How to switch from one VC to another?

Long story short, I'm looking to switch to a different VC as at my current place I'm paid below market, we rarely lead rounds and my team isn't the best for many reasons.

Problem is the VC world is extremely small and if I started emailing other VCs about openings, I'm afraid word would soon enough get around to my team that I'm planning to leave. It would also create a weird dynamic with the VCs that I regularly keep in touch with if I start asking questions about open roles at their funds.

Those who have successfully switched from one VC to another how did you do it?

P.s. I'm in EU

Comments (10)

Most Helpful
Jun 17, 2022 - 1:59pm
theghostofthestreet, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Pretty tough to do. I have found that the VC community isn't as back-stabby as IB and PE. If you are talented and there is a better fit at another shop (ideally another group), usually people would be reasonably understanding. I don't think reaching for a larger fund is necessarily going to directly correlate with better long term opportunities though. If I was you i'd reach out to your principal/partner with some data and explain that you think you are below street with pay and ask for ways to improve your performance so that they can rationalize paying you more or in line with the street. The reality is there are tons of micro cap VC funds out there that hardly reach the threshold of relevance... but people assume if they are employed by "a VC" the comp should be in line with what they see on the internet. You are compensated in line with your performance, title, and fund size. The most important factor is probably fund size. If your fund size is tiny they probably just can't pay you more - even if you are adding value, and will tell you that you should be there due to passion and belief that the subsector will grow and that is how you will get compensated long term. Moving to a larger fund from a smaller shop is almost impossible.

Jun 17, 2022 - 2:04pm
ken-Krak, what's your opinion? Comment below:

We are a €100-200m fund so not that small. The biggest issue that I think is irreconcilable is that it is a corporate VC fund (although operates more independently than most CVCs do, has its own fund for example). Because its a CVC, there is no chance that I will ever get carry.

Jun 17, 2022 - 2:47pm
theghostofthestreet, what's your opinion? Comment below:

In your jurisdiction that would be considered relevant but still very small. I don't know if you have formal VC titles, it sounds like maybe you are working in more of a growth equity arm of a large company? Regardless, the play is to collect data on VC funds of the same size and present it to your principal/partner.

Jun 17, 2022 - 3:04pm
theghostofthestreet, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There is no hard cutoff, all depends on LP profile and the team. If the team has experience and is legit and the LP profile is sophisticated then it makes sense to go there. Lots of bloat right now in VC though because of the excess cash floating around due to federal reserve policies the last few years. Your best way to assess... the people. Strictly and honestly screen them and see if there is anything impressive they have done in their career. Executive roles, past finance executive, startup success, large connection base, etc. If they are just a washed up PhD or something who works in a government incubator then you need to second guess the potential longevity of that fund.

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Jun 17, 2022 - 3:49pm

I'm biased but get some successful operating experience. Meaning get some milestone defining experiences in scaling or growth. If I tried, I know I could get a half-way decent VC job but there is little chance of making general partner or getting substantial carry at most top firms. There are exceptions but I might as well be playing the lottery with my background than target those type of funds. Plus I think VC is much more fulfilling and successful of a career if you can have legitimate advice to provide to founders and not just second hand knowledge. On the success part, as you know sourcing is a huge part of the equation for capital deployment and being known as a person who can truly help founders beyond being a piggy-bank which can drive greater quality leads.

  • NA in IB-M&A
Jun 20, 2022 - 2:50am

By growth/scaling do you mean corp dev or sales&marketing?

I have a pure financial background (investment banking + VC) so getting into non-financial roles have been a struggle so far as interviewers see my background as 'too high-level/not operational enough'.

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Jun 20, 2022 - 10:46am

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