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PE & VC News

Every now and then, it’s always a good idea to take account of the most active investors by the numerous dimensions one can slice the data. Here’s a look according to the most recent information out of private equity data provider Pitchbook.

Most Active Globally

Before looking, which companies would you guess were most active in Q3 2021 across the world? Interestingly, the top of the list is Shore Capital Partners, with 58 deals. Behind Shore Capital Partners lead is Harbour Vest Partners at 53, TA Associates at 47, The Carlyle Group at 47, and EQT at 44.

Most Active in the U.S.

Shifting to a view of just the U.S., the top company is the same as the top company globally – Shore Capital Partners at 58. In second place is The Carlyle Group at 30 (this means 30 of the 47 deals completed by The Carlyle Group were in the U.S). Rounding out the top 5 are Ares Management at 27, TA Associates Management at 25, and Audax Group at 25.

Most Active Outside of the U.S.

Moving to the most active private equity investors outside the U.S., the top company on the list is Kohlberg Kravis Roberts at 10. The next three top investors are the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), BDC Capital, and The Carlyle Group. These three each made 6 investments in the third quarter. The fifth spot belongs to a number of companies with 4 investments, including TPG, General Atlantic, Investissement Quebec, Novacap, Canadian Business Growth Fund, TA Associates Management, and EQT.

Source: Pitchbook

Exits

Shifting to exits, the following table looks at the most active companies globally, in the U.S., and in Europe. Are you surprised by which companies show up on top?

On the most active globally, Advent International shows up on top at 10. The second-place spot has three companies with six exits – Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, EQT, and HarbourVest Partners. Rounding out the top five is Warburg Pincus at 5.

Looking at the most active for exits in the U.S., the top of the list includes HarbourVest Partners at 6, Advent International at 5, and a host of companies at 3. The companies with three investments include Brookside Capital Partners, TPG, Apollo Global Management, PNC Erieview Capital, Summit Partners, AEA Investors, and The Carlyle Group.

The last look is the most active in Europe. The top five include EQT at 5, BGF at 4, Bpifrance at 4, Credit Mutuel Equity at 4, and a number of companies at 3. The companies with three include Nordic Entertainment Group, LDC, Langholm Capital, Nordic Capital, and Mutares.

Source: Pitchbook

Summing Up

Overall, Pitchbook’s accounting of private equity activity is long, with some surprising activity from some of the best investors in the world. May the coming year treat private equity investors and companies that seek the investment as well as 2021.

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Private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) investments can sometimes be quite “herd following.” With the increasing popularity of mobility companies, it likely comes as no surprise that PE and VC interest in mobility startups is growing. The question is how by how much. Here’s the view according to research provided by PE data provider Pitchbook.

The 30,000 Foot View

Here’s the first view of the mobility tech VC deal activity. The figure has an enormous figure for the dollar volume of deal activity. As of the end of the third quarter of 2021, total dollar volume summed to $74.5 billion (blue bars), which surpassed the previous all-time high of $64.3 billion in 2018. And there’s still three months to go! The dollar volume of deal activity in 2021 will far surpass any previous yearly activity of financial interest in mobility tech.

Switching to the number of deals completed, as of the end of September 2021, the number of deals stood at 1,326, about three hundred behind the 2018 all-time high of 1,605. If the current trend continues, 2021 will also likely see the highest number of deals in a year ever. It certainly pays to be investing in and being an entrepreneur in an area that has a seemingly bright future.

Source: Pitchbook

Some of the Key 2021 Deals

Shifting to some details behind the deals, the following table provides a view of some of the top deals so far in 2021. Before looking, which company would you guess had the top mobility tech funding round?

The largest deal, so far, in 2021 has been SVOLT, with lead investor BOCGI Zheshang Capital. The Series B deal totaled almost $1.6 billion for the electric vehicle startup.

The second largest deal was DeepRoute.ai, an autonomous driving company. Led by Alibaba Group, the Series B deal reached $300 million.

Rounding out the top five (with deal size in parentheses) were Inceptio Technology ($270 million), Onto ($242 million), and Semidrive ($154 million). Lead investors were JD Logistics, PAG, and Meituan (Inceptio Technology), Alfven & Didrikson (Onto), and China V Fund and Puluo Capital (Semidrive).

Other companies in the top ten included (again, with deal size in parentheses) EmergeTech ($130 million), Kovi ($124 million), Verkor ($120 million), AutoFlight ($100 million), and QCraft ($100 million).

Overall, these figures show significant PE and VC interest in electric vehicles, autonomous driving, auto commerce, freight technology, auto commerce, and advanced air mobility.

