PitchBook News - Founders edge into VC LP bases

Valuation growth stalls for late stage; meet 2024's first unicorns; VC boosts industrial carbon-tech specialists
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The Daily Pitch: VC
February 13, 2024
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Founders, family offices step up to fill VC fundraising gap
(Richard Levine/Getty Images)
When London-based Episode 1 Ventures closed its latest fund on £76 million (about $96 million), there was something different about its LP base: Founders make up more than a third of the backers.

As VC firms mature, high-net-worth individuals and single-family offices tend to play second fiddle to institutional LPs that can write bigger checks. But as institutional LPs have retreated from venture, GPs are increasingly tapping into that network of high-net-worth investors, who are eager to access premier funds.
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Valuation growth stalls for late-stage startups
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Late-stage startups accrued value at a slower rate in 2023 than any year since 2016, as VCs hit the reset button on valuations and pulled back from new late-stage deals.

Late-stage startup valuations grew by a median of only $6.6 million between rounds, down more than 61% year-over-year.
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Meet 2024's first unicorns
After one of the slowest years on record for unicorn creation, with only 107 minted, the sluggish pace for startups crossing the billion-dollar threshold continues into 2024. According to our global unicorn tracker, only 10 companies became unicorns in January.

Among the year's first billion-dollar startups, 60% were information technology specialists, including quantum computing applications developer Quantinuum and TravelPerk, which provides a business travel management platform. This continues the trend seen in 2023, when IT companies made up nearly 47% of all new unicorns.
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Is a rebound beginning for secondaries funds?
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In Q2 2023, secondaries funds logged their worst quarterly performance since the beginning of 2021, amid a plunge in asset valuations and an impasse in fund distributions.

But market players expect the valuation stabilization seen in 2023 will reinvigorate overall deal flow and fund performance, suggesting a rebound in secondaries could be afoot.
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Industrial carbon-tech specialists capture VC boost
Startups focusing on carbon and emissions tech didn't see the dealmaking frenzy in Q4 that they did in the previous quarter—when VC funding topped $8 billion. But the sector still captured more than $2 billion in Q4, according to our recent Emerging Tech Research.

The industrial segment, which includes low-carbon manufacturing, recycling and mining, has been particularly hot in the past 12 months, bringing in $8.5 billion.
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Blended-wing aircraft designs could fuel change
The aviation industry has a carbon emissions problem, but the solution may not be that far off. Our recent analyst note dives into blended-wing aircraft. This more fuel-efficient design has been around for decades, but it's now finding support among startups looking to disrupt the aerospace sector.
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Since yesterday, the PitchBook Platform added:
VC valuations
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KTR Industrial Fund III
LaSalle Asia Opportunity Fund IV
Cabot Industrial Value Fund IV
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Trilantic Europe has brought on Eugenio Preve and Yasir Piracha as partners to lead its Italian and German teams, respectively. Preve joins from Cinven, where he headed the firm's Milan office. Piracha was head of healthcare at Quadriga Capital in Germany.
VC Deals  
Crowdsourced cybersecurity startup Bugcrowd secured $102 million in growth funding led by General Catalyst.

Alys Pharmaceuticals launched with $100 million in backing from Medicxi. The company is developing dermatological treatments and was formed from the merger of six Medicxi-owned companies.

LeoLabs raised a $29 million extension round led by GP Bullhound to fund its platform for tracking objects in low Earth orbit.

LionVolt, based in The Netherlands, secured €15 million from undisclosed investors to develop solid-state batteries.

Quantum computing startup Diraq raised a $15 million Series A2 led by Quantonation.

Ilara Health has raised $4.2 million, comprising debt and $2.5 million in pre-Series A funding led by DOB Equity. The Kenyan healthtech startup allows clinics to access diagnostic devices and pharmaceutical products.

Amazec Photonics, a Netherlands-based startup that makes cardiovascular monitoring tools, has raised €1.5 million in a seed round led by PhotonDelta.
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PE Deals  
L Catterton joined the Della Valle family, which founded luxury brand Tod's, in a bid to take the Italian shoemaker private, Reuters reported. L Catterton offered to buy 36% of the company at a 17.6% premium to last week's closing price.

Ambienta bought a majority stake in Officine Maccaferri, an Italian provider of low-emission solutions for the civil engineering and environmental construction sectors.

Martin Marietta Materials agreed to pay $2.05 billion in cash to buy a portfolio of construction aggregates operations in the US Southeast from Blue Water Industries, which is backed by PE firm Blue Water Advisors.

Bain Capital Insurance agreed to buy a majority stake in claims management business Ryze Claim Solutions Partners.

Velocys, a British maker of sustainable jet fuel, raised $40 million from a group of investors that agreed to take it private late last year, including Carbon Direct Capital, Lightrock, GenZero and Kibo Investments.
Portfolio Companies  
Productivity software maker Notion has acquired Skiff, a much smaller rival that focuses on privacy. Skiff previously raised more than $14 million across two rounds led by Sequoia.
Exits & IPOs  
Advent International has approached Rothschild to advise on a potential sale of parcel delivery company Evri, The Sunday Times reported. A sale could value the business at £2 billion, including debt.

MDB Capital Holdings-backed biomanufacturing company Invizyne Technologies filed to go public on the Nasdaq. It will seek to raise $17.2 million in the offering.

EQT intends to sell Idealista, a Spanish real estate website, in a deal that could value the company at €2.5 billion, Reuters reported. EQT bought Idealista for €1.3 billion in 2020.
Epiris held a £1.04 billion final close of Epiris Fund III, exceeding its £850 million target. The new vehicle is 27% larger than its predecessor.

Ares Management raised A$2.6 billion (about $1.7 billion) for its first credit fund focused on Australia and New Zealand.

Abu Dhabi-based Advanced Technology Research Council allocated $200 million to an initiative it will use to fund tech innovation in developing nations.

Homebrew Ventures is targeting $50 million for its fifth fund, according to an SEC filing.
Chart of the Day  
"In line with the broader asset class, 2023 was a historically poor year for PE healthcare services exits. We recorded 39 exits total, 22.0% below the next-lowest year on record, 2019. The decline was primarily driven by the dearth of sponsor-to-sponsor exits; we recorded only 18 of these for the year, almost half the pace set in the next-slowest year on record, 2020."

Source: Q4 2023 Healthcare Services Report
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