Corporate Venture Fund to Megafund PE/VC


Hey there,

I was recently offered a likely (don't wanna jinx haha) position in a F15 company's venture fund and was wondering if this would position me well for eventually moving into a PE/VC Megafund. I love everyone I worked with this summer and probably will not want to move, but I just wanted to see if this would serve as a reasonable substitute for BB/EB IB in terms of exits or if it is an entirely different world. Thank you so much for your responses!

Comments (7)

Sep 6, 2020 - 8:57am

I think you'll run into two obstacles trying to recruit for large cap PE from a corporate VC:

1) Financial investors often do not hold CVCs in great regard (though there are some good ones). Reason why is they have different return thresholds (if they care about returns at all), are typically not leading rounds, and have a rep for "spray and pray" investing. 

2) CVCs often invest at early stages and the work to do a Series A deal is materially different than the analysis you would do for a large cap LBO. While you could likely go to a "normal" VC fund investing around the same stage, the work in banking will be much more analogous for PE if that's your interest 

Sep 6, 2020 - 11:10pm

A CVC role at a top company could potentially be a great role; however, it will absolutely not help you move to a megafund PE/VC firm. If you are gunning for a megafund, the only real feeders are BB IBD and MBB consulting. CVC doesn't build the technical skillset that would be needed to work at a UMM/MF PE shop. For VC, the skillset is a little more transferable, especially if you are at a very well known CVC arm likes Salesforce Ventures, but it's still tough to make the jump. The seats are few and far between at the A16z's of the world and they usually hire kids with highly accomplished and somewhat unique backgrounds likely from tech. Also, the work and though process in CVC is somewhat different than a traditional PE/VC firm in that you're usually not investing purely for a return. There are a number of other reasons, but long answer short is that making the jump will likely be very difficult.

Sep 7, 2020 - 4:27am

Unless you're a tippy top bucket analyst or associate at GS/MS TMT or Qatalyst with notable deal experience (and possibly connections to boot), you're probably not getting into the Sequoias and Kleiner Perkins's from BB IB anyway. It's difficult to break into VC from BB IB in any case so if your goal realistically is getting to a decent firm that has good returns and provides upward mobility, it's probably similar odds as trying to break into independent firms from a CVC (depending a bit on which CVC you're at, but at an F15, you'll likely be fine).

But note that most doors to growth equity or PE will close (unless there's a structured training program for you to build financial modeling skills and opportunities for you to get involved in later stage deals). You should decide now if you want to do early-stage, Series A-focused investing or not.

Sep 7, 2020 - 12:36am

Post-MBA PE/VC is really tough without prior experience. It would benefit you the most you try and get buyside experience in Pre-MBA. There's a decent chance that you could go from CVC into some sort of VC role, but unlikely you'll get into any of the big brand name funds. Very low chance that you could make it into any sort of buyout role without a banking background though.

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