Limited Partners are a critical part of the venture capital ecosystem. They provide capital to VCs who in turn invest that money in companies, so the LP perspective is important to consider when trying to fully understand how VCs operate.

Graham Pingree is a Partner at Cendana Capital, one of the preeminent LPs in the tech community.

Graham and I discuss the role of LPs in venture capital, strategies that Cendana Capital keeps in mind when making investments, and his take on the global startup scene.

Show Links

  • Follow us on Twitter: @gpingree, @CendanaCapital, @mpd
  • Guest Links: Cendana Capital


MPD: Graham. Thanks for joining us today. 

Graham Pingree: [00:01:53] Pleasure to be here. Thanks so much for having me. I'm uniquely 

MPD: [00:01:56] excited to have you on the podcast. We've spoken to founders, VCs. Having the LP perspective is a critical part of the equation. It's an important part of the innovation ecosystem that I think frankly, most founders don't think about, but obviously VCs do every day.

Uh, so before we get into your background, I was wondering if you could explain to everyone. What an LP is, uh, in probably the most simple versions of that, uh, to make sure that just people who aren't familiar with the term at all have context. 

Graham Pingree: [00:02:29] Sure. Yeah, absolutely. So LP stands for limited partner. Um, institutional limited partners consists mostly of endowments and foundations, uh, as well as vehicles called fund to funds, which is, um, what's in Donna.

My company is. Um, a fund to funds takes capital from other allocators and invest it into, uh, venture capital or private equity partnerships. Uh, hence the limited partner, um, as, as part of a, a general partnership that we invest in. When you 

MPD: [00:03:01] say other allocators, I know what you mean. But do you mind explaining that for folks?

Graham Pingree: [00:03:05] Sure. Yeah. Um, so many of our LPs as a fund to fund are these college endowments or nonprofit foundations, uh, sometimes family offices or corporations, um, you know, they make up the bulk of the institutional limited partner base, um, for venture capital and, and leveraged buyout funds. 

MPD: [00:03:29] And you guys are a fund of funds, which is another layer for the folks listening between universities and insurance companies for providing the initial capital and then the VCs, which eventually provided to the entrepreneurs.

Why do fund a funds exist? 

Graham Pingree: [00:03:46] Yeah. Uh, it's, it's a good question. And, um, I think you can make an argument that there are many fund funds out there that, that maybe shouldn't exist. Um, we believe that our strategy is very, um, niche-y, uh, and it serves a part of the market that it's, uh, it's a real challenge for other allocators to access.

So that's and Donna, we exclusively focused on sub a hundred million dollar seed and pre-seed venture funds. Uh, that's a market today with hundreds, if not thousands of, uh, of funds and for many of the larger allocators, it just doesn't make sense for them to spend the time to understand who the most compelling candidates are.

And in a way when they're only going to be able to allocate it a very small percentage of their total portfolio to, to that part of the market. So that's, that's kind of our value proposition and the reason that we believe we exist, um, you know, we, we think that specialization on this part of the market serves us well and, and allows us to build a.

Uh, a really interesting portfolio at some of the top seed 

MPD: [00:04:55] fund managers. Right? So there, so there's someone sitting at Columbia's endowment university endowment, they've got billions and billions of dollars to manage a small part of it's going to VC, and there's no way they have the time to go meet all the other, the other small VC fund managers.

And so you guys provide 

Graham Pingree: [00:05:11] that. Right. And I, I think that, um, yeah, many of the endowments that do have venture capital allocations focus their efforts on accessing the bigger lifecycle funds, where they can write really the meaningful capital allocations, um, you know, for. The funds that we cover from 10 to a hundred million dollars, a big endowment, obviously you can't write a $25 million check to them.

Um, so occasionally they they'll. I mean, we have a lot of endowments in our LP base that they'll write us a check and we provide that exposure 

MPD: [00:05:42] to multiple of these things. That's awesome. Thank you for that. Uh, you want to fill in a little bit more on Santana's focus. I know you guys have recently closed another fund.

