Anyone have info on Insight Partners?

Does anyone have any recent information on Insight Partners? The forum doesn't have much mention of the firm, and a majority of the information here is pretty dated. They recently raised their eleventh fund at $9.5B, and I know they recruit undergrads which is isn't the norm for VC/PE. Looking for any information whatsoever on culture, how it's viewed by other firms, work and salary, etc. etc.

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Comments (238)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 29, 2020 - 9:30am

It's basically a sourcing sweatshop. Not saying thats a bad thing, but I know a few former analysts that all exited from there to top notch growth equity / VC firms, not sure how they do for more traditional PE exits though.

The three people I know from there all went Insight (2 years) -> other VC/growth equity (2 years) -> top Bschool, so definitely seems like a respected firm, but not sure how PE exits would compare to top IB jobs.

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  • Analyst 1 in PE - Growth
Oct 14, 2020 - 5:04pm

People will typically leave to another fund if they are offered a faster track to partner, higher comp, or ability to work on specific verticals/deals that excite them more

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Apr 29, 2020 - 9:56am

A lot of sourcing work, prepare to do a lot of cold calls. Check out their people page-they take a lot of people from Harvard, Stanford and other top targets. Pretty high quality of analysts in general (e.g. ken moelis's daughter and robert pruzan's son both work there)

Apr 29, 2020 - 11:55am

On culture (Note: don't know anyone still there, so info is a little bit dated) it seems relatively collegial among junior folks, with lots of informal work events, and a relatively social environment. Sourcing roles tend to favor people with a warm and outgoing personality, so you see that a lot among their people.

That said I understand that the culture among senior folks is extremely aggressive and competitive. I heard reports that if you had a company on your CRM dashboard, didn't get them on the phone, and they raised a round in Insight's box... you were in big trouble. Known for having quotas for calls made per week among interns / analysts, which is a good accountability metric but does mean it's tougher to BS if you aren't performing.

There's plenty of room to climb the ranks in the org, but people who do exit tend to do so laterally / downmarket to VC with fewer folks going to buyout shops (though that may change as Insight starts to do more big deals). They are generally seen as among the top players (if not #1) in their segment, so the caliber of firms / companies moved to is also high.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Growth
Apr 29, 2020 - 3:03pm

As others have mentioned, sourcing is very important at the Analyst level for Insight. However, it should not be a deterrent if you are truly interested in software/growth investing. Most, if not all, growth shops will have sourcing at the Analyst level to some extent.

They mainly hire from a few target schools every year and the class size is big compared to other top growth equity shops that have a dedicated and formal new grad program. Many of the Analysts treat the program as a two and out like you would see at investment banks and they usually end up finding another strong venture/growth fund to join after two years. I don't think Insight's reputation within the industry is lacking by any means.

If you know for sure that you want to do growth equity / venture capital long term, then I wouldn't hesitate to join their team if given the chance.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Sep 5, 2020 - 3:06am

Thoughts on joining a shop like Insight vs a mid-tier BB for someone interested in growth/tech investing? Curious about trade-offs in terms of exit opps. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Apr 30, 2020 - 7:09pm

I went through their process. I applied without networking. Am a non diversity and non-target but my school is a target for this firm. Interviews were very laid back and focused on what I knew about the tech and software space and what differentiates a firm that makes it grow. Did not accept offer as I got a very weird vibe from the people who interviewed me.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 13, 2020 - 3:10pm

yes the app has been out for months now and they scheduled and had to cancel super day(s) due to COVID in April. don't know what's up now tho

Jun 14, 2020 - 6:04am

Interesting, in those FAQs I linked they mention they will begin reviewing apps "mid-summer", which I would presume is the last week-10 days of this month.

  • Intern in Other
Jun 15, 2020 - 9:51pm

is it possible to recruit for summer if you're not at a target school for them? (i.e. not harvard, penn, princeton, etc)

  • Prospect in Other
Jul 9, 2020 - 11:03am

Did anyone hear back getting a virtual cover letter for 2021 FT process? Any advice on what I should to do to prepare and what typically is asked in these virtual cover letters?

  • Intern in PE - Growth
Jul 15, 2020 - 12:23am

Got an invite for an interview after submitting video cover letter, transcript, resume. Had a coffee chat back in April. Recruiter agreed to delay interview until after my current internship is done.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 16, 2020 - 2:20pm

does anyone have info about the day to day of working at insight? solid exit opp info? comp info?

Jul 17, 2020 - 3:25am

In my opinion its one of the best growth investors out there in tech. People on this site make sourcing out to be something negative which I don't understand. I much rather meet companies and try to find deals then to model out IMs i.e. look at things that the entire industry is looking at esp. if we talk about winners of tomorrow and fundamental shifts in industries. If you want to invest in companies in the growth stage and not just do momentum deals, then you need to know all companies in certain fields as well as deals out there. In my (limited) interactions with Insight, they always appeared as a high conviction and aggressive investors but on the back of very deep sector knowledge. I have seen them try to preempt a couple of times for example in quite aggressive fashion. The enterprise software people I interacted with are top notch esp. in infrastructure. I don't know about their later stage funds and business outside the enterprise software field. The more junior people (mostly senior assoc / VP) I interacted with have also always been quite impressive and stood out compared to some other funds when it comes to knowing sectors and the companies within e.g. although they are not based in Europe I have seen them many times being more precise in tracking companies and their KPIs in Europe than their European counterparts. This is exactly what you will be doing as an analyst/ associate. Someone will have a view what field is interesting and what shift is taking place to create the winners of tomorrow and you will map out all companies in this space and try to meet them to track the KPIs (whatever is relevant in this market / thesis) and try to find / create deals (ideally with the best company in the space). This obviously often translates into a #s game but that's just normal. As long as you call in sector because someone has a view vs. just finding companies needing a ticket and then learning about the space, you should be ok. Compared to some other tech investors, I have found Insight and some of their peers to be more market trend first and #s second oriented vs. some of the growth investors that are moving down from the pure LBO world and go #s first (which makes sense given they mostly just do SaaS and don't need real shift in the thesis). This also means sometimes the cheque is larger than one would expect or the company younger or the valuation higher (whatever the specifics of the sectors and your thesis are) etc. i.e. the tech thesis comes first and structure later. This point is purely my perception based on a very limited number of datapoints. Their office view is a perk, too. Cant speak on hours but I imagine its best comparable to Summit, TA, Summeru, TCV and all the other tech growth guys.

