Social Leverage

An early stage seed investment fund

About Us

Social Leverage is a partnership that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs in the technology space. We partner with promising companies, bringing our own entrepreneurial expertise, relationships, and marketing experience to the fore. Our portfolio companies benefit from our hands on involvement in all stages of development. More pointedly, social leverage is about leveraging our extensive network of industry relationships and expertise to help grow great companies and build great products.

 

The Social Leverage Difference

Find Great Talent

We have a unique reputation for finding top-notch founder talent.

Identify New Trends

With more than 30 years of combined investment management experience, we are known for identifying industry trends.

High-Touch Service

We spend a substantial amount of time with prospective founders in both social and professional settings.

Network And Learn

We host unique events such as “Lindzonpalooza” and “Stocktoberfest”, which brings together our ecosystem to network and learn.



“Social Leverage has been an amazing partner. They are well connected and entrepreneur friendly.”

– Scott Kriz, CEO of Bitium


 

A unique approach to investing in new ventures


Social Leverage offers a repeatable, methodical and systematically proven approach to investing in new ventures.

We look for founders with domain experience and an investment premise that caters to powerful demographic trends, visibility on revenue models, and an investment group we can be proud of. In some cases, we will be happy to put together that group.

We specialize in the following domains:

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about_product

We surface investment ideas through the popular StockTwits API.


Our Team

We help turn your vision into a great company



howard

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HOWARD LINDZON

Founder, General Partner

Howard has more than 20 years experience in the financial community acting in both an entrepreneurial and investing capacity. With a unique vision for starting, managing, and successfully advising innovative companies, Lindzon is the public-face of the Social Leverage entities. In 2008 Lindzon co-founded StockTwits, recently named “one of the top 10 most innovative companies in web” by FastCompany and one of the “50 best websites” by Time (where he invented the “cashtag”). Previously, Lindzon created more than 400 original videos on Wallstrip, acquired by $CBS in 2007. Lindzon stepped down from his operational role as CEO of StockTwits on December 31, 2013, to focus on the next phase of Social Leverage. As acting Chairman, Lindzon’s connection to StockTwits along with his hedge fund experience, give Social Leverage access to a community of professionals who can evaluate fintech opportunities.




TOM PETERSON

Founder, General Partner

Tom is a General Partner and Co-Founder of Social Leverage. In 2011, Tom and Howard were recognized by Institutional Investor as one of the “super angels,” where they were depicted as helping to reorganize early-stage investing with disciplined capital, uniform investing rules and a sense of community that traditional venture capital took notice of. In 2012, they subsequently raised their second small micro-VC fund. With 90+ investments closed, Peterson manages the day-to-day business of Social Leverage and assists portfolio companies in need with operational and corporate development expertise. He has a strong fiduciary presence with experience as President & COO of NASDAQ (NTRL) prior to leading the privatization of the company.

tom

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gary

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GARY BENITT

General Partner

Gary is a seasoned serial entrepreneur, having been a part of four founding teams in both consumer and B2B companies over the past 18 years. Most recently, he spent 3 years with Salesforce.com as the Desk.com COO after his company, Assistly, was acquired in 2011. Previously, Gary was with AOL after his prior startup (Goowy Media) was acquired in early 2008. Gary has managed various technology and go to market teams including business operations, customer service, client implementation and success, engineering and quality assurance. He brings broad knowledge across all facets of growing a business from startup into a mature organization.Gary has been an active investor in early stage companies since 2011, with over 20 investments, including notable companies like Getaround, Hello, Inc., Stitch Labs and Zenpayroll.



Updates

Read the latest posts from the Social Leverage team.

In many businesses, pricing strategy can make or break the company and brand.  Price too low and you’re viewed as cheap option not worthy of a purchase; price too high and your customers might seek out your lower priced competitors.  In the SaaS businesses that I’ve been a part of, we’ve used pricing strategy to achieve specific goals that changed over the lifetime of the business.  As an example, freemium is a great model to get more people to at least try your product but as you go more upmarket, getting the “free” customers might be less appealing.

We’ve seen price optimization in the on demand economy as well.  Also referred to as yield management, companies like Uber have excelled at raking in more money for themselves and their drivers with surge pricing.  What about the vacation rental market?

Most recently Airbnb has introduced Price Tips to help hosts set a more “perfect” price which both optimizes the vacancy rates and the amount of money a host can earn during periods of higher demand.  This validates that hosts need help in finding an optimal price.  And that Airbnb will benefit from that optimal pricing as they make a percentage of the total bookings.  However, in my own use of the product, I’ve seen that so far, Price Tips skews significantly on the side of filling units vs. creating higher earnings for a single night.  I would assume that they’ll keep improving the product, but this is a very specialized area of knowledge and requires significant focus.

That’s where Beyond Pricing comes in.  Beyond Pricing makes it possible for hosts to make more money, potentially while even renting out their space less frequently.  Although it sounds great to be fully booked, it’s even better to get higher returns with a 30 or 40% vacancy rate.   The idea is to increase monthly income by at least 10% (in most cases likely closer to 30-40%) while charging a 1% fee to do so: https://beyondpricing.com/faq#how-much-does-beyond-pricing-cost.

Airbnb is massive.  They have over 1,000,000 listing across 34,000 cities in 190 countries.  Their most recent valuation puts them at over $20 billion dollars.  Beyond Pricing is currently in 40 cities across 14 countries and is currently controlling over $5 million dollars worth of bookings on a monthly basis.  It takes time to enter each new city – here’s a bit of insight in terms of the effort from the Beyond Pricing FAQ:

One of the most important and unique things that Beyond Pricing does is leverage A LOT of data about local events, hotel prices, Airbnb demand, and other factors. We test every city extensively before launching. We don’t just tell you to lower your price as a stay approaches or increase your prices in high season – you already know how to do that. We’re taking your pricing to the next level with hotel and airline-level sophistication.

The Airbnb attempts missed many of the data and subtleties contemplated by Beyond Pricing as the go into each new city – that’s what happens when you have a side project vs. a company that’s dedicated to going beyond pricing and driving toward optimal yield management.

But being able to do this at scale across all Airbnb listings will drive an incredible business.  And, there are other participants in this ecosystem such as VRBO and HomeAway that will definitely need to be added in over time, providing further opportunity.

This post is late in coming as the funding was previously announced in March, but we are extremely proud to be a part of what Ian McHenry and David Kelso are building at Beyond Pricing and we can’t wait to see what’s next!

Robinhood announced their Series B today of $50 million. We are very excited to be able to participate in the round as we did as Angels and the Series A.

We were first introduced to Adnan Mahmud and the LiveStories team through TechStars Seattle.  Tom, Howard and I each had spent some time with Adnan on various phone calls and each of us came out of those calls blown away by the product.



The latest updates and posts from around the web by our companies.

Portfolio

Here are the companies which we have invested in within our 4 funds. Filter them by the fund or exits.

Contact

The most effective introduction is from someone who knows you and knows us. We place a higher priority on entrepreneurs that are referred or endorsed by people we know and trust. However we want to make connecting easy so please fill out this form or email us.

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Social Leverage Contact Info

info@socialleverage.com

1307 Ynez Place, Coronado, CA 92118


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