Source: Pitchbook

Summing Up

Overall, 2021 has been an amazing year for mobility startups. If the trend continues, the number of deals and the dollar volume of PE and VC-backed deals will far surpass any previous yearly accounting of deals. May the good times live on forever, at least for mobility tech.

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Venture capital follows a unique pattern, if you can call it a pattern at all. There are consistently certain geographic areas that garner more venture capital investment than what population, business regulatory environment, or other factors would suggest, but then there are other areas that are growing very quickly in capturing the eye of venture capital investors. What does the venture capital picture look like by U.S. region? Here’s a look according to a fascinating research note out of private equity and venture capital data provider Pitchbook.

The Overall Picture

The first view of the venture capital (VC) world is the median dollar deal size in 2010, 2020, and 2021 by series. Interestingly, Seed stage companies had a median deal size of $0.5 million in 2010. This quadrupled to $2.0 million in 2020 and is up another $500,000 to $2.5 million in 2021.

For Series A companies, the median deal size has grown from $2.5 million in 2010 to a whopping $12.3 million in 2021.

For Series B companies, the median deal size has gone from $7.0 million in 2010 to $28.0 million in 2021.

For Series C companies, the median deal size has exploded even more, from $10.0 million in 2010 to $60.0 million in 2021.

For Series D and above, the median deal size has increased from $12.0 million in 2010 to an almost unbelievable $101.5 million through the first half of 2021.

Simply amazing.

Source: Pitchbook

One of the Reasons …

One of the reasons for the massive expansion in value is deal count by ecosystem. In 2011, a little more than half of deals were sourced to either the California Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, or Boston. In 2020, the proportion stayed about the same, meaning that other geographic areas were not falling behind in a potentially “clustered” investing world. In 2021, the proportion has shifted a little bit more towards the “big four”.

Source: Pitchbook

A Broader View

One of the more fascinating views offered by Pitchbook is their median pre-money valuations by selected ecosystems. Overall, some areas experienced some massive median pre-money valuation boosts. The following look at the median early-stage pre-money valuation by ecosystem. In 2021, we saw some incredible increases in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and a few other areas. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the U.S. median early-stage pre-money valuation (dotted black line) jumped a little more strongly in 2021 than in prior years, but nowhere near the clearly visible jumps in other areas of the U.S. VC ecosystem.

Source: Pitchbook

Summing Up

Overall, venture capital continues to perform quite well in areas long considered cluster areas for venture capital investment. With that acknowledged, emerging investment trends suggest that traditional clusters may be giving way to other areas’ capture of the venture capital investment dollar.

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In Europe, Unicorns are the New Norm

October 12, 2021

In the current world of finance, private equity valuations are king. And in the world of valuations, the most prestigious valuation is known as being a unicorn. What is a unicorn? A unicorn is a company with a private valuation of $1 billion or more (€1 billion if you’re in Europe). What does the private […]

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How is the U.S. PE Middle Market Doing?

September 28, 2021

We are entering the final quarter of 2021. With the home stretch within purview, let’s take a look at how the U.S. private equity (PE) middle market has done through the first half of 2021. The view might be surprising. The overall view The first view that follows looks at the overall picture of the […]

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Europe’s VC Valuations are Booming

September 14, 2021

It is always interesting to take a step back and see how money valuations are performing across the world. This week’s view is the European venture capital (VC) valuations. Europe Angel & Seed Pre-Money Valuations The first view is the angel and seed pre-money valuations by quartile. Amazingly, angel and seed pre-money valuations continue to […]

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Why U.S. VC Valuations are Exploding

August 31, 2021

It’s a relatively sanguine question with explosive consequences – Why are U.S. venture capital (VC) valuations exploding? The answer lies in a complex cocktail of money, value creation, and expected future valuations. Let’s take a look. Some Background Before looking at some explanations behind the explosion in U.S. VC valuations, we need some background. The […]

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Public Private Equity Firms are Sizzling

August 17, 2021

The first half of 2021 has been nothing short of amazing for financial firms. With public equity markets reaching all-time highs for many indices, it would be unsurprising that publicly traded private equity firms took part in the euphoria. And that’s certainly true for the top five private equity firms that trade publicly. Performance as […]

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Who is Winning – VCs or Investors?

August 3, 2021

Private equity data provider Pitchbook is always on the move with indicators of the private equity and venture capital dealmaking world. One of their newest indicators – the VC Dealmaking Indicator – gets at the heart of a core question in investing – Who is winning – VCs or investors? Some important details In constructing […]

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Looking at Mergers and Acquisitions Trends

July 6, 2021

Around this time of year we like to take a stroll back at Datasite’s recent information, offering observers a view of the state of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) across the U.S. How do things look? Well, here’s a look. M&A Activity, 2018 – 2021 Q1 The first view is M&A activity from 2018 to the […]

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