ISSUE – Dec. 14 | Their Venture Fund Was ‘A Sign Of A Bubble.’ Then They Turned $1.9 Million In DoorDash Into $440 Million

Pear VC founders Mar Hershenson and Pejman Nozad backed DoorDash as one of their first five deals in 2013. Mar Hershenson remembers when her partner, Pejman Nozad, burst into the office in September 2013. A former rug dealer turned investor, Nozad had only convinced Hershenson, a startup veteran teaching at Stanford, to team up on a new venture capital firm months before. He’d spent hours scouting and meeting the new class of companies at accelerator Y Combinator and found a favorite. “He’s, like, ‘Mar, I found the company we have to invest in!’” Hershenson says. “And I’m, like, ‘Okay, which one? ‘This guy Tony!’ And I’m, like, ‘What does he do?’ And he says, ‘Oh, they’re delivering food.’ And I was, like, ‘Oh my god, no way. This is crazy, Pejman. This is not tech.’”

Worn down by Nozad’s enthusiasm, Hershenson agreed to test out the fledgling service, DoorDash. Many of its restaurant customers were within walking distance of their office, on Palo Alto’s University Avenue. Managers gushed to the investors about Tony Xu, the startup’s CEO. “This is like FedEx for me,” one said. The duo visited Xu and his three cofounders in their home, where Xu pulled out a whiteboard. “‘This is going to be a $100 billion company,’” she remembers him saying. “‘Let me tell you how.’” [ tech.eu ]

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