Categories investment and innovation

Why Gustavo Souza Looks Up to Peter Livingston

Peter Livingston - Unpopular Ventures

As the final part of this interview series with SaaSholic venture capitalist founder Gustavo Souza, we touched upon people he looks up to. Who? Peter Livingston. And we talked about why.


I/ But first, who is Peter Livingston?


Peter Livingston began as a full-time employee in a tech company. The company did perform very well and IPOed. He hit the jackpot and got interested in angel investing and venture capital. He founded unpopular ventures. It’s a syndicate an angel list and a rolling fun meaning that it opens quarterly to raising more funds. Gustavo has co-invested with Peter Livingston.

So, why does Gustavo admire Peter Livingston?


II/ Why does Gustavo look up to Peter Livingston?

Gustavo mentioned multiple reasons. Notoriously open to new ideas and Peter has set forth the provocative thesis that the most unpopular deals are also end up being the most successful ones. Why? Popular deals might be successful but capital returns are lower than unpopular deals as people flock to popular deals which increase the price.


Unpopular deals don’t arouse interest but suspicion: prices remains low. Plus, founders can easily tweak anything that makes the startup unpopular by pivoting the value proposition, or making adjustments to the product or the chosen market in someway or other. Gustavo mentioned that he has co-invested with Peter Livingston and is happy with the returns.


Plus, Gustavo admires Peter Livingston’s communication. Peter writes a letter to investors which is remarkable and conciseness. Straight to the point.


III/ Now, why back Peter Livingston’s ideas?


Peter rejects that the leading venture-capital model is Sequoia, firmly believing his AngelList syndicate model, UnPopularVentures, will be VC’s next paradigm shift. So, in many ways, Peter Livingston is a disruptor.

  • Peter has built a syndicate of business angels: people that invest their money, not third party capital.
  • One can share the carry with other people. For example, assume a scouter uncovers an interesting startup opportunity. If returns are handsome, then Peter shares 20% of his carry with the scouter. In other words, Peter Livingston is directly incentivizing his network.


You’ll find more in the video below!


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