Ever hear of Stripes Group?

Undergraduate junior here, currently going through the recruiting season for BB IBD. We had a small resume drop earlier and I was invited for first round phone interviews with Stripes.

They seem very interesting, especially with the kind of companies they invest in (I love tech). But while I have done a little bit of research on IBD, I know pretty much nothing about PE. In addition I can't seem to find much information regarding the group online.

Thoughts? Have you heard of them before, and is it worthy of serious consideration over the typical BB IBD route?

Comments (15)

Sep 15, 2016 - 1:07am
monkey_in_distress, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Went through essentially the entire recruiting process with them. In my opinion, if you get a BB offer in addition to them, take it, but they're not a bad opportunity if you don't. Let me know if you have any questions about recruiting for them...can't say anything about actual work because I didn't end up with them.

Sep 15, 2016 - 10:50am
APAE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's a well-regarded growth equity fund in New York.

You need to know what your real career interest is. If you are undecided about your long-term path in finance, a junior year summer analyst position here isn't your smartest move.

It's more than fine to be undecided; some of the smartest kids looking at the industry know that they haven't yet figured out what their ideal working environment, industry of interest, and specialized professional skill-set for the long haul is. That's the one real beauty of the banking analyst program. You get paid well (on an absolute basis), develop a core skill-set that's immediately marketable and transferable, meet a lot of influential people, and learn from experienced professionals all around you.

The downside of a position like you'd have at Stripes at the junior level (whether an internship or analyst role) is that you lose the marketability and transferability mentioned above. Your skill-set isn't as fungible; you can move to different firms doing the same thing or to something within one standard deviation (e.g. later stage toward buyout, earlier stage toward VC), but you don't have the foundational banking experience that signals to any financial services employer that you have a baseline that qualifies you for at minimum a lower-level role in their firm.

To sum it up: if you have enough real datapoints that grant you an informed opinion that growth equity or PE is something you want to pursue in the long run, give Stripes a real hard look.

It's a good firm with some solid portfolio companies. They don't have a problem fundraising (currently $1.5bn AUM, and for their model [number of active deals, check size / stage they enter at], they have zero problem raising whatever size they want for the next fund), have a hefty management fee to spread across a fairly lean team, and the lifestyle is pretty amenable.

If you're still figuring out what the broader world of finance is and how your personality, preferred style of work, natural inclinations, and interests all fit into it, try your hardest to get a prominent banking internship. It's increasingly hard today to get into an analyst program without returning to the firm you summered at or accepting an offer from a competitor during the incremental hiring period at the end of the summer before senior year. The analyst program is the best place for someone undecided to learn and grow.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

  • 10
Best Response
Oct 5, 2016 - 11:30pm
APAE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You sound like you think sourcing at the junior level in VC is a bad thing. It's not.

I'll paste what I wrote in another thread on the role of an analyst or associate in venture:

The two are very different in VC. Analysts respond to partner requests for industry research, deal diligence, portfolio company support, and board meeting prep. Associates are primarily focused on sourcing: getting out into the community to advance the fund's brand and maintain/boost dealflow.

If you're an associate, you shouldn't ever really have a concern over your career prospects if you're doing your job correctly. Why? Because you are so knit into the community that not only is your access to dealflow stellar, but your access to career opportunities is as well. You should be seeing (and being asked for help filling) job descriptions for your portfolio companies, your friends at other funds' portfolio companies, and even roles at other funds.

If that's true, then basically every two years, you know you can hop into a role at another fund or startup with more pay and the exact set of responsibilities you want. Switching between funds typically happens when someone doesn't see as clear a path to promotion as they want (i.e. after three years as an associate out of undergrad you might switch to another fund to gain the Principal title / or after five years as a Principal somewhere without getting a seat as a partner, you may switch to a firm about to announce a new fund as a partner there).

Sourcing is the lifeblood of every senior investment professional. If you can't put high-caliber deals on the table, you won't ever get anything into the portfolio and thus you won't ever get paid.

People on here (rightfully) talk down on PE associate roles where a large portion of the work is sourcing. That makes sense, because in PE at the junior level you're looking to learn the quantitative elements of the deal process so you develop a foundational skill-set that serves you well as your career unfolds. Well, as your career unfolds, you move to a sourcing function.

VC has dramatically less of a quantitative element (there's really only two mandatory parts: market sizing [and within it, customer LTV, product pricing, ARPU, and other analyses], and cap table / ownership / exit analysis). Deal structures are way simpler. You're funding young companies where growth is the core focus, not mature companies where financial engineering and operational optimization often presents the value in the deal.

As such, the greatest value at the junior level (both to you and to your employer) is making sure that every deal that exists is a deal you know about. As an associate, your task is to make sure that you can put glittering, shiny objects in front of the people who've been around the block long enough to know how markets are evolving (not capital markets, but addressable markets), where opportunities exist as created by technological innovation or regulatory change or customer demographics, and where unique IP can really make a difference.

That means you need to be a sourcing machine -- getting in front of high-quality entrepreneurs and proving your value (by sharing the firm's resources to solve problems those founders tell you about [or more importantly, the ones they really care about but don't voice out loud] or creating a solution on your own). Do that long enough and you start to be the person with enough laps around the block to have unique insights to add.

If you're successful at this, you'll get promoted really quickly (because success means the deals you put on the partners' radar get put into the portfolio and generate returns as their valuations grow). If you get promoted quickly, you start earning carry quickly. For the best and brightest, quick (in relative terms) but measurable success means being able to raise a fund on their own. This is how Jonathan and Justin raised $125 for Binary, how Jeremiah raised $156 for Elephant with Andy Hunt (of Warby Parker), how Lyon raised $170 for Spectrum 28 ... etc.

Sourcing matters.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

  • 13
Oct 6, 2016 - 12:59am
VC_associate_13, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I've been in venture for nearly 4 years and could not agree more. For some reason sourcing has traditionally been looked down on by banking monkeys. But that is where the real value is. Any grunt can put together a model and presentations. Execution is cookie cutter. Finding and winning deals is what really matters, and what separates the all stars from the plain vanilla.

  • 2
Oct 6, 2016 - 7:02pm
ElTigreChino, what's your opinion? Comment below:

FWIW, I don't look down upon sourcing - I think it's a rare and valuable skillset. And even in PE, it's a helpful skill as you become more senior. I asked for clarification because I think it's important to know exactly the role you're signing up for before you sign up for it, that's all.

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Apr 27, 2020 - 11:55pm

I know some people there and can confirm much of what's being said here. It's decent if you KNOW you want to do growth equity in your career and are fine with not having the option for anything else. If you DO know you want to do growth equity though there are obviously much higher tier firms that also hire undergrads, like General Atlantic, JMI, etc.

Otherwise, if you want a variety of exits and optionality, stick with IB or MBB. It'll get you to the same/better place in the same amount of time, without giving up alternatives you might want to explore.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Mar 26, 2021 - 12:05pm

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