Pitchbook is out with their most recent list of the 20 most valuable venture capital-backed companies in the U.S.  We will take a look at which  companies show up on the list.

The Top 5

The following is the top 5 most valuable companies backed by venture capital funding in the U.S.  Interesting, even after all the strife Uber has been through, Uber tops the list at a valuation of about $69.6 billion.  The eight-year old company was founded in San Francisco and its most recent round of financing netted $1.3 billion.

Switching ride sharing for home sharing, in second place Airbnb’s most recent estimated value is an amazing $31 billion.  The company, founded in 2008, recently went through a $1 billion financing round in March 2017.

In third place is Wework, a New York-based shared workplace business.  The company last went through a financing round of $4.4 billion in August 2017, which valued a company at $21 billion.

In fourth place is Spacex.  The Hawthorne, California-based company is worth an estimated $20.8 billion, having recently gone through a $450 million financing round in November 2017.

In fifth place is Palantir, the secretive big data platform used by governments and big business.  Palantir is worth an estimated $20.5 billion after going through an $880 million financing round in January 2016.

Top5 Source: Pitchbook

Ranks 6 – 10

The next five most valuable venture capital-backed companies are as follows.

Number 6 is Pinterest.  The San Francisco-based company, founded in 2010, recently went through a $150 million financing round in June 2017 that valued the company at $12.3 billion.

In seventh place is Samumed, a company engaged in small molecule drug development.  The San Diego-based company, founded in 2008, has a value of $12 billion based upon a $100 million financing round in January 2016.

Following in eighth place is Lyft.  Another ride-sharing company and chief competitor to top-ranked Uber, is worth an estimated $11.7 billion based upon a $1.7 billion financing round in March 2018.

In ninth place is Stripe.  The San Francisco-based company is worth an estimated $9.2 billion, based upon a November 2016 $150 million financing round.

Rounding out the top 10 is the biotechnology company, Moderna.  Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, they recently went through a $500 million financing round in February 2018 that valued the company at $7 billion.

Top6to10 Source: Pitchbook

Ranks 11-20

Among the remaining top 20: Magic Leap ($6.4 billion), Vice ($5.7 billion), Slack ($5.1 billion), MachineZone ($5 billion), SoFi ($4.4 billion), Instacart ($4.2 billion), Intarcia ($4.1 billion), Houzz ($4 billion), Wish ($4 billion), and Tanium ($3.6 billion). The figure below lists the others.

EntireList Source: Pitchbook


In a review of Pitchbook’s most recent accounting of the top 20 most valuable venture capital-backed startups, the list include some very well-knows names in the business and retail world, including Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Instacart, and 16 others.  Overall, the entire value of these 20 companies sums to an astounding $262 billion.  The world of venture capital-backed startups is alive and well.


We’re a couple months into 2018, and Private Equity International is out with survey results on the question – “What are global limited partners (LPs) most concerned about in 2018″?

Before looking at the results, what would you guess the LP responses are?  Would you guess a recession?  Perhaps trade wars?  A terrorist attack?  A cybersecurity attack on the financial system?

The Survey Results

Depicted in the following sections, the top concerns among global estate and private equity investors interviewed by Augentius indicated that their top concerns were asset valuations, challenges in finding investment opportunities, and market regulation.

The Bearish View

Before getting to the top concerns, the following is a visual of survey respondents’ sentiment regarding the investment climate in 2018 compared to 2017.  Quite interestingly, about half of respondents anticipated the investment climate to weaken in 2018 (yellow half-circle).  Only about 15 percent of private equity investors anticipated 2018 to build on the momentum of 2017 and about 40 percent of respondents saw 2018 being about the same as 2017.

1 Investment Climate Source: Private Equity International

Major Challenges

On the major challenges front, the following is a depiction of the views of limited partners in 2017 (purple) compared to 2018 (yellow).

Interestingly, and consistent with the generally bearish view of the investment climate previously reported, valuation and market regulation issues were more concerning in 2017 compared to 2018.

For 2018, survey respondents placed liquidity issues and the lack of adequate investment opportunities as bigger concerns.

2 Major challenges Source: Private Equity International

A Geographic Breakdown of Investors’ Views

Switching to a geographic view of investors’ views, the following is a breakdown of the general partners’ concerns by continental focus.

On communications with limited partners, American general partners (GPs) place a higher concern on this area, with 27 percent saying it is a challenge compared to just 17 percent for the European peers and 18 percent for their Asian peers.

On cybersecurity, European GPs come out with the highest concern level, with 64 percent of European GPs placing this as a major challenge, while only 9 percent of Asian GPs and 40 percent of American GPs place this as a major challenge.

Switching to exit opportunities, European GPs place much less concern on this issue compared to their American and Asian colleagues.

Perhaps quite surprisingly, American and Asian GPs place a much highest concern on fundraising, 50 percent and 55 percent respectively, than do their Asian counterparts.

Perhaps even more surprising that the fundraising result is the investment opportunities result.  About 57 percent of American GPs are concerned about investment opportunities, while 45 percent and 44 percent, respectively, of Asian and European GPs share such concern.

Lastly, American GPs are much less concerned about market regulation compared to GPs located in Europe and Asia.

3 challenges Source: Private Equity International


In an interesting look at the concerns of limited partners, Private Equity International found that the top concerns among limited partners are asset valuations, challenges in finding investment opportunities, and market regulation.  Interestingly, the results differed by the geographic area of the investor and the general investment sector of the respondent.


Private Equity International is out with their annual PEI300 report, which details the top 300 private equity firms by amount raised.  Before looking, which companies would you guess would be on top?

