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"What are you seeing in the market??"
Everyone is asking us the same question....😬
Hi!! We hope that you had a nice summer and glad to see that people finally took advantage of traveling again to enjoy some hard-earned recharge time! Seems like everyone went to Italy, Greece and Portugal…..
As we mentioned in our last newsletter, the startup hiring market has clearly slowed over the past several months. Our perspective is that the summer slowdown in June, July, and August was actually largely driven by a normal “summer vacation” which traditionally has been a cyclical “seasonal slow-down” each year - albeit the first one we’ve had since 2019.
But with continued layoffs (including double digit % at startups like Brex, Noom and Redesign earlier this week), there is clearly broad macroeconomic concern across capital markets.
Everyone (candidates, hiring managers, founders, investors) seems to be asking us the exact same question over and over again:
“What are you seeing in the market??”
The sheer number of times that we get asked that question is in fact the answer – nobody really knows and everyone is waiting and see. It’s certainly not the insane high-growth job market of fall 2021 - summer 2022. But it’s also not in shambles with constant layoffs like we saw in March/April/May 2020. It feels like we’re in a bit of “job market limbo”...
Who’s hiring and who’s not?
Early stage startups
Still hiring! VC funding for seed (even Series A) has certainly not dried up. Funds still need to deploy their capital —> early stage startups need to grow in order to have any shot at surviving and building product-market-fit. So we’re actually noticing a lot more seed/Series A startups coming to us for help
Focus on a strong leader and executive team that you are confident will “do the right thing” when times are both good and bad.
Mid/late stage startups
Where we’ve noticed the largest slowdown. Companies worth $1-10B with 100-1,000 employees who previously had planned to IPO or SPAC in late 2023 or early 2024 are now pushing their timeline to 2026/2027/20🤷♂️. And they’re unsure whether they will be able to fundraise without big check-slingers like Softbank and Tiger writing hundreds of millions of dollars checks and a risk of taking a down-road. So they’re conserving cash and have stopping hiring or are making cuts.
Focus on profitable (or at least close to cash flow positive) businesses that may not have needed to raise in last few years + companies that have recently raised fresh capital where you are confident that the business fundamentals are solid.
More desirable recently for lots of candidates because the equity grant values have been adjusted with stock market revaluations (whereas most private startups have not adjusted valuations) such that candidates are able to come in with relatively strong economics on the upward growth.
Focus on “startups within larger companies” or hiring managers coming from entrepreneurial environments where you can avoid the bureaucracy and slow-moving pace of lots of larger corporations.
We know candidates are still exploring new opportunities and more than anything want to see what’s out there. So we’re going to try something new: every ~six weeks between our quarterly newsletter we’ll highlight a couple of roles we’re working on that we’re excited about and why, as well as share any VC/startup-related content we’ve been loving.
Let us know what you think and any other content that would be helpful, and if you have anything you’d want to share with the broader GGR community, please send it our way!
❤️ Phil and the Golden Gate team
Junior Role Highlight: Chief of Staff @ Staircase
Describe the company to my grandma: simplify mortgages/loans through simple APIs (think Stripe for the mortgage industry)
Key stats: 40 employees (mostly engineering/product/data); raised $24M so far with Bessemer leading the Series A
Who you’ll work with: Adam (CEO, co-founder), serial entrepreneur and former McKinsey
What you’ll be doing: act as Adam’s right hand on all things business; own special project and go-to-market growth; work on board-level questions and drive cross-functional initiatives
Why we like it: work closely with a multi-time founder and be a key business hire during a high-growth period
Who they’re looking for: 3-6 years of consulting/finance/investing + startup/tech roles; technical/product know-how strongly preferred
Interested? Fill out your info here
Senior Role Highlight: Senior Director, Chief of Staff @ Earnin
Describe the company to my grandma: allow hourly workers to get paid immediately (vs. waiting 2-4 weeks for money to hit their bank accounts)
Key stats: 250 people; cash flow positive business; hundreds of millions in revenue
Who you’ll work with: Ram (CEO) and the rest of the executive team
What you’ll be doing: help Ram run the company (OKRs, planning, board meetings) + own special projects (new product lines, strategic growth)
Why we like it: unfettered access to the executive team; mission driven + profitable company
Who they’re looking for: 8-15 years of experience ideally with some consulting/investing + at least a few years at a startup/tech company in a Chief of Staff or Strategy role
Interested? Fill out your info here
As always, you can check out the broader list of opportunities that we’re working on in our Openings Page.
Content we loved lately:
📖 “What I wish I knew before accepting a startup offer” (by Patrick Coleman): Succinct reflections and resources around types of startup equity
🎧 Frank Lampard: Why I'm stronger from a setback (High Performance Podcast): Former Chelsea legend and current Everton Manager talks through his struggles with failure, mental strength, perspective on career vs. personal life.
🎧 20VC: Is Now Really the Best Time to be Investing? (20VC Podcast): Redpoint VC partner Logan Bartlett on the current state of venture investing, startup funding, and the interactions between founders and investors.