For 40 years, Michael Marks has successfully led and transformed technology companies. He is the founding managing partner at Celesta Capital, and has served as CEO and other executive roles at Flextronics, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), and Riverwood Capital Management.
In this Q&A with Reviver founder & CSO Neville Boston, Michael discusses his technology investment criteria, how digital license plates will benefit drivers, as well as some of the challenges that need to be overcome for its widespread adoption.
Q: What made you decide to invest in Reviver?
A: The interest we have in investing in businesses run by African Americans, by women or otherwise underrepresented people. That initially got us interested because there aren’t so many of those. Beyond that, we like technology businesses built around hardware as opposed to e-commerce brands. License plates have been around for over 100 years and here comes a new way to think about that.
That’s the kind of stuff that intrigues us.
Q: Where do you see Reviver now, and in the future? Where are we on that spectrum?
A: Well, right in the sweet spot. I’d like to say we could have foreseen this when we made our first investment, but that would not be telling the truth. And what I mean by that is that the way technologies change, it’s everywhere. People use technology to do things that we never
thought about like using your phone to turn on the lights, to lock and open your doors, etcetera.
Now, it’s perfectly obvious that this is the way things are going to work. The idea that you would use your phone to change your license plate makes perfect sense. That was not obvious ten years ago when we first started looking at the company going forward.
This is the perfect time for Reviver. This is when the company can really blossom.