Video: Mar Hershenson – Pear VC [2019]

Ask the VC with Mar Hershenson, Pear Ventures

Investor Mar Hershenson, Founding Managing Partner at Pear Ventures, answers questions from startup founders:

* Generating warm leads as a new immigrant
* How to handle the failure startups face – when a company misses revenue targets, is struggling through a financing round or had an exodus of employees
* How bootstrapping is perceived from an investor perspective
* Timing fundraising rounds
* What investors look for when investing in a startup
* Thoughts on raising corporate VC funds at Series A
* How to know when to switch funding rounds

Don’t miss the chance to hear from more experts like Santi at the many tech startup events at Founders Floor in San Jose.


About Mar

Mar Hershenson is a Founding Managing Partner at Pear Ventures, a venture capital firm based out of Palo Alto, California. Founded by immigrants, Pear focus on seed and early-stage tech startups, the founding managers historically seeded early stage tech startups such as Dropbox, Zoosk and Path.
Before cofounding Pear, Mar was a startup cofounder for three startups in the mobile/e-commerce, enterprise software and semiconductor industries. Through her experience, Mar has a wealth of experience as a founder, as well as a VC.
Mar has been recognized by MIT Technology Review as a Top Innovator Under 35, named a Champion of Innovation by Fast Company, included by EE Times in its listing of the Top 10 Women in Microelectronics, and awarded the Digital Automation Conference’s Marie R. Pistilli Achievement Award.

Video Transcript

Founders floor a co-working accelerator for startups

the three areas where we’re spending a lot of time,

are number one, is industry Cloud,

number two is deskless workforce

and number three is coaching networks.

This video is brought to you by Procopio Law the recommended law firm of Founders Floor.

The first one, industry cloud, is this notion that a lot of the

SaaS companies had to be horizontal

because the market was small, so you had to sell CRM to everyone in order to build a big company.

But now given that everything is moved to the cloud,

you can start focusing on specific verticals, like sciences, education, construction

and build a stack there.

If you look at a company that we invested in called Viva Systems, that’s what they did.

They started with CRM for Pharma companies

and they I mean they were very capital efficient.

They raised only one round about 6 million bucks and that’s all it took for the company to go public.

They are now a ten billion dollar plus company and that’s because they started in one industry,

they had a limited number of customers,

they built great relationships

and they started adding more products on top of the original offering.

The second category, this idea of desk less workforce

is if you think of most productivity apps out there were designed

for people sitting at a desk. People sitting with a desktop computer

or laptop or something similar were not designed for mobile devices.

80% of the global workforce is not sitting at a desk, they are mobile.

So we believe that the next generation of productivity apps is going to be designed

for mobile usage versus desktop with a mobile companion app.

And the third one is the idea of the coaching network

and the way we define coaching networks is if you think about artificial intelligence

and you apply to enterprise,

we believe that most applications, CRM, customer

support and you name it, are going to be displaced by their equivalent with artificial intelligence

and just to give you one example,

we invested in a company called Chorus

and what Chorus does is they listen to a call, let’s say that I’m a zoom sales rep.

I’m on the phone with a prospect, the technology is listening to that call

and based on what’s being said and how things are being said as a sales rep, I get real-time coaching.

As you’re talking to an introvert from California, they just asked about this competitor,

based on all that information and on past deals, this is the best answer to close a deal.

Then based on the outcome if it’s a close one in sales force

or loss, the technology learns that keeps adapting.

So what we believe is that that type of technology is going to help us

achieve a much higher level of human productivity

because it’s going to help us be more effective.

It’s not going to replace us, It’s not automation, it’s augmentation.

It’s helping this like, common knowledge that now is being

lost because it’s hard to aggregate

and that’s going to be intersected in into the workflows making the workforce a lot more efficient.


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