Venture Debt/Lending Industry and Career Opportunities

I could not find much information on this site regarding lifestyle/career progression/compensation of folks working in the venture debt space. However, my concern is that venture debt funds are essentially no different than other tech lenders such as SVB/Square One. Looking at lending opportunities are inherently different than evaluating equity investments, and I would like to work in VC. As an intern, would this opportunity be a good stepping stone into recruiting for FT Tech investment banking jobs in SF? Would also be great to get any general knowledge about careers in the industry.

Comments (8)

Best Response
Jan 22, 2017

Venture Debt/Lending is very specialized. Lending to VC & PE backed firms is a great career opportunity. You can leverage an internship in this field to do a lot as most VC portfolio Co's are tech/life science based businesses.

Analyst - Sr. Analyst - Associate - AVP - VP - SVP - EVP is the route. 2-4 years as an analyst/sr. analyst - associate for another 3 and AVP to VP varies depending on if you are sourcing business and brining in deals you can climb very quickly.

Exit opps - CFO at a start up is possible. Direct Lending/Mezz/Leverage Finance/ Debt Funds are popular exits as you have transferable underwriting experience. VC associate exit op is tough but definitely possible as you have good experience working with management teams/start ups/VC world.

Compensation varies with experience and the firm. Square 1 Bank and SVB are the leaders in the industry as City National Bank just left the space recently. There are some really solid debt funds out there as well. Pay wise you can expect what you would get a commercial bank. Upside in deals are success fees and warrants which will increase pay.

DM for any other questions - currently working in the space.

    • 2
Jan 26, 2017

Thanks for your post, very informative .

Just out of curiosity, aside from entering the venture industry form undergrad, is it possible to lateral into venture debt/lending from a commercial/corporate banking background(Think 2 year program at JPM/Citi/BAML/Wells)?

    • 1
Jan 22, 2017

No problem, DM me with any further questions.

It absolutely is possible, and most people that do lateral in, come from credit backgrounds. Your work is very transferrable from those firms, even if you weren't working on tech/life science deals; the technical skills are valued.

    • 1
Mar 14, 2017

SVB and s1 dont pay shit - $54-60k base - low bonus
if anything, go for a BDC model - they pay more and you'll make more on the equity comp via the divvy

    • 1
Feb 14, 2019

@Item1A What does the pay progression look like at one of the publicly listed BDCs? Imagine it can be pretty lucrative at the very top, but imagine everything below C-suite would be lower than say IB/VC.

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Oct 1, 2017

Thanks for this post as there isn't that much info on Venture Debt.

Dec 23, 2018

SVB bumped up 1st years to 80k + 15%

Jul 19, 2019
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