You guys manage a good bit of capital. Um, just for the folks listening to get a little bit of an overview on the firm. 

Graham Pingree: [00:05:58] Um, so, uh, so Donna's strategy focuses exclusively on some hundred million dollar seed and pre-seed funds, uh, as part of our fourth fund, a fund, which we closed in June of this year. Um, we were fortunate to, um, to, to be oversubscribed and, and hit our hard cap and a couple of the, uh, The series of the fund, the fund is a bit of an umbrella with a, we have a seed portfolio, a pre-seed portfolio, and an international portfolio underneath it that we allow LPs to kind of allocate amongst those, those three series at their discretion.

MPD: [00:06:37] They can wait 50% to one 25, 25. They can pick that 

Graham Pingree: [00:06:41] the gamut. And in fact, we have some LPs that only came into one of the series and not the others. Um, so we've. We've historically really tried to optimize for LP flexibility, I think because we're LPs ourselves, right. We don't like, um, when managers make our allocation decisions for us.

So, um, we structured this as a way to try and preserve as much LP flexibility as we could. Um, 

MPD: [00:07:06] historically as one of those buckets perform better. Is there any pattern. 

Graham Pingree: [00:07:11] So international, um, is, is too soon to tell, uh, although the early results look really compelling. Um, so we're, we're very excited about, uh, the early traction across that portfolio.

Um, pre-seed and seed. I don't think we have a huge distinction yet. Um, there, I mean, I would say if I'm thinking of our best four or five funds, They're split roughly evenly over, uh, over seed and pre-seed strategies. Um, Now we think that pre-seed is inherently a little bit more risk. We think of pre-seed is institutionalizing the friends and family round really kind of backing pre-product ideas before anything is built, whereas seed today.

Um, it's a little counterintuitive because you think of it as so early stage, but. Most companies that are raising seed capital are generating early revenue and, um, are, are trying to establish product market fit, but there are actual metrics to evaluate. Um, so, uh, so we think pre-seed is likely to be a little bit, a little bit riskier.

Those funds tend to be smaller, um, and, uh, potentially a little bit higher alpha as well. 

MPD: [00:08:27] Innovation is democratizing right. 20 years ago. It was all in the Valley. Now it's all over the country and internationally. Uh, when you think about your international program, what geographies are relevant for you guys?

Uh, I know historically it was probably just an Israel story. Maybe a UK story. Has that changed? 

Graham Pingree: [00:08:45] It? It has. Um, although we do think that there's probably only. Uh, less than 10, probably ecosystems around the globe, outside the U S that we think, uh, warrant a dedicated seed strategy and can support a number of local seed funds.

So when we think about an ecosystem, we think the key ingredients for a seed strategy are, um, great entrepreneurs and founders, uh, enough technical talent to, to scale companies locally, uh, early stage capital. And then local downstream capital. So even here in the U S that that's been the big gating fact for us, we've tended to focus on, um, geographies where the downstream capital is based.

So principally bear in New York to a lesser extent, Boston and LA, um, outside of the U S the only other kind of criteria that we want to see is, um, A deep enough liquidity market and the way that we've kind of, um, mitigated some of the risks around liquidity is we've optimized for slightly more mature track records outside the U S so we want to see actual DPI, which practically speaking means we're backing more funds, three and four out of our, our non U S portfolio then funds one and two, which we do a lot of here.

Do you mind to 

MPD: [00:10:12] finding DPI for the folks 

Graham Pingree: [00:10:13] listening? Uh, excuse me. Yeah, absolutely. So district distributions overpaid in capital. So, uh, actual liquidity generated by selling companies or taking them public and then returning that to, to, uh, limited partners, people got their money 

MPD: [00:10:28] back 

Graham Pingree: [00:10:30] indeed. Yeah. And hopefully much more than just their money back.

