Top Growth Equity Investors

Hi all - looking to learn more about the growth space, any knowledge sharing would be appreciated.

For those in growth equity, what firms have the best reputation?

I see GA and Insight mentioned a lot on the forum, how do they compare to Dragoneer, Iconiq capital, Capital G?

Just looking to learn more about the landscape of firms - so any guidance is appreciated.

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Comments (20)

May 15, 2020 - 11:59am

Easiest thing to do is google around until you find a Preqin report or go on a few large pension funds reports like CALPERS and look at their data.

May 15, 2020 - 1:23pm

Iconiq does some really freaking cool stuff. My buddy works there and he seems to enjoy it.

I've also heard great things (in terms of performance generally, not necessarily WLB or culture) about Summit and TA, in addition to GA and Insight that you've mentioned.

Growth isn't Dragoneer's bread and butter but still a great name and option. Capital G is solid as well.

Honestly, if you've heard of the growth shop before, it's probably decent. It's performing well as an asset class broadly.

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May 16, 2020 - 7:50am

What are your buddy's thoughts on iconiq that makes it sick? Two people I know who left two years and one year ago really didn't like it but had some qualms about internal politics? Not sure but want to believe firm culture wasn't that much of an issue since yeah, looks like they do cool shit

  • Analyst 3+ in Consulting
May 18, 2020 - 11:59am

Also heard negative things about them. There doesn't seem to be a lot of discipline to their investment process, exemplified by an anecdote (from a friend / ex-employee) of a Partner declaring "I want the market to know that we'll pay more than anybody else." They've had some very high-profile flops like their investment in Uber (same round where Softbank got in at $100B).

To the other poster's question, ICONIQ got its start as a wealth manager of sorts for UHNWIs in the Valley (Zuckerburg, etc.) and got into principal investing about 5 years ago. Not sure there's much institutional capital in their LP base, though obviously guys like Zuck have a lot more assets than most institutions...

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 15, 2020 - 11:05pm

Does starting a career in growth really limit options down the road? Where do people go if they're leaving investing/growth?

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
May 18, 2020 - 6:49pm

KKR / BX / WP / TPG SS (now just SS) all have growth in some form or another as well - worth looking into them as well, as you get the stability of the MF with the growth angle

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  • Business School in PE - LBOs
May 19, 2020 - 3:12am

I'm not aware of WP's growth fund. I do know their main fund is called growth and actually does a ton of small / growthy deals. You will in fact not typically see WP in processes for the large 2bn+ EV assets. They're a growth investor basically out of their main fund.

Anyway, on the rest (KKR, BX), I think it is a mistake to view these platforms (except TPG who has a great rep/history) as equivalent to the top historical growth shops. Look at who BX hired to run growth, guy from GA. My view is you'll have better experience at GA, TA, Summit, TCV, Insight not to mention these funds are larger than "megafund" growth funds. Look at insight raising 9.5bn, summit 5bn, TA 9 I think vs KKR's what 2? So this view that the top growth investors aren't as stable IMO is wrong because they've all raised 9-10 funds in their ~30-40 year investing history's.

I think BX has done some pretty major hiring so tough to say what the experience is like, potentially quite good. But I think my main point is the traditional growth investors are still the top players IMO.

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  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 19, 2020 - 5:13pm

because people here like to jerk off to mega funds and can't fathom that other more specialized funds are better in some cases?

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