PitchBook News - VC's role in voluntary carbon markets

Nontraditional backers shy from VC in Europe; PE needs an exit reboot; ElevenLabs corrals unicorn with $80M Series B
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The Daily Pitch: VC
January 23, 2024
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In today's Daily Pitch, you'll find:
 
Today's Top Stories  
Xerox sunsets CVC, anchors new $200M AI fund instead
Myriad Venture Partners founder Chris Fisher
(Courtesy of Myriad)
Xerox has sunsetted Xerox Ventures, its corporate VC group, in favor of anchoring a debut AI-focused fund from Myriad Venture Partners, a new firm spun out by former chief strategy officer Chris Fisher. The fund held a $100 million first close, with a $200 million final target.
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PE's rebound in 2024 hinges on exit environment
On the back of its worst year in dealmaking since 2016, the PE industry needs a snapback in exits to get the market rolling in 2024. Last year, PE capital deployment in the US dropped over 29% and total exit value fell more than 26%, causing dry powder to swell to a record high.

As traditional exit routes become clogged, PE investors, facing unfavorable valuations and an impending maturity wall, are ready for distributions to flow again. Our 2023 Annual US PE Breakdown, sponsored by Stout, Baker Tilly and Blue Owl Capital, explores the factors that have held the industry back after two years of decline and how dealmaking could turn around in 2024.
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A message from Affinity  
The top VC predictions from 3 leading firms
Find out what's in store for venture capital in 2024. Join Affinity's exclusive panel discussion with leaders from Foxe Capital, SaaS Ventures, and Intel Ignite.

They'll discuss how the results of Affinity's survey of 700+ investors reveal a cautiously optimistic sentiment, strategies VCs are using to capitalize on increased deal opportunities, and how to implement AI for smarter decision-making in the year ahead.

Register now
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Growth investors' liquidity crunch drives new secondaries vehicles
(Richard Newstead/Getty Images)
Secondaries deals are tempting VCs in a down market, and investors are increasingly launching new vehicles to bag hoped-for startup discounts.

UK-based Digital Horizon, an early-stage VC, has rebranded as Launchbay Capital and debuted a fund dedicated to creating liquidity for GPs by buying discounted shares in growth-stage companies. The firm previously invested in household names in B2B software including Klarna, Carta and Monday.com.
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VC's ups, downs in voluntary carbon markets
VC funding for companies in the voluntary carbon markets sector has accelerated at a rapid clip—from $100 million in 2017 to around $1.5 billion last year.

Businesses that build infrastructure and services for the space, like Xpansiv and Aspiration, have been some of the biggest winners, along with certain credit producers like Climeworks. But substantial costs and other factors have created challenges for startups, according to our recent analyst note.
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Nontraditional investors shy away from European VC
(Malerapaso/Getty Images)
After a decade of rising participation by nontraditional investors in European VC deals, the percentage of rounds that include such investors fell in 2023.

The downturn in VC dealmaking and a more challenging economic landscape caused nontraditional investors to reassess their VC commitments to the region.
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Since yesterday, the PitchBook Platform added:
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People
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Funds
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The Daily Benchmark:
2012 Vintage Global VC Funds
Median IRR
16.25%
Top Quartile IRR
30.04%
1.24x
Median DPI
Select top performers
Emergence Capital Partners III
Digital Industry Fund 0
Flagship Ventures Fund IV
*IRR: net of fees
49 Funds in Benchmark »
Check out the latest version of PitchBook Benchmarks
 
People  
UK-based lower-middle-market private debt manager Beechbrook Capital appointed Richard Smart as managing director.
 
VC Deals  
ElevenLabs reached unicorn status with an $80 million Series B led by Andreessen Horowitz, Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross. The New York-based company offers an AI-powered text-to-speech platform.

Captura, a cleantech startup based in Los Angeles, raised an additional $21.5 million for its Series A, with participation from Maersk Growth, Eni Next and EDP Ventures.