MPD: [00:10:33] Right. It's multiple on that. Yeah. 

Graham Pingree: [00:10:36] Yeah. I mean, you know, we think. There is a key distinction between showing markups on paper and actually, uh, realizing those gains and, and getting it back to the LPs. Um, so we've, we've really been, um, he keyed in on a DPI for our international program. I 

MPD: [00:10:58] mentioned there's 10 geographies outside of the U S that you think are robust enough to support real institutional seed programs.

Off the top of your head. How many can you name? I think we'd love to hear them. 

Graham Pingree: [00:11:11] Well, I can tell you where we have some, some, uh, some fun relationships. Obviously. That's a pretty good indicator that we, we have belief in that ecosystem. Um, we have a, um, a fun headquartered in Toronto. Uh, so we think that, um, Canada and Toronto in particular is a really interesting technology ecosystem.

Um, you mentioned Israel. We have a fund in Tel Aviv. Um, I think, you know, Israel is probably the most mature non us, um, venture ecosystem out there, but it's, uh, uh, we think a great, um, a great region of, uh, technologists and, and good company builders. Um, we have a fund headquartered in London. That is a kind of a pan-European approach.

We think that the European, uh, venture ecosystem is a lot more compelling today than it was. Uh, a decade ago, uh, and it actually has a lot to do with the maturation of the downstream capital markets. There are many more players today with a lot more capital that can lead series a, B and C rounds in, in Europe.

Uh, so we think it's, it's more interesting. Um, and then we have fund managers in China and in India. Um, and, uh, I think the other markets that. We continue to watch and think are becoming more attracted by the day. I'd say Southeast Asia is probably at the top of the list. Um, we know, uh, we know many of the fund managers in lat am and Africa and central and Eastern Europe.

I think we probably feel like the. The downstream capital in those regions needs and other fund cycle to continue to develop before we actively, um, actively start deploying there. 

MPD: [00:12:59] We hear a lot about Berlin and Paris. Frankly, we see entrepreneurs applying from those geographies all the time, uh, on the VC side, as you know, entrepreneurs in those geographies will very often move management teams to the U S to tap into the U S market leaving, you know, software development or other kind of back office functions.

Um, in their local geography and very often they like New York because the time zones a little better for bridging between Europe and the U S uh, are you seeing a lot coming out of Berlin or Paris? 

Graham Pingree: [00:13:30] We are. Yeah. Um, so the, the London-based, um, manager that I mentioned, I would say Francis, one of the, kind of three ecosystems that, that he's principally focused on.

Um, and, and one that we think's a lot more interesting today, I think, um, No part of the big change, there has been a cultural. So when I lived in London and, you know, by 2006, the idea of us when I was at Horsley backing up a French venture capital fund, um, it probably wasn't going to happen. I think there was still a lot of stigma around failure, um, and entrepreneurship just wasn't quite as, as celebrated, there were still some structural impediments to.

Running a startup in terms of the ability to hire and fire quickly. Right. Um, I, I think all of that has changed pretty dramatically and, and there've also been some really big European success stories that this generation of entrepreneurs can now look to and say, we can build really big successful companies here in Europe.

So, um, again, we, we think Europe's much more interesting place today. Uh, Berlin, I, I should have mentioned, I was talking about kind of our core relationships. Um, our portfolio strategy, 90% of our capital goes to what we call core commitments, where we are often the largest limited partner. We're always one of the three largest.

Um, but we also carve out 10% of our funds to do what we call pilots. And those are our smaller checks. Um, typically a million to $2 million. Um, where we, we really like a fund manager, but there's some aspect of the strategy that we, that we want to spend, um, a little bit more time kind of understanding, uh, and getting comfortable with, we did a pilot to a Berlin based pre-seed fund, um, because it was, uh, you know, a little bit complimentary to our, uh, our core position and, uh, with the LUN based on, I mentioned, you know, the Berlin managers focus more on the DAC region.

