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PE's recovery—and beyond; Norwest raises biggest fund yet; Airtable hits $11B valuation; Mightier snags $17M to teach kids coping skills
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The Daily Pitch: VC
December 14, 2021
Like our newsletter? The data comes from the PitchBook Platform — our data software for VC, PE and M&A
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In today's Daily Pitch, you'll find:
  • Our new fundraising guide for emerging managers provides a framework to help GPs prepare for a successful fundraise.

  • Our Quantitative Perspectives report features nearly 50 pages of data and charts detailing US PE's recovery—and beyond.
Today's Top Stories
A fundraising guide for emerging managers
(VectorMine/Getty Images)
Every year, more than $1 trillion is committed to private market funds worldwide. Yet fund managers, particularly those raising funds I, II, or III, often say their biggest frustration is how difficult it is to raise a vehicle.

Why the disconnect? As the fundraising environment trends toward fewer, larger vehicles, emerging managers find it increasingly difficult to attract capital.

Our latest analyst note, written by a former LP, takes the tried-and-true business framework of the five Ps and dials it up a notch to look at six facets of LP diligence that can help prepare GPs for a successful fundraise.
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Norwest raises biggest fund yet as industry mega-fund pool nears $100B
(Image courtesy of Norwest Venture Partners)
Norwest Venture Partners has raised a $3 billion vehicle, the largest in the firm's history. The fundraise brings capital raised in 2021 for global VC mega-funds to nearly $100 billion, PitchBook data shows.
  • Norwest's strategy remains essentially unchanged from its previous funds, but the Palo Alto-based firm expects to launch dealmaking in crypto and biotech.

  • Norwest partner Lisa Wu said the primary reason for raising a fund that is 50% larger than its previous vehicle is to stay competitive in a dealmaking environment where round sizes and valuations have climbed to unprecedented levels.
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A message from Lincoln International
Will 2022 PE activity be as robust as 2021?
As we look ahead to 2022, the question at the top of GPs' and LPs' minds remains: Will the upsurge of M&A activity seen in 2021 continue?

According to a recent Lincoln survey of nearly 400 private equity investors, 62% anticipate deal activity will be up slightly or remain flat next year. Given this expectation, competition for assets will be at an all-time high, and concerns of overpaying just to deploy capital emerge.

As players plan their investment strategies for 2022 and look to maximize returns in a highly competitive environment, Lincoln has identified several factors GPs and LPs should note. From inflation worries to a rise in GP-led secondary transactions, Lincoln is tracking trends impacting the white-hot performance in private markets.

Read our perspective.
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US PE moves beyond recovery and into the unknown
As the two-year anniversary of COVID-19's emergence looms, the world is adjusting to a new normal. For financial assets and economies, that means a dramatic pace of activity—firmly establishing the markets' move beyond the recovery stage.

Lately, US private equity has experienced its fastest pace of deal and exit activity in at least two decades, according to our recent Quantitative Perspectives report, which features nearly 50 pages of data and charts. Among the takeaways:
  • Strong activity within tech and business products & services has driven the majority of the surge in PE deal value.

  • Aggregate exit value has spiked in 2021, driven by the increasing valuations across all exit types—but especially public listings.

  • The 10 largest funds accounted for almost one-third of all capital raised in 2021, as larger funds continue to dominate the market.

  • Institutional investors' long-term expectations point to a challenging period ahead, as the strong recent returns have likely come at the expense of future returns.
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Recommended Reads
Why corner stores are the new darlings of the global tech industry. [The Atlantic]

To get ahead in a crowded market, smaller crypto funds are specializing the services they can offer to entrepreneurs. [The Wall Street Journal]

How "journey" became one of the most prolific corporate buzzwords in recent memory. [Bloomberg]
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Quick Takes
  The Daily Benchmark  
  2009 Vintage Global Debt Funds  
  A message from Masterworks  
  Is bitcoin too big to fail?  
  VC Deals  
  Airtable collects $735M at $11B valuation  
  Insurtech startup banks $180M+  
  SnapLogic becomes unicorn with $165M round  
  Kayne Partners leads $50M round for KlearNow  
  Indonesian insurance startup extends Series B by $25M  
  Mightier snags $17M to help kids struggling with emotional health  
  Exits & IPOs  
  China's SenseTime postpones Hong Kong IPO  
  Fundraising  
  Closed Loop Partners closes on $50M+ for Fund II  
  Script Capital scores $38M for pre-seed fund, announces rebrand  
 
 
The Daily Benchmark
2009 Vintage Global Debt Funds
Median IRR
10.21%
Top Quartile IRR 
14.60%
1.44x
Median TVPI
Select top performers
VSS Structured Capital II
Fortress Investment Fund III PIK Notes
MatlinPatterson II Preferred Partners
*IRR: net of fees
28 Funds in Benchmark »
Check out the latest version of PitchBook Benchmarks
A message from Masterworks
Is bitcoin too big to fail?
On Dec. 4, $2.5 billion of cryptocurrency was liquidated. Bitcoin fell 17%. Nearly one-third of Americans who invested in bitcoin lost money.

