We’re looking to expand our investment team at Compound. We want this role to be someone that works closely with the partnership to help us across the entire firm from our seed stage investing, to incubations, to fund-level management. For the right person, we think this is a very special role that exceed many comparable titles in terms of learning curve and responsibilities. The role can be based in either NYC or SF.
When we think about adding to our investment team, we optimize for bringing on people that can help scale our difficult-to-scale, thesis-driven investment process. In addition, we also prefer someone who shares a different lens and network surrounding research, areas of interest, company formation, and investing.
In terms of more clear day-to-day duties, the role will include both working with the partners and independently on new investments from sourcing, through diligence, all the way to participating in the investment decision process. The role will also include some ad-hoc work with 2 current incubations, existing portfolio companies, operational fund management, and a heavy dose of research towards iterating on our existing theses, as well as building out new areas of focus.
We currently invest heavily in automation (robotics and machine learning), healthcare (digital health through biotech), consumer enabled by new technology, and a few other evolving thesis areas. The core underlying mechanism of how we invest is research-heavy, thesis-driven, often in deeply technical companies.
There are a lot of different qualities that we try to stand for within our firm and that we value in our approach to venture. The core traits that we’ve isolated thus far are:
- Passion for emerging technologies and the future of technology at the science level.
- High EQ and understanding of our values and deep level of respect for the founder journey. We’ve consistently seen behavior within VC shift to investors cancelling more often, showing up late, not being prepared, and not properly passing on opportunities that aren’t a fit when they’ve taken up some portion of a founder’s time. We are still an early/emerging brand within venture capital and this role will be an extension of our brand. This is something we don’t take lightly when trying to build an investment firm that lasts multiple decades.
- Low ego with a deep desire to win across the industry and with our founders.
- Attention to detail.
- Not driven by FOMO.
- Willingness and obsession for diving deep in areas of interest to the firm. This often involves understanding the landscape of emerging research → R&D groups within large organizations → startups building in the space → larger scale companies, and also having a historical and forward-projecting view on the evolution of the thesis. We maintain research repositories across each core thesis for years, and have in the past, publicly published some of our working theses.
- Long-term thinking with a lens for “why now” while also being deeply compelled by understanding the commercialization and/or sequencing that allow our world to get to the futures that we believe in. One of the difficulties of investing in some of the areas where we spend time is that many companies aren’t truly post-science project, and this is an easy way to lose money in a world where we are often dependent on follow-on capital within 24 months of our investment.
- Motivated by ultimately seeking perceived truth, even if it means our original hypothesis is wrong. Examples of this have been shown via our original fertility hypothesis to investing in Tia to an evolution of our thesis on women’s health and family planning.
- Ability to operate fairly autonomously without daily check-ins with anyone else on the team. We currently meet 1–2x/week in person, but speak heavily via Slack/text. Some weeks we are in the office every day, others we are traveling or running around NYC and are not in the office at all.
- Build and scale a North America and European-centric network of entrepreneurs (and global network of researchers) built around the firms core theses. Over 50% of our portfolio is on the west coast and we’re actively investing in many countries in Europe in addition to the US and Canada.
- Hunger for outbound deal sourcing. We definitely heavily weigh outbound deal sourcing and have a strong focus on finding the next amazing person or company first vs. building a heavy inbound sourcing mechanism (read why here). Sometimes our investment can come years after reading a research paper and reaching out cold, as it did with Wayve.
We think these traits could show themselves in people who do/have done one or many of the following, though these are not prerequisites:
- Heavily follow research communities ranging from academia through corporate R&D groups.
- Already have prior investing experience (either angel investing or at another firm, ideally at the early-stage).
- Have previously spent time at an early-stage startup.
- Maintain some form of writing (public or private) to continually track ideas/opinions/views on areas they care about.
- Deep passion for science fiction.
- Consume various forms of content at a high rate.
If this role is interesting to you, please send an email to mike (at) compound.vc with the subject line Joining Compound. The deadline to apply is 12/30/2019. We will get back to candidates in early January 2020.
In the email we’d love you to share:
- Why do you want to join Compound specifically?
- How would your boss or coworkers describe you?
- What is a pre-series B company you’d like to invest in, and why?
- What are you thinking about these days or what is a current thesis you have?
- Any links or files that help us understand who you are and your thought process on anything.