Growth Equity Exit Opps

Curious to learn about exit opps from large Growth Equity shops (Insight, Summit, General Atlantic, TA, etc) or even smaller middle market growth equity shops. Primarily at the associate level but also curious about analyst level positions or even more senior positions. Not looking to get into Growth Equity for the exit opps per se but just curious to learn what options I'd have if I chose to leave Growth Equity.

Couldn't really find any threads with good info on the above.

Also do the shops mentioned above and other big Growth Equity firms generally have a two year and out system at the associate level that a lot of traditional buyout PE shops have?

Thanks in advance!

Comments (28)

  • Prospect in HF - Macro
Jun 9, 2020 - 11:56pm

For PE, anecdotally heard it's okay if you hustle, but not as great as you'd expect even at some of the top names you mentioned above. Reason being that all those firms lean heavy sourcing in your analyst years, so you lose out to EB/MF PE analysts in PE interviews.

  • Intern in PE - Growth
Jun 10, 2020 - 12:15am

I haven't heard this from anyone, really? Talked to people at Insight and GA and many don't have issues transitioning into PE.

On the issue of the OP's question, other than PE, I've heard that some go into earlier stage VC, go into entrepreneurship/some startup, or do BD at a large tech company.

  • Prospect in HF - Macro
Jun 10, 2020 - 12:17am

Haha that's funny, heard that from someone at one of the two firms you mentioned actually. I guess OP's best bet is to get on the phone with former analysts who transitioned to PE.

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  • Analyst 1 in PE - Growth
Jun 10, 2020 - 4:04am

Growth equity exits at the junior level consist of lateraling, joining tech companies, and attending business school for the most part.

After two years as an Analyst/Associate at a growth equity fund, you could be kicked out as you noted with the common two and out. If you are kicked out, then you could lateral to another shop. Even though you have been growth investing, it is possible to do more early stage investing and join a venture capital fund instead. Growth equity is honestly late stage venture capital for some funds, so your skill set is mostly transferable if you want to pivot between venture and growth. Obviously, you could also join another growth equity fund if venture capital isn't your thing.

If you spent two years as an Analyst, you have more of a chance to stay and get promoted to Associate which could give you another two years of runway. If you have done two years as an Associate, you could be extended a third year and become a Senior Associate. After becoming a Senior Associate, you could be kicked out or they could assess that you have a long-term future at the fund. If they want to keep you, they may still require you to get an MBA. So you would go back to school and then return as a VP.

Joining a tech company is another common exit. Typically, you can be referred to one of the portfolio companies that the fund has invested in. If you don't like the portfolio companies you could join any other startup, a lot of these companies highly value investing experience. Your role in these companies vary depending on your skills and interests. Some of the common roles for exit would be Strategy, Operations, Corporate Development, Business Development, and Strategic Finance.

Lastly, business school is another avenue you can explore. If you are an Analyst, you may have to find another place to work for a couple years before you can join some of the top MBA programs. Five years of work experience is ideal for the top programs. Associates from IB would have four years of experience which is sufficient. If you want five years of experience before applying then being a Senior Associate for a year would help you achieve that.

Jun 10, 2020 - 5:56pm

Even at MBB 2 years is very rare. Almost everyone I know either stays for the third year promote or does a unique experience such as a secondment for a third year.

Jun 10, 2020 - 3:17pm

I interned at one of the listed funds - for most analysts ~80-90% of your time is spent sourcing with the other ~10-20% doing live deal assistance or port-co management IF you happen to source a company that makes it through to an actual investment.

I'm glad I instead decided to go to sell side after graduation (MBB) because I have gained 5x more 'hard analysis' skills from their blue ribbon training and development processes than if I had stayed in fund analyst program. Getting that training made me much more market-able for a UMM/MF associate exit. FWIW, from my intern class / broader analyst / associate network that I still follow, every one that left the firm went to a Series A VC or smaller.

  • VP in VC
Jun 11, 2020 - 9:45am

The reason that they went to Series A or smaller is because their "skill" was sourcing - the actual methodology behind making a concerted effort to build a network of entrepreneurs that will yield investment opportunities.

This is a little bit different than having a different "skill" that gives you a network as a byproduct. Imagine you are working for processor startups... that will give you a pretty good network in the processor world that would ultimately yield investment opportunities.

VC is just about getting access to investment opportunities. There are many different ways to do it.

If you go someplace like JMI, your skill is sourcing, but I am pretty sure they end up doing a good chunk of the analysis as well. I have seen people at JMI go to Vista, NGT, Permira Tech, etc.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 11, 2021 - 1:41pm

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