Sarah Pinto is a Vice President with Spectrum Equity, a growth equity fund, in San Francisco. She spends her time sourcing and investing in software, information services and Internet companies. Prior to joining Spectrum, Sarah worked at Great Hill Partners, Bridgepoint, and Goldman Sachs. She holds an MS from HEC Paris and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School
Responsibilities in current role
I am responsible for sourcing and evaluating investments in technology companies that are in the growth stage: $10M+ in revenue, fast growing, with healthy unit metrics. After investing, I work with those companies to help them make strategic choices, become more data driven, expand internationally, make acquisitions etc
Favorite thing about your role
Being a resource to founders and executives to help them grow their businesses and change their industries
Most challenging thing about your role
Keeping up with the pace of technological innovation and always keeping my ear to the ground on new emerging companies. But that is also what keeps it interesting!
Something you wish you knew at the start of your career
People and company culture matter a lot, and certainly a lot more than prestige or money. I have found that to be even more true as a foreign woman (I grew up in France) working in the tech investing industry, where I am always part of the minority
Balancing a career in a highly competitive industry and two kids with a working spouse, 5,000 miles away from where I grew up
If you weren’t doing your current job...
I probably would join a tech company and try to do it myself!
Favorite tech company you’ve seen?
I have a soft spot for WeddingWire, one of our marketplace investments. Other than that, Facebook (where my husband works) continues to impress me, particularly the energy they invest in their culture. My husband was able to take 3 months off for the birth of our daughter and it made a huge difference for our family. We really started off parenting on equal footing, which is critical
I recently started “Rules for Radicals” which is a book from the 70s on how to create movements for change and have found it fascinating. In the past couple of years, I have also become an avid podcast listener and particularly love entrepreneur stories such as “How I built this” and “Million$”
Something you can't live without
Friends and family. Happiness for me is in relationships
Something you do outside of work
Travel! I don’t have nearly as much time to go far as I would like, but I still get to Europe at least twice a year and take every opportunity I can to discover California, which is strikingly beautiful
Favorite SF restaurant
I recently discovered Al’s Place and loved it
Anything we haven’t asked about that you’d like to share?
My advice for women considering tech investing as a career: go for it and don’t self-select out before talking to others. Then, surround yourselves with a support system of others you can share your experiences with. This is why organizations like Synergist are so important