Lightspeed Venture Partners (LSVP) is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise and Consumer sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed and helped build more than 300 companies globally, many of which have become market leaders.
Recent investment exits include the Snap IPO (currently the largest tech IPO for 2017), the Nutanix IPO (the largest tech IPO for 2017), the AppDynamics acquisition by Cisco (the largest private company enterprise acquisition in the last two decades), the MuleSoft IPO, and the upcoming Stitch Fix IPO. Currently, the firm manages over $4 billion of committed capital, with investments in the U.S. and internationally.
Despite investing in over 300 companies across a variety of sectors and geographic locations, Lightspeed Venture Partners was lacking a single, centralized talent management platform. Instead, “people heavily relied on their own networks and outsourced straight search,” says Marian Pond, Vice President, Executive Talent.
With 50 or more searches being conducted concurrently, Lightspeed is often on the receiving end of a substantial amount of candidate intel. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a structured way to store the information and pull meaningful reports for portfolio companies moving forward.
The talent team were also struggling to store information from investment partners, who often referred them names and contact details of high caliber C-suite executives they met at conferences and networking dinners.
“We needed to implement a system that recorded which executives Lightspeed had connected with, and for what purpose, and have the ability to save critical information about them,” says Pond. Further, Lightspeed also needed a system so they could efficiently track candidate’s past experiences, why they left companies, and their compensation, among other nuggets of information.
One of the first tasks for Pond when joining Lightspeed was finding a talent relationship management platform that would work for the firm over the long haul. After researching several platforms, she chose Thrive TRM. “Thrive has a good reputation amongst VC firms. Technically, it’s a very impressive platform,” says Pond, whose team has initially focused on building the most accurate and comprehensive database possible since adopting Thrive TRM.
“The tagging functionality is fantastic. We are quickly and easily able to create reports with as much or as little information and data as we want or need. I also love that we can see the compensation data for a single candidate or average compensation data for all candidates attached to a search. You can glean quite a lot of data, analytics, and insights from your searches with Thrive TRM.”
While Thrive TRM met Lightspeed’s technical requirements, the decision to use Thrive TRM went beyond technical capabilities, says Pond. “At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. We were very impressed with everyone we met on the Thrive team. As a VC firm, we have different needs than an executive search firm does, and the Thrive team is very amenable to working with us to customize the database to meet our needs, which I think is really phenomenal.”
Pond says that Lightspeed is just scratching the surface of what Thrive TRM can do, but notes that already, their move to Thrive TRM is paying dividends. “Right now, we’re trying to import our data and learn how to balance that import while using Thrive, as well as making sure that we’re performing proper market mappings and identifying the right candidates for our portfolio companies,” says Pond. “But already, our process for managing talent is more formal and streamlined, and we’re delivering better and quicker results for our companies.”