Growth Equity / Late Stage VC Recruiters


Quick question. What search firms typically represent the top growth equity/later stage VC firms out there? I'm thinking guys like Accel, TCV, JMI, Battery, Bessemer, Highland, Polaris, Bain Capital, etc. I know Glocap typically does a nice job but I don't know many of the others. Would appreciate any insight here, and to the extent you've had successful interactions with a specific recruiter in the past, maybe introductions/recommendations.



Comments (8)

May 13, 2013 - 12:33pm

I believe CPI did JMI when I was recruiting back in banking days. So it's possible they do the other ones.

- sorry, corrected

  • 1
May 13, 2013 - 12:04pm

Bessemer does its own. Mackey Craven is the go to guy. Highland does its own. Bain and battery do as well. Dont know about the rest.

“...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” - Schopenhauer
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May 13, 2013 - 12:34pm

Possible to get a VC job without a recruiter? (Originally Posted: 03/09/2016)

Is it possible to get a VC job without the use of a recruiter? I am looking for mainly in NY/BOS where the shops seem to be smaller and less institutional. Would cold emailing and contacting these guys work?

Best Response
May 13, 2013 - 12:35pm

If you're trying to get a VC job through a headhunter, you're doing it wrong.

What do VCs care about? Dealflow. Do they expect their Associates to be sourcing machines? Yes. What's a fantastic way to prove you're able to source? Demonstrating that you have relationships across various communities within the tech ecosystem. What's the primary platform that connects everyone? LinkedIn. Does LinkedIn show you how you're one or two steps away from anyone anywhere in the world? Yep. Should you use LinkedIn to find a warm intro to someone at the fund(s) you're interested in? Absofuckinglutely.

Cold-emailing is frowned upon. The logic is that if you can't find any kind of relationship that would yield an intro with any kind of warmth, you aren't doing your job well. That goes both for entrepreneurs seeking funding and for people who want to break into the industry.

Only the huge institutional shops use third-party headhunters, anyway. You probably don't want to be at one of those; they're the only ones in the industry who are bureaucratic and rigidly hierarchical. If that floats your boat, by all means go for it. If you want to see earlier-stage stuff and a place with a flat culture that grants a lot of autonomy, avoid.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

  • 2
May 13, 2013 - 12:36pm

Thanks this is an incredible post. A few follow ups:

  1. Is it "easier" for an IB analyst to get into a start up and then go into VC or "easier" the other way around?
  2. Is it worthwhile to look at potential investments in the area / space they work in and create a few pages of slides on them, and then send it to them as a way of "providing value" ?
May 13, 2013 - 12:37pm
  1. Nope. If you do it correctly, you should be able to get to a good fund directly from banking. If you care about maintaining a decent level of compensation, you should be aiming for funds >$500m AUM. That will eliminate most of the bumper crop of younger seed funds that are under 5 years old and only on their third fund or earlier.

VCs who value startup experience typically want to see you at an early-stage startup. Joining Stripe, Square, Zenefits, or any other late-stage behemoth as employee #872 won't wow a VC into hiring you. Being employee #23 and the 6th non-technical hire would.

Getting that type of role coming out of banking is tough. Early employees have to hit the ground running and add value from the get-go; their impact dramatically affects the trajectory of the company. You aren't likely to have the requisite skills to crush it in sales, BD, or operations as a 25-year-old exiting an analyst stint, so you aren't likely to be hired.

Also, growth-stage venture funds (not growth equity [PE funds that write giant checks but avoid leverage]) will use you for your financial skill-set more and thus respect it more. Sequioa, for instance, usually takes one banking or consulting analyst per year. The last one I know of came from GS TMT SF. (Side note: they title everyone "partner" there under the logic that it makes founders take young hires more seriously, but the economics aren't really there.)

In short, go where your skill-set will be most respected, most utilized, and your learning curve and growth in responsibility will be steepest. For someone coming out of banking, that's probably at a later-stage fund.

  1. No. Do all that work and just keep it in your head. Be able to talk about it articulately. You should be able to maintain a mental map of dozens of startups, their founders, levels of funding, and respective products, go-to-market strategies, and investors.

If you can spew all that on command and speak knowledgeably, you have a shot at getting hired. If you're thinking right now of how daunting that sounds, think about pursuing another job. If you live and breathe tech, this shouldn't be hard; it should be something that comes naturally because you've already been doing it, and it should be something exciting that you'd be doing in your spare time.

No one in VC cares about internal slide decks on potential investments. What matters is off-market information; what do you know about the team, product, or market that helps you make a more informed investment decision than someone else looking at the same deal.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

May 13, 2013 - 12:27pm
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - DT
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