Norman Fiore
General Partner


One of our co-founders, Norman leads on B2B software and brings deal lifecycle knowledge and the SaaS playbook to our portfolio. His first investment at Dawn was Mimecast, the European success story that wrote the SaaS and cloud playbooks, and over the course of 20 years as a VC he’s invested in some of Europe’s leading SaaS businesses, including Collibra, Showpad, Quantexa, Garrison, Ably, Gelato and Checkstep.


Before co-founding Dawn, he was a partner (and then owner via an MBO) of the Reuters Greenhouse Fund, Reuters’ global technology venture capital fund. Prior to that, he co-managed Reuters’ corporate technology fund, investing over $450m in over 80 early-, mid- and late-stage companies globally.


Norman is a graduate of Stanford University, with dual BSc and BA degrees in Engineering and Quantitative Economics, and holds an MBA with distinction from Insead.

Data & AnalyticsDev Ops & InfrastructureSecurity & Privacy
In conversation
What has been your biggest learning from founding your own firm?
Nonsense aside, we’ve made every mistake in the book and we make new ones every day. However, it means our convictions are battle tested. Would it have been nice at times to have someone onboard who had gone down this path before? Sure. And that’s what we endlessly preach to startups. The flip side, however, is that as we didn’t know ‘conventional ...wisdom’ we didn’t build a me-too VC and ended up doing some things very differently, which we feel very positively affects our outcomes.
What has been your proudest moment as a VC founder?
Waking up one day and realising what phenomenal people work at Dawn.
How has the industry changed since you founded Dawn Capital and what does this mean for firms?
When I started in the late 90s, most VCs and every entrepreneur lived with an envious eye towards the Valley. That’s changed completely. Not only that, but the bar is being constantly raised. Entrepreneurs are getting smarter earlier, learning faster and chasing ever bigger ambitions with every passing year.
What makes a potential company stand out?
We don’t back companies, we back founders. We’re looking for the human outliers who want to go the distance – relentless, passionate and focused. The ones you don’t want to get stuck in a life raft with if food is scarce. It’s not about smarts, qualifications or background – these things matter, but only so much. If they have enough in their, combined with the drive and passion, those are the ones I’m going to bet on because they can’t fail to win.
And the quick fire round…
Go-to advice for founders?
Don’t learn through doing, learn through hiring.
What makes you optimistic about B2B software?
It’s an absolutely gigantic market with phenomenal margins – it’s a no brainer.
If you could build one company right now, what would it be?
Right now I’m busy so let’s say this one.
In one sentence, what makes Dawn Capital unique?
It’s about culture and people. Every opinion is solicited, every voice is heard and we have a single view of our success.
What’s the best antidote to complacency?
There’s a paradox at the heart of what we do. Working with founders over the years, we become experts at the common journeys for software companies. However, the ones that truly outperform are the ones that break some or all of those rules. The ones that we miss remind us of that and keep us on our toes.

In conversation with Quantexa's founder, Vishal Marria


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