Forward Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm, meets startup studio.
We invest from day zero through to Series A, focusing primarily on applied AI, marketplaces and e-commerce. Out of our early-stage funds, we’ve invested in 55+ companies including Patch, Apexx, Fy!, Ably, Makers and Koru Kids.
In keeping with our core belief that the real work begins after founders raise money, our purpose-built startup studio of in-house engineers, designers, marketers, and talent specialists is on-hand to support our companies to design, build and grow. Because no other investor is as committed as Forward Partners in providing value to their portfolio, the exposure that you’ll get to early stage businesses, their people, and their journeys is unparalleled.
We also fund growth of all stages through our equity-free revenue-based finance product, Forward Advances.
Forward is looking for someone to join our investment team. Investors at Forward Partners do it all. You’ll be expected to source deals, evaluate opportunities, lead opportunities through the pipeline to investment, manage financial and legal due diligence, provide information to our investors, and take board seats / help in portfolio management.
We’re also building our own business here at Forward. You’ll be encouraged to and expected to contribute to innovation across the business and the portfolio, something we take immense pride in.
You’ll be part of a small but growing team of 6, meaning you’ll be supported, along with having space and independence to grow your role within the industry and business.
What will I be doing?
- Analysing opportunities at the top of the funnel. We see thousands of opportunities to invest in every year. Moving prospective investments from the top of the funnel to the first meeting stage is a crucial part of the well oiled machine. Many leads come in through channels which we’ve taken care and pride in developing such as Office Hours and The Founders Programme. You’ll be a part of that and leading some of these sessions too.
- Originating opportunities. There are lots of ways to ensure that you’re a nexus for great investment opportunities: publishing research and content, networking, taking part in and running your own events, etc. You’re someone who has the passion and energy to open up new channels for the Fund, building your profile as an investor, and contributing to the research and thinking of the investment team.
- Due diligence of prospects in the pipeline. You’ll lead opportunities through the pipeline to investment. You’ll be an intellectually curious person who’s keen to get into the weeds of the opportunities that you’re leading on to build your own and the wider team’s conviction. This will include going deep on the attractiveness of the markets, products and teams that we’re looking to invest in.
- Working as a team. We’re a small team in a fast-moving ecosystem, meaning we need to work hard and we need to work fast. However that’s a whole lot easier when you know you’ve got back up and we’re a team first. You’ll help the other members of the investment team with their due diligence if needed, and you’ll actively contribute to conversations in weekly deal-team meetings and beyond. This is hugely important for our collective success and team happiness.
- Closing deals. You have to fight hard to get into the best deals. Having money to invest and having great entrepreneurs keen to take it are two totally different things. You’ll have this fight in you and keenness to develop your craft in this regard. Forward Partners offers a lot as a fund but ultimately you’ll want founders to be wanting to work with you and seeking you out in the market.
- Once terms are signed, you’ll work alongside our counsel to get to agreed sets of long-form legal documents. You’ll also do financial due diligence on companies where that is required.
- Quarterly reporting. The investors in Forward need to be kept up to date. We’re in touch with all of the portfolio on a quarterly basis, which helps to produce reports for our investors.
- Working across Forward Partners. Forward is growing and diversifying, and we want to build a business that is bigger than ourselves and shaping the venture ecosystem. You’ll be encouraged and expected to contribute to those efforts. In this way, you’ll have an operator and entrepreneurial mindset too.
- Portfolio management and working with founders. We often lead investment rounds and take board seats, which is hugely rewarding. You’ll be a part of that portfolio management. Being a great board member is a crucial part of success in VC and you’ll have lots of opportunities to increase your experience as a NED.
What experience would be valuable?
You can see from “What will I be doing?” that the answer is “a lot”. You’ll have to have great energy and to be comfortable switching between contexts and requirements. You’ll need to be strong across a range of qualitative and quantitative skills. Given this broad requirement, we’re not looking for specific experience but you could have one or more of the following:
- A background of a few years in VC.
- A background as an operator or an entrepreneur.
- Research and writing comfort and capability.
- A background which has taught you strong financial and analytical skills.
- You’ll have worked as part of a team but be able to demonstrate that you’re effective when given a lot of autonomy.
- You’ll be able to demonstrate a passion for startups and technology (this last one is non-negotiable).
Our additional ‘nice to haves’
- Effective proactivity. If you’re someone who asks questions, expands your network, and seeks to take on and own accountability and initiatives, you’ll fit right in.
- An agile mind - we look at all sorts of businesses within our 3 sector focuses of Applied AI, marketplaces and e-commerce. We’re invested in accountancy, chinos, law, plants, VR, childcare, mobility, sleep, pop-up shops, payments, cybersecurity, farming, credit …the list goes on and we all need to keep up!
Are you interested in the role but not sure your experience ticks all of the boxes? Please still apply. We appreciate that some of the things we’re looking for aren’t essential to being successful in this role. We strongly encourage candidates of all different backgrounds and identities to apply.
- Carried interest scheme (your stake in our performance).
- 25 days of holiday per year (of which 2 can be duvet days) plus bank holidays. 1 extra day awarded per calendar year served.
- AXA private medical insurance (for you and your partner or family).
- £300 (pro rata) annual L&D budget to spend via Sunlight (+ additional budget at your manager’s discretion).
- Paid parental leave.
Role type: full time, permanent.
Location: remote at the moment. Later in the year we will be adopting a hybrid working model, where we will spend 2-days a week together in our office (Old Street, London). You therefore must be able to travel into London.
The process from here
- Apply online with your CV and anything else you think will help us to get to know you better.
- If we think your experience is a match, a member of our Talent team will be in touch to invite you to an intro call.
- You’ll then meet with members of the investment team so we can get to know one another. We’ll do some pitch deck exercises during these stages.
- The final stage will be a case-study exercise that will require a decent bit of prep. This will be with Matt, the Partner who heads up the investment team, and Nic, the Managing Partner.
We’re committed to providing feedback if you’re turned down after any of our interview stages. Unfortunately we’re unable to provide application feedback.
Our Equal Opportunities belief
We value all people as unique individuals, and we welcome the variety of experiences they bring to our company. As such, we have a strict non-discrimination policy. We believe everyone should be treated equally regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, caring responsibilities, or religion. If anything about your experience differs from this, we encourage you to speak with us.