UK-based Sano Genetics secured $11.4 million led by Plural for its software platform used in precision medicine research.

Mobile gaming studio ForthStar raised $10 million from Griffin Gaming Partners.

Acorai, a Swedish startup developing medical devices to detect heart failure, raised a $4.5 million seed round led by Solardis Health Ventures.

Kenyan agtech startup Shamba Pride secured $3.7 million from EDFI AgriFI and Seedstars Africa Ventures.

Massachusetts-based MitoSense, a biotech startup specializing in neurodegenerative disease treatments, raised a $3.5 million seed round led by Caydan Capital Partners.

3Daughters, a Massachusetts-based women's healthcare startup, raised a $2 million seed round led by Thairm Bio.

Singapore-based Motorist raised a Series A led by Tokyo Century Leasing, bringing its valuation to $60 million. Motorist's platform includes tools that help drives buy, sell and maintain their vehicles.
 
PitchBook webinar: 2024 US leveraged loan and private credit outlook
The broadly syndicated loan and private credit segments battled a challenging leveraged finance market—and each other—in 2023, amid fallout from rate hikes and increased competition for deals. Where will the challenges and opportunities lie in 2024? Key topics of this webinar include:
  • US leveraged loan market: Trends and analysis—including a look at issuance, LBOs, credit risk, returns and supply vs. demand.

  • Private credit: Will deal activity rebound? How will tightening credit spreads impact this segment? What is the outlook for defaults and recoveries?

  • Broadly syndicated loans: Default and distressed debt outlook, including special emphasis on distressed exchanges.

  • Collateralized loan obligations: After a record year of private credit and middle-market issuance, how will this investor segment evolve?
Register now to secure your spot.
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PE Deals  
Department store chain Macy's has rejected a $5.8 billion take-private offer from Arkhouse and Brigade Capital Management.

Blackstone has made a strategic minority investment in energy engineering firm Salas O'Brien.

Comtech Telecommunications, a Nasdaq-listed wireless network, satellite and cloud-native solutions specialist, has received a $45 million investment from White Hat Capital Partners and Magnetar.

Infrastructure service provider RoadSafe Traffic Systems has acquired highway traffic control company BC Cannon. RoadSafe is backed by Trilantic and Investcorp.
 
Portfolio Companies  
Singapore-based cryptocurrency startup Terraform Labs filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware. The company previously raised capital from investors including Coinbase Ventures, Lightspeed and Blockchain Ventures.
 
Exits & IPOs  
Hg is exiting its stake in commodities pricing data company Argus Media. The deal will see CEO Adrian Binks and existing shareholder General Atlantic consolidate their stakes in the company.

Food service company Compass Group agreed to acquire CH&CO, a UK-based hospitality services business backed by Equistone Partners, for an enterprise value of £475 million.

Welcome to the Jungle, an employer branding and recruitment specialist, acquired Otta. The London-based company offers a job search platform and is backed by investors including Tiger Global.
 
Fundraising  
Japanese financial group Orix is planning to launch a buyout fund this year with a target between $1 billion and $2 billion, Nikkei reported.

ArcTern Ventures has raised $335 million for its climate-focused Fund III, Axios reported.

Singapore-based Clime Capital has held a $127 million first close for South East Asia Clean Energy Fund II.
 
Investors  
Colorado-based VC firm Foundry announced that its Foundry 2022 fund will be its last vehicle. The firm has made over 200 investments since its founding in 2006.
 
Corporate M&A  
Sony has canceled its planned $10 billion merger with Indian media group Zee Entertainment two years after the deal was announced.

French lottery and online sports betting operator La Francaise des Jeux has offered to acquire Stockholm-listed peer Kindred Group for nearly $2.7 billion. The deal would create one of Europe's biggest online gambling groups.
 
Chart of the Day  
Source: 2023 Annual European Venture Report
 
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