The Broader View

Before taking a look at the list of the top 25 private equity firms, how much would you guess the top 300 firms (according to Private Equity International) raised in the past five years?  How much of the total would you guess went to the top 50 firms?  How much of the total would you guess went to just the top 10 firms?

Amazingly, over the past five years, the top 300 private equity firms raised about $1.352 trillion.  The private equity industry is certainly not dead.  Of that total $1.352 trillion, how much went to the top 50 firms?  Interestingly, about 56 percent of private equity capital raised went to the top 50 firms.  How much went to the just the top 10 firms?  An astonishing 24 percent went to the top 10 firms.  The private equity industry sure is top heavy.

The Top 5

Perhaps completely unsurprising, taking the top spot is Blackstone.  The New York City-headquartered firm raised a massive $58.3 billion from 2012 to 2017.  In second place is KKR, also headquartered in New York.  KKR raised a total of $41.6 billion over the past five years.  In third place is Washington, DC-based The Carlyle Group at $40.7 billion.  Rounding out the top five are Fort Worth-based TPG Capital at $36.1 billion and New York-based Warburg Pincus at $30.8 billion.


Ranks 6 Through 10

The top 5 probably provided little surprise to individuals closely connected with the industry.  What about the bottom half of the top 10?

Interestingly, in sixth place is Advent International Corporation at nearly $27.0 billion (headquartered in Boston).  The other four members of the bottom half of the top 10 include Apollo Global Management ($24.0 billion, New York), EnCap Investments ($21.2 billion, Houston), Neuberger Berman Group ($20.4 billion, New York), and CVC Capital Partners ($19.9 billion, London).

Of all the surprises in this list is perhaps the observation that only one private equity firm – CVC Capital Partners – is headquartered outside of the United States.  Businesses headquartered outside of the United States are growing, but they still lag behind the massive advantage U.S.-based private equity firms have.


Ranks 11 Through 25

Let’s round out the top 25.  Before looking at the list, which firms were you surprised missed the top 10?  Were you surprised that no west coast firms headquartered in the U.S. showed up in the top 10?  What about China-based private equity firms?  Were you surprised by the lack of any Chinese firms at the top?

Included in the top 25 are Bain Capital ($18.2 billion, Boston), Thoma Bravo ($17.2 billion, Chicago), Vista Equity Partners ($17.2 billion, Austin), Apax Partners ($17.0, London), Clayton, Dublier & Rice ($16.7 billion, New York), Cinven ($16.6 billion, London), Leonard Green & Partners ($15.9 billion, Los Angeles), Ares Management LLC ($14.7 billion, Los Angeles), BC Partners ($14.2 billion, London), Permira Advisers ($13.6 billion, London), Riverstone Holdings ($13.1 billion, New York), Goldman Sachs Principal Investment Area ($12.0 billion, New York), Silver Lake ($11.7 billion, Menlo Park), Ardian ($11.3 billion, Paris), and Hellman & Friedman ($10.9 billion, San Francisco).



In an interesting review of the top 25 private equity firms across the world according to Private Equity International, perhaps the most surprising finding is the continued dominance of U.S.-based firms within the private equity realm.  Financial firms headquartered in other areas of the globe are catching up, but still lag by significant amounts.


Are Unicorns Frequently Overvalued?

February 6, 2018

A couple of professors out of Stanford University and the University of British Columbia are out with a new, fresh look at the intricacies of venture capital valuations (Squaring Venture Capital Valuations with Reality, National Bureau of Economic Research Paper #23895).  Their topic is unicorn valuations, and specifically whether so-called unicorn valuations are frequently overvalued.  […]

Read the full article →

The 2017 Startup Graveyard

January 23, 2018

Pitchbook  is out with a fascinating look at the so-called 2017 “startup graveyard”.  There are 11 companies on Pitchbook’s list. Let’s take a look. The Startup Graveyard On top of Pitchbook’s list of notable 2017 failures is Jawbone.  Jawbone manufactured speakers and wearable technology, and at one point had a valuation of $1.5 billion, with […]

Read the full article →

Taking a Look at 2017 Mergers and Acquisitions in Emerging Technology

January 8, 2018

The 2017 year is over, and as such, what better time than now to take a look at how things performed in 2017.  The topic is mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in emerging technology. Top Corporate Acquirers Since 2007 Before looking at the 2017 figures, which corporate acquirer would you guess comes out on top since […]

Read the full article →

A Look Back at Venture Capital in Recent Years

December 25, 2017

The year is almost over, and what better time to take a look back at the state of venture capital over the past few years than now. Distributed to Paid in Capital (DPI) Multiples First off, which year between 2006 and 2013 would you guess would have the best DPI multiples?  Would you guess perhaps […]

Read the full article →

How Did Financial Job Growth Compare in 2017?

December 12, 2017

The year is almost over, which makes now a perfect time to take a look back and see how job growth in the financial industry did compared to other industries.  Here’s a look. The Broad View Before looking at the growth in jobs in the financial sector compared to all other sectors, here’s a background […]

Read the full article →

What are the 18 Most Valuable E-Commerce Startups in the U.S.?

November 27, 2017

Pitchbook, the private equity and venture capital data provider, is out with an interesting look at e-commerce startups in the U.S. Without looking at the following list of the 18 most valuable startups in the U.S., which companies would you guess would be on the list? Would you guess Dollar Shave Club, or Jet, or […]

Read the full article →

An Update on Private Equity Fund of Funds

November 13, 2017

Preqin, the investment intelligence data provider, recently released their special report on the state of private equity funds of funds across the world.  Here’s a look. Where are the Private Equity Fund of Funds Managers? First, a question – where would you guess the most managers of private equity fund of funds are located?  The […]

Read the full article →
Real Time Web Analytics