Welcoming Rexhi as Partner at Base10
We vividly remember the first meeting we had with Rexhi (“Reggie”) Dollaku. A Base10 supporter had told us Rexhi was super talented (“the youngest person to join the BoD of a company at his firm, Insight” they said) and so we reached out cold. We could tell from our first conversation he was right:
Rexhi: “Yeah, the waste and recycling market is one of the most interesting investment opportunities. Software is going to radically change this ecosystem.”
Ade: “Did you say waste and recycling? Like garbage?”
Rexhi: “Yeah, garbage. It’s everywhere. It’s a $1T market. And there’s basically no software.”
TJ: “Huh, I never really thought about that. How will it change?”
Rexhi: “Well, actually, if we look at Ireland...”
We turned to each other and were struck by Rexhi’s clarity of vision, intense curiosity, and passion for something most people don’t even want to think about, let alone research!
And then Rexhi delivered the punchline: “I actually didn’t know anything about the waste market either. But I was putting together a list of software companies in different verticals so I would sound smart on the phone and build rapport when talking to founders, which is how I found AMCS for Insight Partners.”
We couldn’t stop laughing. Everyone who knows Rexhi knows he’s funny. But that unintentional zinger was also our first glimpse into Rexhi’s humbleness. Who admits that the way they found a great investment was total happenstance?
We could tell right then and there that Rexhi was a perfect fit for Base10. We invest in businesses that are Automating the Real Economy—solving problems for the 99%. Back then, Rexhi’s colleagues called him “The Garbage Man”—a name that has followed him to Base10, because, what’s more “real economy” than that?!
Rexhi joined Base10 when we were a lot like a seed stage company. He has been a core part of our founding journey ever since, instrumental in improving nearly every aspect of Base10. Our systematic outreach process for early stage companies didn’t exist until Rexhi suggested it. And then he helped build and implement Base11, the software that enables us to do that outreach at 10x the scale (we know, we have to find a more sci-fi name for it). Rexhi has worked closely with TJ to devise our thematic research work and turn it into a repeatable process, now responsible for 90% of our investments. And Rexhi has helped us recruit the next generation of all-star investment talent to our team.
In the midst of this company building, Rexhi has emerged as a top-tier investor and captivating storyteller. We all know the “Rexhi Dollaku pitch”: it never starts with numbers. Instead, it starts the customer's pain and why we should care about solving it. He has put us in the shoes of a restaurant owner, call center employee, halal cart operator, and made us care about their problems. And then he’s pounded the table to make us invest in the businesses solving these problems. We thought Rexhi was crazy when, after finding Popmenu through Base11, he told us he felt restaurant owners were getting screwed by third-party delivery platforms and that we should invest in that market. Everyone told us to avoid that opportunity (SMB software churn! A lot of competition!) but Rexhi sees the non-obvious things others miss. He has a special ability to recognize a truly great market and truly great founders well before others.
Founders tell us Rexhi is their most trusted supporter, comfortable teaching them anything from CAC payback calculations to exploring new product ideas (while also explaining how they can increase their TAM 5x). Rexhi is always tapping his network to add value for founders, and it shows. He was instrumental in bringing every new investor into Popmenu, and a founder who worked closely with Rexhi during his (very successful) recent fundraise told us: “Rexhi was basically my employee for the last 3 months. We did better than our dream outcome, and we couldn’t have done it without him.”
Rexhi invests with conviction. He listens to all viewpoints, but when he has made up his mind, he won’t budge, regardless of intense pressure. That independent thinking has been critical to Base10’s success. He pushes the Base10 platform, the team, and us to be better partners, investors, and humans.
That’s why we’re so proud to publicly share what we have been privately saying for a while: today, we’re promoting Rexhi to Partner at Base10. Please join us in congratulating him!
Ade & TJ
Kudos to Rexhi! As a CEO at a Base10 portfolio company, and with Rexhi sitting on our board, I can affirm everything in this post. He is crazy smart, legit funny, and genuinely humble. From the first call with him almost 2 years ago through the most recent board meeting, Rexhi has always brought value to the table and he is incredibly supportive of me and the leadership team. Congrats Rexhi! This is well earned.
What a fabulous article. This decision just proves once again that vision, values and conviction are the building blocks for a very powerful platform when it comes to choosing investments and partners. Congrats to both Base 10 and Rexhi Dollaku -- a decision well taken.