Should I just accept my "shitty" VC Offer?

I have an offer for a VC shop in NYC / SF that has had 3 total raises, each around $75m. Firm just has partners and I would be their first junior hire. Check size is usually around $150k. I understand they are small. Is it worth taking this seat to just enter the industry finally and be on the buy side,  and possibly lateral to a bigger firm down the line? 


I am coming from BB Investment banking. I am currently an analyst 2 and will have to be an analyst 3 (My bank does not do 2 years associate promote).  I would like to just GTFO asap because I hate banking and am burnt out but have been advised to maybe just stay in banking and keep recruiting for a better option. I have been blasting out applications and interviews for VC for 8 months now and this is my first offer. Seems almost impossible to land anything in this market right now so just very glad I have this offer. However, I see the post that has been blowing up on to be very very cautious when accepting a "shitty" vc firm. 


Thoughts? Much appreciated , all. Cheers. 

 

Depends on how confident you are about not being shown the door as an a3. It's a precarious time, your firm/group is doing okay? If yes, would probably say it's not a bad idea to suck it up an extra year while looking for a better gig 

 

Thanks for the response. My group is strong, dealflow is crazy good right now. My seniors essentially already said I'll get the associate promote if I plan to stay, as I am well liked in the group.  However, I am pretty burnt out and want to try a new gig and VC is extremely exciting to me so am heavily considering this offer even though if it is not a sexy fund at all. 

 

Friends in VC say it's almost like a bizdev/sales job where it's just constant sourcing, if you're not with a big name firm. Some people enjoy that though, but not for everyone - if you like structure etc.

It's like how I know people who have set their linkedin to "stealth startup" and received 10-20 inbound messages from random small VCs immediately in the days following. 

 

Trust your gut. It's a huge change to a bulge bracket bank but sounds like you're comfortable with it. You'll be doing a ton of sourcing, working in an environment with no structure (unlike in a bank), super entrepreneurial, likely spending significant amount of time with many fund operations / admin stuff. It requires a certain type of a person to thrive and enjoy but once you get used to it you'd never go back to the old ways. You can certainly move to somewhere else later but equally you can wait and see what happens next.

 

Do you like the industries / stage the VC invests in? Do you believe in the Partners ability to keep raising funds in the age of high interest rates? 

 
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Firms aren’t shitty because of their check size or AUM. They’re shitty if they do bad deals.

Track record is what’s most important here. Do the partners have good track records and have they brought that to the firm? Is the firm well know among founders?

If the answer to those questions are no, you’re going to have an extremely difficult time winning / getting into deals and building your own track record which will increase the difficulty of being able to lateral to a larger fund. You don’t lateral in VC based on years of experience, you lateral based on network and track record so if you don’t think you can build that here you should 100% wait it out.

 

You need to analyze their track record, reach out to people who work at their portcos and see how things are going there, and make an educated decision. 

Do keep in mind we are entering a period of time where VCs will have increasingly more difficulty deploying capital as the cost of development shrinks.  I personally think these guys are well positioned in terms of capital raise and check size to adapt to what I feel are the new market conditions. 

 

Congratulations on the offer.

I think any investment role is better than any advisory role. You own the results, if you suck at your job, you will not be able to fall back on the brand, but if you are a rockstar you can say you played a part in building a platform from the ground floor. If you believe in the thesis and think you can put up numbers, join the firm. We are in a recruiting drought and firms are opting to crank their existing juniors, not bring in fresh blood, so that "next, better offer" may not materialize before an Associate promote marks you uninteresting.

Also - that size/volume disparity is wild for a pre-seed/seed fund, 500 deals in a vintage sounds like a helluva lot of fun.

 

Hindsight is 20/20 but I was in a similar position and regret going to VC. Hiring market is very shitty right now but my optionality has decreased substantially. Happy to chat more in DMs but VC is so different from banking and in retrospect does not suit by personality at all - it might be a great fit for you though. 

If I could do it over again I would have suffered through more banking until getting a PE/Growth job.

 

Surely it's not that difficult to move to a later stage vc / early growth fund? Anecdotally, I've seen quite a few more roles pop up recently. Also from personal experience versus friends that already are in VC, it seems that it's much more challenging to get your foot in the door from IB than moving once you're in an investing role already

 

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