Um, and we, we do think that that, um, Germany and Berlin in particular is, is a really compelling, uh, hub for entrepreneurship today. 

MPD: [00:15:40] So in my experience, and you know, this better than I do, there's a lot of volatility in returns by fund for a given manager. So manager a might kill it and fund one fund two's terrible.

Fund three is awesome. Just because when you have a lot of variants in the outcomes and aligned portfolio, It can, it can really swing things in terms of the overall fund return, given that if I don't know if you agree with that, but if you do agree, there's a lot of volatility within a given funds or managers cycle.

What's the right number of funds for you to have as an LP in a portfolio to manage that, to mute that out, uh, through scale. 

Graham Pingree: [00:16:21] Yeah, I think I, I generally agree with, um, with the. There is a fair amount of variability in venture performance, um, by, by fund cycle, even within, uh, you know, one particular manager.

Um, I do our fundamental thesis at Tanana is that small funds outperform over the longterm. And I think part of the reason you see a lot of that variation in performance is because funds outgrow their strategy. Uh, and, and then underperform in the future. So, um, we hope that by being focused, exclusively on small funds, investing at the earliest stage that we insulate ourselves from some of that variability in future fund performance.

Um, you know, that the hope is that by, by staying disciplined on this part of the market, that we'll, we'll be able to consistently outperform and find managers that that can do that. Um, That's it. We, we recognize that, uh, it is venture capital. It is a power law game and, um, and, uh, w you know, we want to build a thoughtful portfolio ourselves, too specific numbers on it.

The most concentrated core portfolio that we run is probably five or six fun commitments. Um, and the most diverse is probably a dozen. Um, so, you know, six to 12 core positions where 90% of the capital is being deployed, um, that, that feels like the right range for us. Yeah. And you know, that results in a portfolio of, um, uh, a couple of hundred companies, uh, in, in a fund to fund.

And I should have mentioned before, um, w we're very focused on fund managers that are. Meeting their rounds and being really thoughtful on portfolio construction. So they're targeting, uh, meaningful ownership positions and are adequately reserved to protect that and ownership through liquidity. Um, so. Uh, long story short is, you know, we, we build a concentrated portfolio of GPS who are building a concentrated portfolio, uh, so that anyone from one company can still have a real impact on, on our fund to fund.

MPD: [00:18:35] Got it. Okay. So if you're an individual LP out there, not institutional, and you're thinking about getting in this game, handful of venture funds, probably the right strategy. 

Graham Pingree: [00:18:48] Well, I think there's some parallels to angel investing, right? You probably don't want to just try your hand at two angel deals.

You're going to want to build a portfolio. Um, I think a fund portfolio can be, you know, more concentrated than a direct portfolio because funds, um, are less risky. You know, there there's, there's lower likelihood of any fund that contains a portfolio of companies going to zero. Then obviously any single.

Um, private investment. Uh, so yeah, I think I would say, uh, you know, uh, a handful of, um, a fun commitment for an individual. It's something that, that could make, make sense. 

MPD: [00:19:30] Could you, uh, elaborate, you had mentioned before the moment, a moment ago about funds outgrowing their strategy. Can you explain what that means to folks and maybe what some signs are that you're looking for?

Graham Pingree: [00:19:44] Yeah, sure. The incentive structure in the venture industry. Um, you know, most of the compensation is, uh, is based on the two and 20 model where a fund charges, 2% management fee and 20%, um, of the, uh, of the, of the gains as, as Carey. Uh, it's, it's easy to see how once a manager has some modicum of success, uh, That incentive structure pushes most people to try and raise more capital and replicate the same success with a larger, larger pool of, of money.

Um, we don't believe that that venture as an, as an asset category scales, you know, w we think the ability to generate, uh, uh, three to five to 10 X net fund. It's just mathematically meaningfully harder with, with more capital under management. Uh, so that's, that's kind of, uh, informed our focus on small funds investing at the very earliest stage, but the reality is, um, most fund managers do get bigger and, and all of a sudden, um, instead of.

