The New VC Class

I just finished putting together the annual “Where Are They Now?” chart for Venture Capital Journal, which tracks all of the comings and going of VCs over the past year. Two things jumped out at me:

1. There were very few general partners who switched firms in 2007. Sure there were some — like Rich Levandov (Masthead to Avalon), Adam Fisher (JVP to Bessemer) and Basil Horangic (Austin Ventures to North Bridge) — but nothing close to the flood we saw in 2006.

Maybe that’s a testiment to increasing venture market stability. Or, more likely, it’s because VC firms would rather staff up with venture partners and entrepreneurs-in-residence, than full partners who get full carry. It’s kind of like how universities are offering more adjunct professorships at the expense of tenture-track positions.

2. The vast majority of moves involved “operators” moving into VC firms. A big part of this is the aforementioned venture partner/EIR increase, but we even saw it at the partner level. VC firms used to be all financial pros, and then a movement began a few years back to include a healthy mix of folks with operating backgrounds. I wonder if the pendulum has now swung firmly into the operators’ court… If so, will it swing back? Or will the financial/MBA VC become an artifact?