Announcing Pear’s newest Partners

We’re proud to announce our newest partners: Keith Bender, Vivien Ho, and Addison Leong!

Keith started at Pear almost three years ago and has already made a considerable impact in his time as a Principal. He focuses on vertical software, marketplace, and platform businesses, as well as leading all of our LatAm investments and our data-based sourcing team. Keith’s investments include Sudozi, Chainpass, Miter, Menta, and more. A Harvard Business School and Harvard College grad, Keith launched our Harvard Garage engineering fellowship and developed an HBS case study on Pear that is taught in the popular VC/PE course. He was named this year to Silicon Valley Bank and Terra Nova’s EVC List of 50 emerging investors charting the industry’s future. His people-focused, data-driven approach to investing is unparalleled, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have him on our side as a Partner.

Vivien embodies all that we are at Pear: not just investors, but operators. She invests in health — human health, planet health, and financial health including partnering closely with Budgie Health, Osmind, Valar Labs, Fairstreet, Stellation Care, Supercharge Finance, Syro and more. She helps founders hire key clinical and engineering leaders, introduces them to their first customers and surrounds founders with Pear’s braintrust of knowledge. Further, she spearheaded Pear’s Healthcare Playbook Podcast, interviewing leading healthcare founders, leaders and operators on building digital health businesses from 0 to 1. In her first year, Vivien started Pear VC’s Female Founders Circle, a biannual 3 month program with 3 cohorts and 105+ female technical founders in the community. We’re so grateful for Vivien’s leadership and her superpower in bringing communities together at Pear, and we’re very excited for her much deserved promotion to Partner. 

Addison has been a long-standing member of the Pear team: first as a Pear Garage member during his time at Stanford, then as a Pear Fellow, then an Engineer in Residence, Director of Engineering, and now Engineering Partner. In true Pear spirit, he wears many hats, from  spearheading our next-generation intelligent software and data layer that enables Pear to find and pick the best founders, to conducting technical interviews for our portfolio companies, to vetting highly technical investments. Addison draws on his experience as a software engineer, product manager, and designer to be our tech force multiplier, enabling us to hit well above our weight class: he has been instrumental in getting many initial engineering teams off the ground, single-handedly built the Demo Day software that has driven more than $60M in seed investments for our companies, and performed data analyses that inform our overall investing strategy.

Congrats Keith, Vivien, and Addison! We’re excited for the road ahead. 

The only talent offering in venture built for founders

In the months immediately following a fundraise, even the best founders struggle to hire. The difference between making the right hire and doing it quickly is often the difference between building a successful company and failure. As part of Pear’s seed platform, we’ve built a founder-first talent service to ensure that all of our companies have the highest chance of success.

These days, having a talent partner in venture capital is almost a given. Despite the prevalence of talent teams in venture, there remains a massive disconnect between what founders need and the services talent teams provide. The majority of teams are either too small to make a meaningful impact or unable to support the diverse talent needs across early and late stage companies.

This puts talent teams in a difficult position, forcing them to decide which founders receive support and limiting the type of support they offer. There’s a chasm between what founders truly need and what talent teams are able to provide, greatly reducing the impact of the support they offer.

At Pear, we’re determined to bridge this gap. Over the last 12 months, Nate (Meta, Uber) and I have been quietly piloting an in-house talent offering that directly addresses the shortcomings of the current venture talent model. With the recent additions of Maryna (Plaid, Neuralink, SpaceX) and Laura (Brex, Afterpay, Uber) to our team, we’re excited to officially launch our one-of-a-kind talent service, designed to directly address the most critical needs of our founders.

1. We’re early-stage specialists and early-stage specialists only. 

We focus solely on early-stage startups. We don’t pick and choose who we support. All of our founders receive the support they need from a talent team with deep expertise in the space.

2. We’re committed to making the first hires for our seed companies. 

We believe that simply making candidate introductions and giving advice is not enough. The only metric that really matters to founders is hires. That’s why we are committed to making the first hires for our seed companies.

3. We’re hands-on. We’re in the trenches with our founders.

We’re a hands-on talent team that works closely with our founders. We won’t just stop by to offer advice— we’re involved in the hiring process from start to finish, acting as the internal recruiting partner until our founders are ready to hire on their own.

4. We teach our founders how to hire for themselves. 

We aim to help our founders build a strong hiring foundation ensuring they have the necessary tools and skills required to maintain success in the long-term. Helping founders hire is important, but it means nothing if they can’t do it on their own later on. 

5. We do it for free.

We believe helping founders hire is a core offering that all VCs should provide. Our talent services are built into our DNA and are always free for our portfolio companies.

What’s next?

Beginning this year, all seed companies we invest in will have access to Pear’s talent support. The best companies are built by the best teams. By directly helping our founders make their first hires, we increase the chance of their success. 

Our goal at Pear has always been to help founders build incredible companies, and we’re proud to be doing just that.