LA Venture: Why Social Leverage’s Gary Benitt Invests Early

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
LA Venture: Why Social Leverage’s Gary Benitt Invests Early

Meet Gary Benitt, managing partner at Social Leverage — a venture capital firm that invests in startups ranging from fintech to SaaS.

On this episode of LA Venture, Benitt discusses his role at Social Leverage, the fund's investments in Robinhood and Rally Road, and his approach of investing early and leaning in.


"I want to be a user. And I have intuition that I believe is right. But obviously, it's just one data point for my founders to take and to do with what they want," said Benitt.

Since 2011, Benitt has invested in early-stage companies like Classy, Getaround, Gusto and Gyft. Joining Social Leverage brought Benitt closer to the fintech world. And he credits his partner Howard Lindzon's vision and big personality for earning Social Leverage's reputation.

Before he started working at Social Leverage, Benitt spent 18 years building companies in the customer service and support software space, including startups such as Assistly, where he was the founder and COO.

Benitt's knowledge in sales and support have led him to be willing to invest early on if he believes in the idea. He stresses the importance for founders to be on the frontline selling the product they made.

"If you love everything about the deal, but the price, do the deal anyway. The price shouldn't be the reason for you not to do the deal if everything else is great," he said.

Hear the full episode by clicking on the playhead above, and listen to LA Venture on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Activision Blizzard Workers Win Union Vote

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Samson is also a proud member of the Transgender Journalists Association. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Activision Blizzard Workers Win Union Vote
Activision Blizzard Logo Under Microscope

Workers at Activision Blizzard subsidiary Raven Software won their labor union vote today—a move that certifies the first union at a major video game publisher in the U.S., and one that could potentially transform the Santa Monica-based game developer that Microsoft is paying $69 billion to acquire.

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