Why Marissa Campise left Greycroft for Venrock

May 05, 2011

Legendary venture capitalist Alan Patricof last Monday sent out an email detailing several staffing changes at his current firm, Greycroft Partners. Here was the lead item:

Marissa Campise, who has been with the firm for the past year, has been promoted to Principal.  Prior to joining Greycroft, Marissa worked at Lindzon Capital Partners pursuing start-up and angel investing.

Now, just 10 days later, rival VC firm Venrock has announced that Campise will join its New York office as a vice president. Talk about a quick flip.

Here is how Campise (@marissa) explained the move, via telephone:

"I have nothing but great things to say about Greycroft, but it has a very different investment strategy than a firm like Venrock. Greycroft... goes in believing that every investment should be in a company that will never IPO, and instead will be sold for between $20 million and $100 million. It also co-invests on all of its deals, is very entrepreneur-friendly and doesn't take board seats.

The hope is that many of the companies will break through that barrier -- and in fact many have already done so -- but they try to be realistic going in on values.

Venrock, on the other hand, follows a more traditional VC model. It obviously IPO all of its portfolio companies or sell them for a billion dollars, but initial expectations are much greater. Part of that, of course, is that Venrock's current fund size is around 3x that of Greycroft's.

Campise adds that her Greycroft promotion actually "happened a while ago," but wasn't announced until some of the other moves -- including the hiring of new venture partners -- were finalized. She also says that she hopes to co-invest with Greycroft in the future.

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