MENLO PARK — Pear VC says it has closed its 4th fund at $432 million focused on seed ventures. This oversubscribed fund by Pear is one of the largest seed funds raised in recent years, marking a bright spot in an otherwise choppy VC environment.
The funding will be used to continue doubling down in one of the brightest areas in venture investing: pre-seed and seed, especially in competitive areas like AI, and programs like PearX, Pear’s early-stage bootcamp for founders, Pear’s Female Founders Circle, a community for technical female entrepreneurs, and Pear Dorm, which supports student builders.
“We’re operators and founders specializing in pre-seed and seed – that’s all we do all day every day. We are a generalist firm with specialist investors and operators who act as deep thought-partners and know founders’ industries inside and out,” said Mar Hershenson, Pear’s Founding Managing Partner.
Pear’s team has spent the last decade building the firm from the ground up. It’s a top performing firm, having seeded 3 public companies (DoorDash, Guardant Health, and Senti Bio) and many others valued over $1B (Gusto, Branch, Aurora Solar, Vanta and others). Pear’s Fund I is a top 5th percentile performing fund, in terms of net DPI.2 Pear was started by Pejman Nozad and Mar Hershenson in 2013.
“Pear believed in DoorDash when we were still a tiny startup near Stanford called Palo Alto Delivery. They saw our potential and offered unwavering support to us from our earliest days through the DoorDash IPO,” said Stanley Tang, Co-founder and CPO of DoorDash.
This fundraise comes at a time when markets continue to cool, yet many of Pear’s Limited Partners doubled down on their investments from previous Pear funds, showing that investors are particularly impressed with Pear’s track record to date and prospects for the future. LPs realize the importance of having a dedicated seed fund in their portfolio at this time.
“The new fund will bolster our mission to help early-stage founders build legendary companies from the ground up. This fund will allow us to build the infrastructure that helps founders go from idea stage to product-market fit. This includes founder services like talent, go-to-market, engineering, marketing, and more. For example, we plan to scale out our talent services team led by Matt Birnbaum, which includes four senior recruiters. For founders, helping them hire for their early teams is part of our core offering, which we know from experience can really shape the entire culture and tone of a startup,” added Pejman Nozad, Pear’s other Founding Managing Partner.
Pear runs multiple programs to support early-stage entrepreneurs, including PearX, a 14-week long early-stage bootcamp for founders. Pear has already had a number of breakout PearX companies, including Affinity, Xilis, Federato, Viz.ai, and Cardless, which all got their start through the PearX program. With Fund IV, Pear will be adding a new track: PearX for AI, a program tailored for AI builders with added benefits like hacker space, cloud credits, and 1:1 coaching with AI experts from the Pear team and organizations like Google Cloud.
Pear also has a deep history in investing in student builders through the Pear Dorm program. Today, 50% of Pear’s portfolio companies are student-founded, representing $15 billion in total valuation, including Branch, Aurora Solar, Affinity, Viz.ai, and Bioage. With Fund IV, Pear will be expanding its Dorm team and introducing new programs.