Writing a collaborative check where they could be, you know, a small part of a, a syndicated Browns now that they have enough capital, that they have to compete with the, the, the other industries that they previously collaborated with. Um, and being able to do that successfully. It's a different game. And, and, you know, in, in some ways can be much harder.

And you mentioned the data 

MPD: [00:21:30] doesn't support part of your overarching thesis. Um, and maybe I'm misunderstanding this, that larger funds are generating as much yield. Is that, is that a universal, you know, when you look at the map with asset class funds under a hundred million or put it just putting a better numbers in general and funds that are 500 million or a billion.

Graham Pingree: [00:21:53] Uh, I, I don't have the comprehensive dataset. Um, but I, I will tell you, you know, over the course of my career and having seen performance numbers from some great datasets, like Cambridge associates and Horsley over the last 20 years, and also what we've built, um, so far at Sandana, uh, I think there's a real correlation between outperformance and smaller fund size.

Um, and. Uh, I became rich has done some research papers that have indicated, um, you know, emerging managers, which tend to be smaller, uh, account for, um, a meaningful part of the top venture performance in every vintage year, over the last decade. Um, and that's, that's a big part of, of what we believe. How many funds do you 

MPD: [00:22:42] guys look at each year?

Graham Pingree: [00:22:46] No, we should do a better job of, uh, of quantifying this. Um, I'm sure it's something we could pull from our CRM 

MPD: [00:22:54] ballpark. We're talking hundreds or 

Graham Pingree: [00:22:57] hundreds, certainly hundreds, 

MPD: [00:22:59] but you're seeing patterns. When you, when you look at that many opportunities, you're starting to see what rises to the top a little bit.

Graham Pingree: [00:23:07] Yeah. I mean, we, we have, you know, as mentioned some structural things that we focus on that helps us, um, screen out a fair amount. Yeah. The noise w you know, we're focused on funds that are leading their deals. Um, we're focused on funds, operating in geography with enough downstream capital. Um, so it, uh, it helps us, um, hone in on strategies that would be the right fit for the Sonata mandate.

Um, but at the end of the day, we're, we're also looking for stuff that is unique and differentiated, and that we think will give that particular manager a long-term competitive advantage and allow them to deliver out-performance over the long-term 

MPD: [00:23:49] next question. What makes one seed fund better than another?

And, you know, I'm sure there's no simple answer to that, but what are some examples of advantages that you think are meaningful? 

Graham Pingree: [00:23:59] Yeah. I mean, this is, this is really the kind of special sauce to, to, to what we do. Right. I think the, the structural lenses that we use, um, anyone could apply those, um, w. And that there is no universal answer to like what makes a seed fund great.

Sometimes it's as simple as the remarkable networks of the, of the GP or the, the, the team. Um, you know, they, they are in a position to see some of the most interesting deals and have the personal brand to, to win those, um, and entrepreneurs want to work with them. Um, I think as the seed market has matured, we do think there is some brand differentiation.

Um, many of the incumbents today that, that we've been backing since 2010, um, have built up strong enough brands that, that founders actively seek them out and want to work with them. Um, so I, I do think that there is some, some brand equity data seed, um, and then sometimes it's. It's something about their strategy that is unique.

So sometimes it's a thematic focus on a particular vertical and, um, super deep domain expertise and a network within that particular vertical. Um, I think that's a, that's a way that can get us excited about backing them, backing a manager, because we believe that they're going to be, um, Uniquely positioned to win, to see and win the deals in that particular vertical.

Uh, sometimes it's something structural about the fund. Uh, we backed some funds with different kinds equity for services model that allows them to get incremental ownership beyond just their financial investment. Um, and that can create some, some pretty attractive returns when, when that goes well. Um, sometimes it's a geographical focus, right?

