Pear is an early-stage venture fund founded by Pejman Nozad and Mar Hershenson. Their co-founding managers have historically seeded very early-stage tech start-ups such as Dropbox, Lending Club, Zoosk, Addepar, Path, and many others.
Prior to founding Pear, managing partner Mar Hershenson was a 3 time entrepreneur in Silicon Valley after earning a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
Before Affinity, Pear sourced introductions for its founders by manually exchanging names and spreadsheets with them over email chains. The process was tedious and inefficient - as Mar described, “Every founder had a different way of asking us for intros. Some sent us long lists of contacts they were trying to get into. Others sent us the types of prospects they were targeting.”
In an industry built on fostering, harvesting, and sharing relationships, Pear decided it needed a drastically more efficient way to help its portfolio utilize its network.
More introductions, less work
Mar signed into Affinity with 2 objectives: 1) maximize the number useful introductions her founders could tap Pear for and 2) minimize the manual work her team spent sifting through and handling introduction requests.
Mar generated her real time network by connecting her Gmail to Affinity's machine learning platform with 1 click. Analyzing her communications data stream, Affinity's AI calculated her relationship strengths with everyone inside her network.
“As an early stage investor, my constant focus is finding new ways to turn my connections into my portfolio’s next hundred opportunities.“
Mar and her investment team then shared their collective real time networks with the 11 B2B startups in the Pear Summer 2017 cohort. Instantly, Affinity revealed 11,467 introduction paths to new prospects in sales, BD, and fundraising they now had access to.
Twine Labs, an internal employee mobility startup, was one of those companies. In the thicket of fundraising, one of their highest priorities was figuring out which new investors they could connect with via their existing investors.
Twine no longer had to guess who Pear had connections to in the venture world: a single query on Affinity revealed warm introduction paths to exactly 1,696 contacts. Since then, Twine and the cohort have utilized Pear’s network to not only raise capital successfully, but also strike new business partnerships, acquire new customers, and more.
Looking forward: A shared asset for the Pear community
Pear continues to use Affinity to maximize the introductions it makes for customer acquisition, fundraising, and hiring. With its whole investment team on Affinity, Pear can be confident it is contributing its network’s maximal value in helping its portfolio companies succeed.