(Bloomberg) -- Early DoorDash Inc. backer Pear VC has closed a new $432 million fund for early stage investing.
The firm, which was also early in identifying investment opportunities in Gusto Inc. and Guardant Health, will continue to write seed checks as well as “pre-seed” investing, or supporting a startup at the idea stage, according to a statement reviewed by Bloomberg.
The fund, the firm’s fourth, will continue Pear’s generalist strategy, investing across sectors including life sciences, health care, consumer, climate and artificial intelligence. The firm raised $160 million fund for its last fund in 2019.
Pear was able to raise a bigger fund amid a downturn in venture capital because it knows how to “take ideas and turn it into product,” Pejman Nozad, a co-founder at the firm, said in an interview.
Mar Hershenson, also a co-founder, said the firm’s hands-on approach has been critical to ensuring that a high rate of the seed-stage companies it has backed have been able to go on to raise Series A funding.
“Anybody that comes in, it’s my responsibility to make them successful,” she added.
Nozad and Hershenson started Pear in 2013 with the idea of being a founder-focused firm. Their background as immigrants to the US has also informed the culture and success of the firm, they said. Before getting his break in VC, Nozad worked as a rug dealer after immigrating to the US from Iran, while Hershenson is a native of Spain.
Hershenson is also passionate about helping other female founders. The firm has a program, the Female Founders Circle, that helps entrepreneurs with engineering training “explore startup ideas and build life-long relationships,” according to its website.
The firm says that 41% of its portfolio companies have female founders, despite low numbers in the broader industry.
The firm’s other programs include a startup boot camp known as PearX and a recently developed artificial intelligence program known as PearX for AI. Pear also invests in student founders through its Pear Dorm program.
The firm was an early backer of food-delivery startup DoorDash, investing $1.9 million in the company before it went public in 2020, when its stake became worth more than $400 million, according to Pear. It first invested in DoorDash in 2013.
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