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VC Sheel Mohnot is one of the best seed investors out there. He was also in a Justin Bieber music video.

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 02 Apr 2021


<p><img src="https://static6.businessinsider.com/image/60634bf167187800184ad4f9-2400/cambrianheadshot.jpg" border="0" alt="Sheel Mohnot" data-mce-source="Courtesy of Sheel Mohnot"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>"It's a long story," Sheel Mohnot said.</p><p>Mohnot, a cofounder of Better Tomorrow Ventures, was about to explain how he ended up in a Justin Bieber music video. It began with his journey to find love.</p><p>At the beginning of the pandemic, Mohnot was rejected on <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2020/08/07/livestreamed-love-parody-show-zoom-bachelor-is-a-silicon-valley-experiment-in-entertainment-and-matchmaking/'sh=1bbda37a44ce">"Zoom Bachelorette,"</a> a makeshift dating show that aired over Zoom where he competed against 11 men for one woman's heart. But Mohnot was then selected as the Zoom Bachelor, where he would get to eliminate women one by one until he found his match.</p><p>There was a Clubhouse room dedicated to following Mohnot's journey, and Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber's manager, happened to be listening.</p><p>"He was like, 'Oh my God! I'm making this music video. I gotta get you in this music video,'" Mohnot said.</p><p>So about two minutes into Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch'v=pE49WK-oNjU">"Stuck With U" music video</a>, you'll see Mohnot facing away from the camera, apparently kissing someone. Suddenly, he whips around and flashes a smile, showing he was alone all along. The video has over 152 million views.</p><p>That's arguably the coolest thing to happen to anyone ever, but there are many cool things about Mohnot. For one, he's among the best seed investors out therespecifically the third best on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/seed-100-top-early-stage-vc-investors-2021-4">Insider's Seed 100 list</a>, powered by data from Tribe Capital.</p><p>Mohnot began his career at microlending nonprofit Kiva, where he got a taste for financial technology and never looked back. He then founded two startups, had two successful exits, and dove into the venture world. He's since invested early in companies such as Flexport, valued at $3.2 billion, and Albert, which recently raised $100 million.</p><p>Last year, he cofounded Better Tomorrow Ventures, an early-stage firm specializing in fintech, and raised $75 million for its inaugural fund.</p><p>His new firm came just in time. Fintech has exploded over the course of the pandemic, and <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/stripe-valuation-founders-patrick-collison-john-collison-net-worth-wealth-2021-3">valuations are bigger</a> than ever. Mohnot said his portfolio companies are raising new rounds at unprecedented speed.</p><p>It's a mixed blessing, he said. Although founders have more money to "figure it out," he said some companies need the pressure of limited capital to thrive.</p><p>"Some founders have to break through walls or find their way around to figure out what the right business is," he said.</p><p>Mohnot persevered after "Zoom Bachelorette" to become the Zoom Bachelor, and he expects that same persistence in his founders.</p><p>"Most of our most successful companies were a pivot," he said. "What they were doing at first didn't work, and they had to have the tenacity of trying something different."</p><p>Mohnot takes a particularly personal approach to getting to know his foundersafter all, it's hard to judge "tenacity" from a 30-minute pitch meeting.</p><p>In pre-pandemic times, this meant long dinners talking about, well, anything besides venture. Nowadays that's a little harder.</p><p>"One thing I've tried to do recently is toand this sounds cheesy AFbut have virtual beers where we get together at happy-hour time," he said. "It is kind of lame, but it's also like, what can you do'"</p><p>As for Mohnot's future, he's already dreaming of his post-pandemic adventures: a long trip to Africa, and maybe Brazil, he said.</p><p>Then again, this is the man who founded his own venture firm, had 12 women competing for his heart, and danced in a Bieber music videoall in the past year or so.</p><p>Who can really predict what Mohnot's next year holds'</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/seed-investor-sheel-mohnot-is-one-of-the-best-venture-2021-4#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-myths-debunked-wuhan-china-2020-2">Epidemiologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths</a></p>
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