Point72 Ventures

Meet the new Point72 Ventures Partners – Sugam Sarin

We are thrilled to announce the recent promotions of Tara Stokes, Chris Morales, Sugam Sarin, and Ishan Sinha to Partners at Point72 Ventures. Each of them plays instrumental roles in leading Point72 Ventures investing in their respective fields of AI, Defense Tech, Fintech, and Consumer. We caught up with them for a conversation about their career journey, their vision for their sectors, and how they plan to continue supporting innovation and founders in their new role.

  • To start, can you share a brief overview of your career journey leading up to Point72 Ventures?

I started my career as an investment banker at Citigroup within their Financial Institutions Group (FIG) where I covered banks and specialty finance businesses.

To me, financial institutions truly connect every industry together given every business deals with the movement of money. Understanding these institutions was an interesting challenge and eventually became a personal moat. At the time, there was no “Fintech” investment banking coverage, and I was fortunate enough to be able to work on/cover the IPOs of companies like LendingClub, OnDeck etc. as they first came onto the scene which in turn also introduced me to the VCs they were backed by.

Fascinated by some of the innovation that was taking place in financial services, I chose to then join American Express Ventures where I spent time understanding how a large financial behemoth like an American Express thinks about innovation. The biggest pain points & startup opportunities live within the walls of these types of institutions but navigating them is a complex undertaking. After 5+ years doing a mix of strategic investing and business development and helping amazing entrepreneurs partner with American Express, I joined Point72 Ventures as part of their Fintech team.

  • What sets Point72 Ventures apart from other firms and what has your experience been working here so far?

Intellectual horsepower and curiosity. Our organization is filled with incredibly sharp and driven individuals. Daily, people are thinking about big, new, creative ideas. A day can start out with payments, take a detour towards healthcare, then to space and then end up in video games. The number of fascinating areas our team has deep and insightful perspectives on never ceases to amaze me and makes me a better investor.

  • What is your area of expertise and what are some of the key trends you are currently observing that excite you?

I lead the Fintech practice here at Point72 Ventures. To me, Fintech makes the world go round as it truly touches every industry and individual in some way. If a transaction is taking place, we believe there is a critical infrastructure needed to power it and we want to know all about it. The world is increasingly digital and global which I believe only amplifies the need for better financial infrastructure horizontally (payments, capital markets, wealth management) or in specific industries (sports, gaming, ESG etc.).

  • Can you share an example of a project or deal that you’re particularly proud of?

It is a beautiful thing when signals around burning fintech pain points cluster together after a variety of conversations and you then find an amazing founding team that is building the exact solution you think should exist and has the right background to do so. It never happens as seamlessly as I just laid out but there is a great deal of satisfaction when you can marry thematic research, domain specific expertise and great founding teams together. We are fortune to partner with companies such as Pagos, Skipify, Aghanim, Card91, Tesouro, PayEngine, Certa and others that have invited us to join them on their journey.

  • What is your approach to identifying and supporting promising startups in the Fintech space?

We believe domain specific expertise is critical for investors and entrepreneurs. We work hard to understand the needs of customers, including banks, payment processors, networks, asset managers, merchants etc. and, and to have a strong perspective on headwinds and tailwinds in the ecosystem. Our view of the biggest pain points and next big opportunities is formed in large part by listening to the people who live and breathe financial services every day. From there, we look for founders who are hungry to build something big and who we think are in a great position to tackle the problem at hand. I am lucky that founders have allowed me to be a part of their journeys and I see my job as doing everything I possibly can to make their lives easier.

  • Finally, what advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to work in venture capital?

On the one hand, hustle and grit. You need to have an insatiable desire to win and go the extra mile. No successful founder or investor can succeed without it. You will be told “no”, things won’t work out the way you planned; your To-Do list will only get longer & longer. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Keep grinding! On the other hand, empathy and the ability to build meaningful relationships. It is easy to be a supportive investor or partner when things are all going according to plan. That is rarely the case. Getting to know the person on the other side of that coffee chat or zoom room regardless of the context goes a long way. This is a people driven business and we should strive to really get to know the people we are doing business with in order to support them in the best way we can 😊.

This is not an advertisement nor an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to invest in any entity or other investment vehicle.  The information herein is not intended to be used as a guide to investing or as a source of any specific investment recommendation, and it makes no implied or express recommendation concerning the suitability of an investment for any particular investor.  The opinions, projections and other forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that the authors’ believe to be reasonable but are subject to a wide range of risks and uncertainties, and, therefore, actual outcomes and future events may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements.  Point72 Private Investments, LLC or an affiliate may seek to invest in one or more of the companies discussed herein.