Thoughts on K1 in LA?

Currently in interview process for K1. Pretty minimal amount of info on the fund out there. Seems to do well in the software space, has >4bn AUM. Apparently compensation is a bit on the low side, but seems like interesting firm to get into PE straight out of undergrad. Any thoughts?

Comments (10)

  • Managing Director in IB-M&A
Jan 12, 2021 - 9:48am

I work in TMT PE. K1 is one of the most respected firms. Heavy add-on m&a focus which should help with your sourcing targets if you join as an analyst with sourcing responsibilities. Unsure about comp and culture.

Jan 12, 2021 - 9:39pm

I work for a comparable fund and have very high respect for K1, they get into some great deals and seem sharp. Don't know what returns look like, but they got to 4B AUM in ~10 years (founded 2011), which is no joke esp. for the growth space  

Jan 15, 2021 - 5:23pm


Heard it was a good shop but horrendous junior pay. 70-80k all in as an analyst. God bless, these people need employee protection laws or something.

Source: I knew an analyst who worked there.

Can confirm, they take people with no finance experience and pay them squat. They'll hire based on culture fit alone. The biz dev people do no modeling and just call on companies. They have AUM because they find unbanked proprietary opportunities and pay value. They then implement their same playbook on every PortCo (S&M focus, kill R&D). They never win banked deals.

Jan 15, 2021 - 7:19pm

Interacted with them in the past. Seemed like a chill bunch. One weird thing they do is they have KPI trackers of every worker displayed on some board in their offices. Apparently they are still doing this virtually during COVID.

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.
  • Analyst 1 in PE - Growth
Jan 17, 2021 - 12:30pm

I have been through their interview process before. They run a very different process from what I was used to at other software investing funds. They ask you questions on various topics including your high school pedigree. They also split their Analysts into Business Development and Due Diligence. I am not entirely sure how this works together but if I had to guess, BD is mainly just sourcing and calling companies whereas DD focuses on looking at metrics and the company itself. Given they split the responsibilities, I suppose it makes sense why their Analyst pay is very low compared to other growth shops where you could potentially make 2x or even 2.5x pay. I would say if you had a choice I would go for other growth funds where the Analysts can do everything from BD + DD. You will learn more and I feel like it would suck to pass an opportunity over to another Analyst once you successfully source a company. It is pretty nice to source in a company and then work with them through the whole process versus passing them off to another team member but that's just my opinion. However, if you don't have many options for growth equity out of undergrad, which there aren't many roles in general to begin with, then I think it could be a worthwhile opportunity. They aren't a bad fund by any means and are respected in the industry. I think a lot of the issues with them are just how they run their Analyst program. To be fair, a lot of these guys who are a part of the team are not ex-bankers so they probably are looking for people who don't have the traditional finance exposure and will take less pay to gain experience in finance.

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