Before applying to XAnge’s internship offer, I thought that cold calling with Analysts was the best way to find an internship in Venture Capital. In fact, the recruiting process is much more traditional and, lucky for us (students), most French VC funds are regularly looking for interns and publishing offers on their website and social media (LinkedIn, Welcome To The Jungle, …).
I definitely learned a lot from the Analysts I called during my research and since I began my end-of-studies internship at XAnge in September 2020, many students have contacted me on LinkedIn asking about the same questions I used to ask: “What are your missions?”, “What do you think about your experience?”; “How can I boost my application?”.
So here are a few answers to these questions, hoping that it will help some of you better understand the role of a VC Analyst and hopefully get the internship you are looking for !
As an Analyst, I have the opportunity to work with all the members of the investment team (Associates, Principals, Partners) on many different subjects. My main role at XAnge is to support the team in the investment process from the screening phase to the deal making. Here are some (not all) of my missions:
Dealflow review: every day XAnge receives dozens of applications from entrepreneurs and advisors seeking for funding. I review this inbound dealflow and identify which startups represent potential opportunities and introduce them to the investment team every week.
Sourcing: I also spend time on Google and LinkedIn to look for and contact promising entrepreneurs with great projects whom we haven’t met yet.
I spend around 50% of my time working on spotting the best entrepreneurs and the best projects.It helped me a lot to better understand what makes a great startup looking at the team, the product, the market and the momentum around it.
Every week, I meet with entrepreneurs either with another member of the XAnge Team or by myself now that I have some months of experience. These first meetings are key to qualify a deal for further due diligence. I spend between 30 minutes and 1 hour discussing with the entrepreneurs to learn more about their project, ambitions and funding needs.
Meetings with entrepreneurs are the best way to improve your communication and interpersonal skills but it’s also a nice moment when you can discover more about a technology and a market.
If you are a curious person, VC will be your cup of tea. It is all about being enthusiastic regarding what comes next while keeping a critical eye on it. Investors are always looking for improving their knowledge in a specific sector, a trend or a technology. Every week, our team discusses the news in the Tech Ecosystem, looking for the next big thing such as DeepMind’s breakthrough for the AI industry.
At XAnge, one of the analyst’s missions is to build mappings to identify how a market is structured and which are the startups in it. This is a great responsibility as mappings are often published on our blog and social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn) . It also gives the analyst the opportunity to become more expert in a specific sector.
An important part of the internship is also to prepare the documentation related to the investment decision including:
– Presentation slides introducing the startups we just discovered and met.
– Investment Memorandum based on which investors will decide to invest or not
– Internal legal documentation required to allow the closing of the deal.
Preparing these documents helped me master the VC vocabulary and gave me a great overview of the legal aspect of an investment. For instance, I am now much more comfortable with the terms “Capitalization Table”, “Term Sheet” and “Shareholder Agreement”.
Now that you know better what an Analyst at XAnge does, let me share some advices from my experience, so you can better prepare for the application process.
Getting an internship in a VC fund is not an easy task as more and more students are willing to be part of this exciting ecosystem. But it is worth trying because preparing for the application process is also a great opportunity to acquire further knowledge about the Tech ecosystem.
Understanding and using the VC vocabulary makes your pitch more relevant and helps you better structure your answers.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of key terms/metrics you should know before applying to a VC internship:
– Business Models: SaaS, Marketplace, B2B/B2C, DNVB or D2C, …
– Metrics: GMV, MRR/ARR, CAC, churn, … Useful links:
16 Startup Metrics — Andreessen Horowitz (a16z.com);
16 More Startup Metrics — Andreessen Horowitz (a16z.com)
Top 5 SaaS Metrics VCs Look At for Series A/B/C | by Jon Ma | SignalFire | Medium
– Financials: Seed, Series A/B/C/D, Cap Table, pre-money/post-money, …
– Legal: LOI/Term Sheet vs Shareholder Agreement
There are numerous articles available on the internet about startup metrics and the VC vocabulary !
When I was interviewed for the internship, I was asked about my strong convictions (positive and negative) regarding the VC industry. Obviously, there is no right answer to this question. Building and expressing your own opinions can be difficult, especially at the beginning of your career, but it is of great value for your team. At XAnge, the investment team grants importance to interns’ opinions. This is highly motivating and the more you read and listen about the VC industry and the startup ecosystem, the stronger your opinions get.
Finally, here are some media and podcasts I particularly like:
– Sifted: Sign up to the Sifted newsletters | Sifted (VC in Europe)
– TechCrunch: newsletters | TechCrunch
– Benedict Evans: Newsletter — Benedict Evans (ben-evans.com)
– Maddyness: (VC in France). The Maddymoney articles are very useful to follow the weekly fundraisings in France: Maddymoney — Maddyness
– Funding Crush
– How to Start a Startup (Sam Altman & folks from Y Combinator)
– The Twenty Minute VC (Harry Stebbings)
There are many other media and podcasts about VC and entrepreneurship so do not hesitate to make your own investigation. LinkedIn, Twitter and Clubhouse are also great places to read and listen to strong opinions 😉
The idea here is not to know everything about any subject but to find what captivates you and keep learning about it.
Now your turn to play !
Our current internship offer: Stage “Analyste Venture Capital” — starting Summer 2021 (H/F) — — Stage à Paris (welcometothejungle.com)