Jul 17, 2020 - 4:50pm

I've worked both in sourcing and on sell-side (albeit doing CDDs at a consulting firm, but nonetheless on timelines of deals with processes run by bankers).

The lifestyle is so overwhelmingly between investing in a company with a process run by a bank and investing in a company where the process is not run by a bank. It's hard to put in words but the former is more structured akin to a semester at school; ease into exam (first bid) have a brief rest then hit the ground running preparing for next exam (second bid) then go all out until finals (final bid) then get a week off for Christmas break; as opposed to; source, work on a deal that's getting a little farther a long but less "pants on fire", more sourcing, more control over your calendar because it's less structured, etc. The latter is definitely way less stressful but the former does create an environment where you can get a lot of good work done in such a structured environment.

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  • Investment Analyst in VC
Jul 19, 2020 - 8:04pm

Former Insight Analyst here - now a senior associate at a different firm.

Insight base is 85K base + 10K signing bonus + 75K bonus first year. The 75K bonus is what 100% of people get, so essentially 170K guaranteed.

In addition you get 25K of phantom fund equity in the current fund, as well as 5K bonuses per M&A and standalone investment that you source. You also get additional carry in every deal you source.

So in my class I think most people averaged 180K - 200K in cash comp their first year and in the few tens of thousands in additional deal based carry outside of their 25K in the fund

  • Investment Analyst in VC
Jul 23, 2020 - 2:18am

hours were very manageable, much better than my friends in consulting and banking. I think when i first started I worked 9 - 8 ish (they have a gym and lunch served each day so typically that's 2 hours people take off throughout the day too). Also, since it's cyclical, in the summer almost no one comes into the office - several people in my class took all of August off. In general you also get a lot more opportunities to travel for sourcing and no one monitors you on a day to day basis.

  • Investment Analyst in VC
Jul 23, 2020 - 2:20am

people typically do all kinds of things - few people go into pure private equity - some go to other late stage growth funds that have some venture buyout aspect, others want to go early stage, others go and get very desirable roles at startups, a few go and start their own funds. the program is also not 2 and out, a ton of people stay at least through the Associate program (promotion happens 1.5 years in)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 24, 2020 - 7:42pm

What is comp like at an associate level? Analyst level is really competitive... does it drop off after?

  • Investment Analyst in VC
Jul 25, 2020 - 12:52pm

Salary doesn't tap out at all, in fact it continues to be most competitive in the industry. Associate promotion happens after just 1.5 years and it's pretty much yours to lose. 250K is the associate package for the first 6 months and 150K in carry + more deal carry for individually sourced things, and then bumps up to 310K after first 6 months of Associate. In general pays more than all the megafunds (Silverlake, KKR, Apax, etc.) as you have a ton of carry from such a young age

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Sep 5, 2020 - 3:11am

How were exit opps from Insight like? Did HH read out to you with on-cycle recruiting or opportunities at other large-cap PE/Growth funds? 

  • Prospect in IB - Ind
Jul 21, 2020 - 9:57pm

On their website it says FT is late summer early fall so we will probs hear back in August. Perhaps the other person who heard back is working for a competitor

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jul 23, 2020 - 12:33am

Any idea if there will be multiple rounds? Talked to a few members of the team and recruiting and they mentioned delaying interviews until later in the summer after internships.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 24, 2020 - 12:25am

anyone have any idea about when FT investment will occur?
Are they still doing SA, and they are waiting to do FT after?
also do they normally hire a lot outside their interns?

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jul 27, 2020 - 4:28pm

Was wondering if anyone had any perspective on the Onsite program (comp/interview/lifestyle)?

  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jul 29, 2020 - 7:55pm

Opinions on this vs. IBD internship for an undergraduate who is a little iffy on early-stage investing? IBD clearly offers more optionality but work-life/pay seem better @ insight.

  • Intern in PE - Growth
Jul 31, 2020 - 2:44am

the earliest insight really does investments is series a (and only a few), most are series c with a growing number of buyouts

not really "early-stage" investing, for what that's worth

Aug 12, 2020 - 2:26pm

Just got this email so I think it is false but who knows:

"We are currently reviewing completed applications for the 2021 Full Time Investment Analyst. You should hear back from us shortly with next steps in the process. If you have an exploding offer or have already accepted an offer for 2021, please let me know as soon as possible."

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Growth
Aug 15, 2020 - 2:21pm

Roommate got an email rejection this morning. Other guy I know and me haven't received anything. Might just be a "reject as you go" thing

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