Vertex Ventures US Partner Dom Perri on the Firm’s New Fund Focused on DevOps and Infrastructure

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Vertex Ventures US partner Dom Perri
Image courtesy of Vertex Ventures

Vertex Ventures U.S. has a new $200 million fund devoted to early-stage business-to-business startups, with a focus on digital infrastructure. L.A.-based partner Dom Perri joined this episode of LA Venture to talk about the new fund, and offer insights from his career in corporate and business development.

Vertex is a multibillion-dollar family of funds spanning Singapore, Israel and China, among other countries. Bay Area-based Vertex US writes checks from anywhere from $500,000 to $10 million, and is focused on seed and Series A funding rounds, Perri said. The Bay Area-based firm is looking to help startups working on cloud developer systems, DevOps and cybersecurity.

"At the end of the day, Vertex US is an independent VC firm," said Perri.

He added that two-thirds of his time is spent on infrastructure broadly, while the rest is spent exploring new verticals like fintech, supply chain robotics and automation.

Speaking of cybersecurity for early companies Perri said, “The majority of attacks are still largely a result of human error. All the more reason to prioritize compliance and governance and not just when you hit a certain scale as a company.”

Perri cut his teeth working in business development, including mergers and acquisitions, where he worked at Dropbox, Juniper and Tesla. When the electric automaker acquired a company in Germany, Perri flew to the country to help with the acquisition. He had to convince the employees who were already skeptical of Tesla.

"Merging companies is always going to be nasty and really impact the culture," said Perri. He added that communication is key to getting to understand the rationale behind a merger.

In his negotiation workshops at Stanford, Perri talked about avoiding a situation where you approach someone as an adversary. He said if you're restricting information or hiding information, those are all things that will complicate the conversation.

Despite tough negotiations, the reason Perri said he gets out of bed to be a venture capitalist is because he loves working with founders.

"It's a real privilege for us to be working with them,” he said. “And just also being able to help them and drive some of the outcomes and hearing them in board meetings or quarterly reviews talk about how we've been able to help them."

dot.LA Engagement Fellow Joshua Letona contributed to this post.

Hear the full episode by clicking on the playhead above, and listen to LA Venture on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less