We, you know, we, we. Have backed fund managers that we think are the dominant, uh, brand for deal flow within their particular ecosystem. Um, and we think that can be a successful way to win as well. Some 

MPD: [00:26:15] of the firms out there, you know, this, uh, steak, I think it's very common in private equity. Try to stake the funds, the limited partners, um, put the biggest check-in and they take not just traditional, uh, They pay, not just traditional fees, they also participate in a different degree of ownership of the fund itself.

I'll get a part of the GP stake, maybe participating in their carry. Maybe even some of the management fee is that, um, do you guys see a lot of that, the seed stage? Do you guys do that? Uh, it's it's a confusing term because people will say they seed the fund, but we're talking about seeding seed funds.

Graham Pingree: [00:26:53] What does that look like? Yeah. It's not something that we do at Sedona. Um, because we're focused on these very small funds, often nascent partnerships that are just trying to get going, you know, th their fee base tends to be very small. Anyway, we just, we don't think that it's fair to, to take economics from, from a very small fund.

Um, and we also don't think it's. It's optimal. Uh, you know, we, we want to be backing the very best teams. We've kind of think that the very best teams want to be independent and, you know, own their destiny. Um, and we think there's some adverse selection in terms of fund managers that are willing to sell a part of their, uh, future economics in order to, to get a fundraiser.

So it's, yeah, it's not, it's not a part of, of our strategy and, uh, candidly, we kind of recommend fund managers try and avoid it if possible. 

MPD: [00:27:53] Okay. Now you worked at Horsley bridge, uh, before doing your MBA. Uh, and for those who don't know, Horsley bridge is a pretty big name LP. Uh, do you mind giving a little overview of the firm just briefly?

Um, and then I'm interested to hear, you know, why you ended up there, the whole thing. 

Graham Pingree: [00:28:12] Yeah. Yeah. Um, well, so I started, uh, out of undergrad at, um, another pretty well known institution in the investment space called Cambridge associates. Uh, and they are a, um, uh, an advisory firm that, uh, provides consulting services to most of the endowed nonprofit world on, um, how to allocate their portfolios.

Um, During my time there, I worked with several large clients that had a lot of, uh, venture capital and private equity exposure. Um, and so, uh, when I moved out to San Francisco, uh, it made sense to look for an opportunity that was instead of on the advisory side, uh, actually deploying capital writing checks into funds and, um, When I was at Cambridge, a lot of my mentors said, if you want to go to a fund of funds, horsey bridge, just really, um, you know, the, the top of the top of the heap, um, they, they have one of the most respected brands and access to some of the very best, uh, venture funds.

So, uh, I was fortunate enough to land a role there as an investment because had, um, and, uh, it was a really a foundational part of my career as. As an LP. Um, and Horsley is a firm that was actually founded, um, on the East coast, uh, but has been located in San Francisco for decades. Um, I was really lucky to work there, uh, when kind of the, the founding partners, um, Phil Horsley and Gary bridge were, were still there.

They were mentors of mine as well as many of the managing directors who are still there today. Um, they have been in LPs in, in. Most of the top brands in Silicon Valley, uh, from the very nascent days of venture as an industry, uh, as well as a number of growth equity and leveraged buyout managers as well, 

MPD: [00:30:09] Cambridge associates and Horsley bridge.

Those are two of the big names in that community. You have a, this is one of the reasons I was excited to have you on the show is you're incredibly pedigreed, uh, in the LP community for venture. Um, and for those who don't know, uh, Cambridge associates, uh, also is the, essentially provides the benchmark for returns for venture firms every year is a new vintage.

So if you're a 2015 vintage, they'll say, if you've made this much money in return, you're in the top decile or core tile of all the funds. So they kind of are the, they set the standard for how these C's evaluate that performance to a pretty significant role in the market. 

Graham Pingree: [00:30:49] Yeah. I mean, both experiences for me were really fantastic.

