair met at university and have been friends ever since. Speaking to Forbes about their meeting, Tagrin has said, "Omri was the smart kid sitting in the front row taking notes, and I was the troublemaker talking loudly behind him. One day he turned around and said, “Can you please shut up, I’m trying to learn here,” and I was floored. I thought “I have to get to know this guy.” We’ve been best friends ever since."
6. He spent over three years as a contributor to The Next Web
The Next Web is one of the largest online tech and business publications in the world. Designed to 'inform, inspire and connect people who love tech through media, events and services", it's a popular platform for some of the leading and most innovative movers and shakers in the tech world to share, collaborate, and listen. Keen to offer some insight into the start-up process, Tagrin spent three years with the publication writing about the life of a founder and the 'Yotpo Experience.'
7. He's an internet junkie
Developing and running a rapidly growing start-up doesn't leave a lot of time free for hobbies, but Tagrin makes sure to set aside plenty of time to spend with his wife and family. When he's not playing the dutiful dad, the self-confessed 'computer geek' is usually indulging his internet addiction or walking his dog.
8. The pandemic has been good for business
While the vast majority of businesses have been dealt a huge blow by the pandemic, certain others have flourished. As Forbes reports, while e-commerce was already accelerating prior to 2020, the COVID-19 crisis served to accelerate it even further. The first two months of 2021 saw online consumer spending leap by a massive 34% over the same period in 2020. Yotpo has benefited hugely from the shift: 5 years ago, it was making between $5 million and $7 million in annual revenue. Today, it's bringing in around $100 million.
9. He's grown Yotpo to Unicorn status
When it started to become clear that COVID was changing the business landscape, Tagrin deiced to capitalize on the opportunity. “Two months into Covid, it became very clear to us from the data that something really big was happening in e-commerce,” he says via soloadsworld.com. “And then we decided to move to play offense." As it turned out, "playing the offense" meant putting the business through a further round of funding. This March, the fund closed out at $230 million, pushing the start-up to Unicron status with a new post-money valuation of $1.4 billion.
10. He's planning on expanding
Yotpo has already grown significantly in the last decade, but Tagrin has no plans on stopping there. The new funding, which was led by Bessemer Ventures and Tiger Global with participation from Claltech Investment, Coin Ventures, Hanaco, Vertex Ventures, and Vintage Investment Partners, will be used to promote further international expansion and acquisitions.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee