Blackbird is hiring a Principal to invest in Australia and New Zealand’s most ambitious founders right at the beginning.
About the Role
This is an investing role. We are building out the next generation of the investment team at Blackbird and are looking for someone to help source and make investments, as well as spearhead our next river of inquiry.
Reporting to Blackbird’s General Partners, we are looking for someone who can think clearly, and originally. Someone who has a profound empathy for the journey of a founder, a mindset of enlightened hospitality for the founders they serve, and a hunger to uncover the next great Australian, or Kiwi founder, wherever they are or whatever their background.
Here is a brief overview of some examples of work you will do:
Representing Blackbird to the World — You will become known to founders as someone they can trust, someone who treats founders with the highest level of integrity and care, and someone who people regularly send new, and interesting companies to meet.
Finding Rivers of Inquiry — The best example of a Blackbird river of inquiry is Samantha Wong’s post from 2018 — Welcome to the Third Agricultural Revolution — which kickstarted a journey that led to 25% of our third fund being invested in alternative protein companies.
Generating Dealflow — You will create your own initiatives to magnetically attract the best founders to you. At Blackbird, this has historically been things like:
- The Sunrise: Our annual, in-person, love letter to founders.
- Writing: We use our blog to share our thinking on what we’re looking for.
- Giants: A weekly deep-dive with a world-class operator
- Pitch Coaching: 2-hour deep dives into how best to tell your story to investors that have been attended by thousands of people around Australia and New Zealand.
Making Investments — You will be responsible for leading seed stage investments, including due diligence, running the process to get Investment Committee approval, negotiating the term-sheet and convincing founders to choose us as investors, getting agreement from all parties on the longform legal docs, and finally wiring the money. You will work closely alongside Partners to make larger investments.
Supporting Founders — As a board member, observer, shareholder, or advisor, you will provide exceptional support to the companies you interact with.
Mentoring @ Startmate — You will be a strong contributor to Startmate, aiming to be a top ranked mentor by the Startmate companies in terms of the value you provide them.
Supporting the Investment Team — You will take ownership of coaching Blackbird’s Analysts on the end-to-end skills of making an investment — building models, writing investment memos, and serving founders.
Doubling Down — For our best portfolio companies, you will help identify which we should continue investing in, and support follow-on investments into the companies we back.
Making Us Better — You will constantly question, and seek to improve our investment decision making processes, strengthen our culture, and lift up your colleagues in every way you can.
Your background is less important than the key skills, which might include:
- Leading projects you are passionate about, and building community around them;
- Articulating what you think makes companies valuable;
- Having strong opinions on what are the greatest businesses and markets of tomorrow;
- Evaluating the psychological traits that lead founders to create the greatest companies ever built;
- Measuring the culture of an organisation and what environments lead the best people in the world to join and do their best work
- Either having been a founder, or worked closely with them;
- Making investments into startups — both new and follow-on;
- Managing the investment process — from negotiation, to execution;
- Advising and helping founders who go on to be successful;
We’re looking for someone who is as obsessed as we are about building an iconic investment firm. You must have a high ownership mentality, deep comfort with autonomy, confidence in your thought process, and willingness to adapt it to new information, a hunger for finding the truth, and a desire to help founders bring their better version of the future into the present.
You do not specifically need to have worked at a venture capital firm, but you do need to have a passion for and experience with investing into startups. We love it when people have bootstrapped themselves into a skill as much as gaining the skill from working at an established organisation.
Working at Blackbird
We believe that building a diverse and inclusive team is critical to Blackbird’s success. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or marital, veteran, or disability status. We use Applied to ensure every applicant gets an equal chance of success.
Our June 2020 Culture Amp engagement score is 95.
- Flexible working: Whether it’s working from home or leaving early to pick up the kids from daycare or school.
- Generous parental leave: We know family comes first and we are proud to offer generous parental leave — 16 weeks for primary carer and 6 weeks for a secondary carer, subject to a 12 month minimum tenure. This includes a continuation of super payments while on unpaid parental leave and a supportive return-to-work policy.
- Learning & Development : Our team is hungry to continuously learn and you’ll receive a budget to spend on whatever you’d like to learn — from coding courses to meditation.
- Unplugged weekends: We work hard without letting work get in the way of life. We’ve implemented no Slack or emails on weekends, so you can switch off .
- Sharing in Blackbird’s success: We think it is important to share successes with the whole team. All Blackbird employees receive carry or in our funds and are owners in the management company.
Blackbird is a Pledge 1% member — we pledge 1% of our time, equity and profits to help not-for-profit causes in our community, with a focus on greater gender diversity in STEM education.
Blackbird is a venture capital firm whose mission is to supercharge Australia and New Zealand’s most ambitious founders. We do this by raising venture capital funds, investing into the best startup companies and helping them succeed. We have more than a billion dollars under management and a portfolio of 68 companies including some of the most successful Australian startups such as Canva, Zoox, SafetyCulture and Culture Amp.
Like the companies we back, we want to build a business that lasts for decades and produces excellent returns for our investors.
We’ve written a lot about what we love at Blackbird, so check out our blog if you want some more information about us. In particular, you should read about our mission and values, our master plan, and what we look for in founders.