Uh, I think one thing that Cambridge and Horsley share is, um, you know, that, that focus on data and the data is, uh, both quantitative. They collect a lot of information about track records and investment performance, but also qualitative. One of my favorite things is, you know, Uh, a young person at both of those firms, just being able to go back and look at meeting notes from decades before.

Uh, and it, it was just as someone who was kind of a student of the venture, uh, world and, and history to be able to, to go back and read, um, w was that 

MPD: [00:31:34] or a person that you remember looking back on semi-conscious VC that. 

Graham Pingree: [00:31:40] Not specifically. I mean, Horsley was LPs in, uh, you know, Kleiner and, and Mayfield and matrix from there, you know, first or second fund.

So being able to go back and read, um, those meeting notes and investment memos, uh, doc, before those were brand names, it was really 

MPD: [00:31:59] pretty, it's like V it's VC history. Yeah, absolutely. Okay. Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? You've been doing this for awhile. It sounds like you've found a home.

Graham Pingree: [00:32:12] Yeah. Look, I think we're building some, some really exciting stuff that, um, at sadhana, I think, uh, the, the we've been able to walk the line between staying disciplined and staying focused on our part of the market while layering in some new initiatives as well. Uh, you know, pre-seed as a, as a separate portfolio, Didn't exist in our third fund.

Um, so breaking it out as, as part of fund four was a little bit of an evolution for us. Um, and, and some of the international is, is still, still relatively nascent for us. And we think there's a, there's a ton of opportunity, uh, to find great managers, uh, around, around the globe. Um, I, I think, you know, there are other, um, interesting.

And complimentary strategies that we could pursue that, um, would be symbiotic with our kind of core focus on small and early stage funds. Uh, and look, I think our kind of flagship product is still exciting and really compelling from a, uh, a return perspective. Cool. Are 

MPD: [00:33:24] there, is there a product that you guys imagine adding in the near future?

I mean, it sounds like you just made the big leap internationally, so maybe you've got your work cut out for you. 

Graham Pingree: [00:33:33] Yeah, I think we're, we're focused on, um, on building, uh, building the international program. And, um, so no, nothing imminent, I would say. Um, but, uh, there, there are always ideas that we kick around internally, um, that that could emerge.

I think we're open to something, um, growing organically, but, uh, we also. We're excited about the kind of lines of business that we're in right now. 

MPD: [00:34:04] Okay. All right. Graham, last question. Broad one. What is the most important thing you've learned as an investor? Looking to impart a little wisdom here to the people listening.

Um, I think this, this whole conversation has been incredibly informative for folks and bringing them into the context of what's going on up the chain if you're an entrepreneur. But I do think a lot of people will be listening to this who write checks into funds directly. So any guidance. 

Graham Pingree: [00:34:32] Yeah. I mean, I think the most, the single most important part of our job is evaluating people.

Um, I think it's probably, I'm sure evaluating people is paramount in all types of investment decision-making uh, but as a limited partner, It's not like evaluating a direct investment opportunity where you have a business model to evaluate and diligence. We're investing in a blind pool of capital. Sure.

There's a strategy. Um, and, and a focus, but at the end of the day, it really is all about the people. And, um, I that's. That's what engages me the most and what I find the most exciting. It's also, you know, the most challenging part of the work. Um, so I, I think my, my piece of advice, um, on the limited partner side is, is really, you know, at the end of the day, the, the people are paramount and, and that's what you have to have to 

MPD: [00:35:33] focus on.

Terrific. Thank you for making time to join us. 

Graham Pingree: [00:35:39] Thanks so much


MPD: [00:35:44] thanks to Graham for giving us a glimpse into the secrets of the LP world. LPs are VCs ultimate customer. Understanding them is important to understanding VCs. If you liked what you heard, please hook us up with a like or a five star review. Feel free to share with a friend. You can find me on Twitter at MPD to hear more of my conversations with innovators, subscribe on YouTube, Facebook, or any major podcast platform.

Just search for innovation with Mark Peter Davis.