PitchBook News - Winning when the markets are losing

Plus: California embraces crypto; Kleiner Perkins' sustainable investing slump; KKR's first-quarter earnings & more
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The Weekend Pitch
May 8, 2022
Presented by Masterworks
(tommy/Getty Images)
By now, it is evident to most investors that the tech downturn isn't just a temporary blip of the kind we witnessed at the start of the pandemic.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq has tumbled 22% since the beginning of the year. And judging by the recent earnings reports of some of the bellwether tech companies, the rising interest rate environment and uncertain economic conditions, a rebound is clearly not around the corner.

Welcome back to the Weekend Pitch. I'm Marina Temkin and you can reach me at marina.temkin@pitchbook.com or on Twitter @MTemkin.

In a matter of months, late-stage VC dealmaking has turned from frenzied to near-quiet. One such investor told me that he hasn't made a single new investment since the start of the year, and he sees others in this market segment dramatically curtailing their dealmaking.

At some point, this slowdown will likely spread to deals for early-stage startups.

While many tech investors are preparing for a rough time ahead, some private market strategies will find attractive opportunities in this environment. Let's take a look at how some investors are using their playbooks to win in current market conditions.
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"With programs to enhance education, promote financial inclusion and sustainability, and—most importantly—provide regulatory clarity through a consistent framework, CA [California] will be a global hub for crypto talent and innovation."

Chris Larsen, co-founder of crypto company Ripple.

Earlier this week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on cryptocurrencies, laying out a road map for regulatory and consumer protections. The order aims to create a transparent business environment for web3 companies.

Deal Flow

Last week, Kleiner Perkins chair John Doerr and his wife Ann Doerr announced a $1.1 billion donation to Stanford University to fund the creation of a new school focused on sustainability and climate change.

We took a closer look at the firm's participation in cleantech deals over the years. While Kleiner Perkins was a leader in the sector during the earlier wave of sustainable technologies, it has participated in just 13 such deals since 2017, according to PitchBook data.

Did you know ...

(Lemon_tm/Getty Images)
… That KKR's distributable earnings climbed almost 50% year-over-year to $1 billion in the first three months of 2022?

The private equity giant is riding high on a string of successful deals from earlier this year, including a $1.8 billion deal for Dutch bicycle brand Accell Group and a roughly $1.05 billion acquisition of a real estate portfolio from the Adler Group.

Here's a breakdown of KKR's first-quarter earnings.


US VC-backed companies at the late stage collected $44.1 billion in Q1 across a record number of deals, according to a PitchBook estimate.

At the early stage, deal count also grew while deal value remained above or in line with levels seen in 2020. Combined seed and angel deal activity grew slightly in the most recent quarter.

Recommended reads

From electric excavators to greener cemeteries, Oslo is successfully decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions. But is the city an outlier? [The New Yorker]

With apps and data that may soon come under legal scrutiny, Silicon Valley's tech companies are preparing for a post-Roe era. [Wired]

Why Elon Musk's bid for Twitter has Tesla shareholders concerned. [The New York Times]

Bill Gross was synonymous with fixed income investing for 40 years, but the question of whether he generated real alpha still hovers over his legacy. [Institutional Investor]

Why climate scientist Spencer Reeder made the surprising leap from government researcher to car company executive. [Fast Company]

Chinese tech giants are quietly pulling back from Russia under pressure from US sanctions and suppliers. [The Wall Street Journal]
This edition of The Weekend Pitch was written by Marina Temkin and Priyamvada Mathur. It was edited by Alexander Davis and Sam Steele.

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