It would be Petershill's first investment in a venture capital firm, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. It would also be one of the first venture capital stake deals by any firm dedicated to buying pieces of alternative asset managers.
Terms of the transaction haven't been finalized and talks could end without one, the people said. The size of the potential stake isn't clear.
A representative for Goldman Sachs declined to comment. A General Catalyst representative didn't have an immediate comment.
Petershill raised $2.5 billion in February for its latest fund dedicated to buying minority stakes in alternative asset managers, exceeding its original $2 billion target.
Those businesses are often too small to go public and are becoming increasingly open to selling stakes to larger firms such as Petershill, Blackstone Group LP and Neuberger Berman Group's Dyal Capital Partners. Proceeds are often used to supplement partner commitments to new funds or to seed new strategies, which can come with significant hiring requirements.
Petershill's investments — many in private equity firms — include stakes in Clearlake Capital Group, Francisco Partners, Accel-KKR, ArcLight Capital Partners, Littlejohn & Co. and Riverstone Holdings, among others.
General Catalyst ranks as a venture capital heavyweight, investing in companies including Airbnb Inc., Stripe Inc. and Snap Inc. Founded in 2000 in Cambridge, Mass., it closed a $1.375 billion fund — its ninth — this year.
That fund size would previously have numbered General Catalyst with Silicon Valley's largest firms. Such funds have lost some of their impact, though, as SoftBank Group Corp. deploys its $100 billion Vision Fund, which includes venture investments.