May 22, 2023

Sunbound Asks: Charlie Pinto of Fundamental Ventures

Nat Miller

This week on Sunbound Asks we had the pleasure of sitting down with Charlie Pinto, General Partner at Fundamental Ventures and one of the amazing investors backing Sunbound. We had such a great time welcoming Charlie to the blog and talking about a wide range of subjects including why he’s decided to invest in the senior care space by backing Sunbound, as well as lessons that senior care operators and tech companies can learn from one another. To learn more about Charlie, his career in venture capital, and his thoughts on the senior care industry moving forward, check out our interview below.

Q: How long have you been working in venture capital?

A: I started angel investing in 2014 and from 2014-2018 was strictly doing angel investing. In 2018 I started collaborating with Bling Capital, and have been with the team ever since. And then in 2022 I raised a small angel fund in order to continue angel investing.

Q: How’d you get into the venture capital industry?

A: During a 2014 Y Combinator Alumni Demo Day, I was sitting next to two friends Jude Gomila and Sumon Sadhu, and they told me I should start angel investing. So, that’s what I did! I had no idea what I was doing except: 1/ Find exceptional founders and 2/ Large markets or potentially large markets. It was a great experience right from the start.

Q: Why is Fundamental Ventures investing in the senior care space?

A: My strategy is influenced by my time collaborating with Bling Capital, which makes sense—it is what I’ve been doing for a number of years. I consider myself a generalist but it just turns out that I’ve been investing a lot in SaaS and Fintech. When I first invested in Sunbound it was the SaaS and Marketplace component that really interested me, and now that y’all are going into Fintech it’s still a really natural fit. 

Q: What’s the most exciting trend you’ve seen in the senior care industry?

A:  I think what Sunbound is focused on is very exciting, which is bringing a more modern Fintech experience to an industry that sees hundreds of billions of dollars flow through it but lacks a modern experience. Senior care is a large industry and there’s a lot of opportunity to modernize and make it easier for seniors and their adult children. These adult children have either grown up with the internet, or were on the cusp or growing up with the internet, and now want to have a more modern and user-friendly experience inside the senior care and senior living industry.

Q: What can senior care companies learn from the broader tech ecosystem of healthcare or finance companies?

A: I think the learnings can actually flow in both directions. First, there’s a lot that healthcare and Fintech startups can learn from senior living operators, primarily that you need to make sure that your fundamentals work: You can build a great experience but if you’re not seeing a contribution margin, then it’s likely your business isn’t working. But if you’re operating a senior care business you’re probably already operating with the fundamentals in mind – you already know that things like your EBITDA margin are important and that you need to make sure you’re making money and that your business is working. On the other hand, one thing that I think senior care operators could learn from the best Fintech and healthcare startups is that you need to build things that people love. If you’re operating a senior care facility, it’s important to focus not only on the day-to-day patient experience, but to remember the entire product experience as well. This extends to things like the experience of patient onboarding, when your patients and their adult children have their “aha moment”.

Q: How would you reassure an older relative that a technological tool is safe and secure?

A: It can be tough. It’s incredibly unfortunate but there are predatory individuals that seek out seniors for two reasons: the first being that as we age we can lose a step and become a little more vulnerable, and the second being that many seniors did not grow up with this technology. But when it comes to the question “can you trust software companies”, the answer is “yes but”. Software companies have incentives to protect your data, because if they expose your data it’s horrible for the company and more often than not they’ll go out of business. Relatedly, senior care operators should do their diligence on who they work with. Another thing to keep in mind is that almost every software business uses either Microsoft, Google, or Amazon to host their data. These are trillion dollar businesses, and security is their top concern.

Q: What’s one thing you wish would change about the senior care industry?

A: I wish there was a better rating system in place that could rate facilities on all of the metrics that are important to seniors and their loved ones. You look at a rating system like Yelp and there are many categories of metrics. I wish there was something similar in the senior care space for someone who was trying to evaluate a senior care facility or hold a facility accountable through honest and open ratings.

Q: What’s going to be your favorite hobby in retirement?

A: I think I’m a ways away (if I ever retire!). I hope to maintain all my hobbies: Meeting new people, farming and gardening, spending time with my family, continuing CrossFit and jiu-jitsu.

Q: If you weren’t working in venture capital, what else would you be doing?

A: I’d probably be working at my family business, which is in sanitation. 

Q: We hear you’re a history buff, any fun online history resources our readers might like?

A: I think all the best history is in books and not online. For example, no online resource can replace the joy of reading The Landmark Thucydides by Robert Strassler and following along with the Peloponnesian War. In terms of historical fiction, I just finished two amazing W.E.B. Griffin book series called The Presidential Agent and The Corps. They’re large, multi-volume, and they’re really good. I’d say my favorite is The Corps. It’s set in WWII and goes through the Korean War following the arc of many characters. 

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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