Evgenia Plotnikova
General Partner

Evgenia leads our SaaS deals, from early stage to pre-IPO, and manages founder, VC and investor relationships across Europe and Israel. She has a particular love for data, automation and cloud infrastructure, having led our investments in BRYTER, Dataiku, Harbr, Granulate, Soldo and Firebolt.

 

Before joining us, Evgenia was a VC at Atomico, spearheading its entry into France, and an investor at TPG Capital, having started her career at JP Morgan.

 

She holds a master’s degree in finance from SciencesPo Paris and studied at the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania), where she picked up the startup bug.

 

As well as being the youngest woman in Europe to be internally promoted to GP, Evgenia is also a Forbes 30 Under 30 winner, a TechStars mentor and one of Business Insider’s 100 Coolest People in Tech.

Sectors
Data & AnalyticsFuture of WorkDev Ops & Infrastructure
Connect
In conversation
Why B2B software VC?
Dawn
I find it extremely exciting to invest in things which are “enablers”. With consumer products it may seem fun to invest in something beautiful that you can feel or touch or something you can imagine using yourself. But there is more to every product than meets the eye. Personally I’m more excited to invest in the software that created the shape of that... trinket you love or that powers your ability to buy it on the other side of the world. Similarly, I find a lot of joy in investing in software that powers entire organisations, like a large bank or a global retailer. B2B software is the quiet engine behind the scenes, enabling so many things for so many people.
Most exciting moment of your career?
Dawn
Getting my first job out of university, because it brought me to London. I’d not planned to be here but it’s now been 11 years and I surprise myself with giving people directions without using my phone. I had a different career in mind, having studied politics and economics, but then I ended up in a bank. I’d not change it though since it laid a great ...foundation for what was to come. My next best move was joining Dawn. At the time it felt like the partners took a bet on me, and I on them, but then our industry is about taking bets. It’s now clear I’ve joined an organisation that has built and continues to build exciting things and I’ve been able to be part of this whilst being true to myself. It’s rare in a career to be able to grow and stay true to your values and beliefs.
What is your vision for Dawn over the next five years?
Dawn
I hope for a firm that has continued to be very successful in partnering with talented and ambitious founders and which has itself continued to attract and nurture exceptional talent — and which at the same time has maintained its family-like culture. We were 7 people when I joined and now we are 25 and maintaining our culture to challenge and cherish each... other has been really important. A job becomes a vocation when you get to do what you love in the company of people you consider family. I am privileged to have found that at Dawn.
And the quick fire round…
Netflix series you recommend
“The movies that made us.” I loved understanding how some classics came to be.
Recipe for the perfect evening
A dinner I cook for friends, served with delicious wine. My kitchen was one of the first things I refurbished when I moved. Russian people love to host; hospitality is a big part of our culture. We often go to see friends without warning and when I moved here I learned you need to ask people before you show up!
Favourite SaaS metric
One Norman came up with called equity burn. It’s the belief that a company’s capital allocation discussions should consider the start-up’s cost of capital. It’s relevant for any VC-backed business and forces them to consider how much dilution a company would suffer if it had to raise money just to fund the next 12 months of burn. It’s insightful and very topical in today’s world of so much money going into early-stage companies.
Best piece of advice
When I left my first job, my then boss Barry told me, “Your career is a marathon, not a sprint”. Initially I laughed when he said that — I was young, impatient and ready to move mountains on short notice. Now I think back on it and him every week. I still put as much energy into everything I do but I now appreciate how long-term an investing career is. You sow your own seeds over many years and then you harvest them. But you never stop sowing.

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