Venture Unlocked
Venture Unlocked: The playbook for venture capital managers
Pejman Nozad of Pear on building a $800MM+ AUM firm as an immigrant who sold Persian rugs before going into VC

Pejman Nozad of Pear on building a $800MM+ AUM firm as an immigrant who sold Persian rugs before going into VC

Episode 120

No transcript...

Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.

This week we are thrilled to be joined by Pejman Nozad, Co-Founder and GP of Pear VC. Founded in 2013, Pear has scaled to over $800MM in AUM with a powerful engine to help early-stage companies. 

As many regular listeners of the show know, we often like to highlight managers who have different backgrounds and stories leading to their careers in VC. I think of all of our guests, Pejman epitomizes how someone can overcome many obstacles to be successful in the industry as he not only immigrated from Iran with little to his name, but the catalyst that got him into VC was working at a rug store. 

We explore Pejman's incredible journey, Pear VC's emphasis on early-stage investments, and the need for innovation in venture capital.

This is an inspiring story for anyone considering venture capital as a career path, and stresses the importance of resilience and overcoming challenges, as well as, the value of continuous learning.

About Pejman Nozad:
Pejman Nozad is the Co-Founder of Pear VC and he has made a substantial impact in the tech sector with strategic investments in companies like DoorDash, Dropbox, and many others. His success is recognized through his consistent inclusion in the Forbes Midas List since 2021 and leading the Forbes Midas Seed List in 2023.

Pejman’s path into venture capital was unconventional, starting from humble beginnings as an Iranian immigrant working in a Palo Alto rug store. He was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2014.

In this episode, we discuss:

(2:55) Pejman shares his start in the US

(15:06) The importance of believing in entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds

(20:37) Why the best seed funds consistently deliver high returns

(22:17) How PearVC has evolved and why it has been so long-lasting

(30:10) No job is beneath anyone at PearVC with its team-based approach

(33:46) Qualities of successful people that go beyond the obvious

(37:18) His transition from angel investor to venture capitalist and the challenges of portfolio construction

(41:09) PearVC's focus on finding talent and reaching product-market fit regardless of the fund's size or stage-focus

(44:59) His advice to new investors at PearVC

I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Pejman. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.

Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee