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Venture Capital News: Pando Raises $8M in Series A Funding

2020-06-12
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Pando announced it raised over $8 million in Series A funding led by Core Innovation Capital.
Pando (303 Holdings, Inc.), a technology company delivering a new way to manage career risk, announced today that it raised over $8 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Core Innovation Capital and included participation from Pear VC, Avalon Ventures, Ulu Ventures, Nimble Ventures, Stanford StartX Fund, WTI and Slow VC. Pando is using the proceeds to build on its success serving professional athletes and develop offerings for entrepreneurs, MBA students and business professionals.

Pando offers a unique product for those who want to take greater control over their career outcomes by incorporating the tried-and-true benefits of diversification. The solution is called pooling. "We built a financial tool for an economy that's increasingly characterized by winner-take-most professions," says CEO Charlie Olson. "It seemed strange to us that so many talented individuals were taking incredible risk with their greatest asset: the ability to earn future income from their chosen career." Co-founder Eric Lax added, "You will not see any venture capital firms touting a single investment as their portfolio strategy. Why, then, do we see this behavior with entrepreneurs, business professionals and athletes? Why should they alone limit themselves to their individual career earnings?"

Pooling enables a group of individuals to come together and contractually pledge a small portion of future earnings - above a hurdle - to a shared pool. Total pool distributions are distributed equally. Pooling gives the benefits of diversification, spreading risk and providing upside if someone else in the pool becomes a superstar. For certain groups of people, there are powerful community benefits too, as there is a motivation to see each other succeed.

In commenting on the capital raise, Pando board member and Managing Partner of Core Innovation Capital, Kat Utecht, said, "Unfortunately, as we're experiencing most acutely in our current environment, there's an element of career volatility that is systemic and beyond our control. When personal or societal crises occur, our instinct is to lean on community and those we believe in most. Our investment in Pando was propelled by this unique insight and their novel approach to transforming this insight into a compelling business."

Pear VC's Mar Hershenson added, "As a former entrepreneur who now spends the majority of my hours working with them, the prospect of creating pools of tomorrow's business leaders is uniquely powerful. I can't think of another product that allows you to share in the upside of people you believe in, spread personal risk, and boost community support. Obviously, we believe this is a terrific opportunity for Pando, but perhaps, it's an even bigger opportunity for entrepreneurs and other business professionals to join with trusted peers who are on track to make a dent in the universe."

About Pando

Since its founding, Pando has focused on serving professional athletes, specifically professional baseball players. Started by two graduates from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Charlie Olson and Eric Lax, the company's unique name is derived from a collection of aspen trees in Utah, which share one massive underground root system. This tree colony is considered one of the oldest living organisms on Earth.
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