But what about long-term growth? Goldman Sachs says that bitcoin is not a long-term store of value or an investable asset class for diversified portfolios. That's because bitcoin hit 65% volatility in 2020 alone.

If you're looking for less volatility and great long-term potential growth, consider this alternative asset most overlook, Blue-Chip Art.

Blue-Chip Art prices have outpaced the S&P from 1995 to 2020 while sharing little to no correlation, according to a report from Citi.

With Masterworks, you can invest in works by Banksy, Picasso and Warhol without spending tens of millions of dollars.

The best part? PitchBook subscribers skip the waitlist.*

*See important disclosures
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VC Deals
Airtable collects $735M at $11B valuation
Airtable has secured $735 million in new financing, giving the provider of a connected apps platform a pre-money valuation of $11 billion. The Series F was backed by lead investor XN, with support from Franklin Templeton, JP Morgan, MSD Capital, Greenoaks, Iconiq Capital, Thrive Capital and others. Airtable's platform enables companies to build workflows that modernize their business processes across marketing, HR, product and more.
Additional Investors:
Salesforce Ventures, Silver Lake, T. Rowe Price, Benchmark, Caffeinated Capital, Coatue, D1 Capital Partners
View round
 
View 70 competitors »
 
Insurtech startup banks $180M+
HealthCare.com, the creator of an insurtech platform, has raised $130 million in senior non-convertible preferred equity and over $50 million in Series C preferred equity led by Oaktree Capital Management. Existing backers Axis Capital, Second Alpha and Link Ventures also participated, alongside the company's founders. Based in New York and Miami, the startup's platform helps connect users to healthcare products, including HealthCare.com's own direct-to-consumer insurance and pharmacy plans.
View round
View 12 competitors »
SnapLogic becomes unicorn with $165M round
SnapLogic, a provider of enterprise automation services, has raised a $165 million round at a $1 billion valuation. The funding was led by Sixth Street. The San Mateo, Calif.-based startup provides AI-backed data and application integration to companies like Adobe, Aramark and Siemens. SnapLogic was valued at $308 million in 2019, according to PitchBook data.
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View 107 competitors »
 
Kayne Partners leads $50M round for KlearNow
Logistics startup KlearNow has raised $50 million in a Series B led by Kayne Partners Fund, with support from backers including GreatPoint Ventures, Argean Capital, Autotech Ventures and Activate Capital. Founded in 2018, KlearNow provides real-time cargo visibility solutions used in customs clearance and drayage processes. The company raised a $16 million Series A led by GreatPoint Ventures in January 2020.
View round
 
View 19 competitors »
 
Indonesian insurance startup extends Series B by $25M
Fuse has reportedly raised $25 million in a Series B extension led by an undisclosed investor, with participation from East Ventures, GGV Capital, eWTP and Emtek. Based in Jakarta and operating across 15 branches in four countries, Fuse provides a platform that connects companies' insurance products with multiple distribution channels and partners. The company plans to use the new financing to expand to Thailand, Vietnam and other countries, TechCrunch reported.
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View similar company »
 
Mightier snags $17M to help kids struggling with emotional health
Mightier, the developer of a video game system that helps children learn coping skills, has revealed $17 million in Series B funding led by DigiTx Partners. Sony Innovation Fund and PBJ Capital also participated. Based in Boston and launched in 2018, Mightier is geared toward children who struggle with anxiety, tantrums and anger, as well as clinical diagnoses like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism.
View round
 
View 2 competitors »
 
Exits & IPOs
China's SenseTime postpones Hong Kong IPO
VC-backed Chinese AI specialist SenseTime Group plans to move forward with its Hong Kong IPO after postponing the listing to update its prospectus following new US sanctions placed on the company, Bloomberg reported. SenseTime also stated it will issue refunds to retail investors as it publishes an updated listing timetable and other information.
View details
 
View 18 competitors »
 
Fundraising
Closed Loop Partners closes on $50M+ for Fund II
The VC arm of Closed Loop Partners has wrapped up its second fund, exceeding a $50 million target. Building on the strategy of the venture group's first vehicle, Fund II will be used to scale breakthrough circular economy solutions across plastics and packaging, fashion, food and agriculture, and supply chain tech. Based in New York, Closed Loop Partners launched its VC unit in 2017.
View fund
 
View 34 investments »
 
Script Capital scores $38M for pre-seed fund, announces rebrand
122West Ventures has announced its official rebranding to Script Capital. The pre-seed venture capital firm has also raised a $38 million fund, which follows an $8 million inaugural vehicle that closed in 2017. The new capital will be used to partner with founders who are building Web3, data, collaboration, community and identity products. San Francisco-based Script has also introduced its Community Data project, an open-data platform for founders.
View details
 
View 63 investments »
 
Chart of the Day
"DACH information technology (IT) PE deal volume continued at an unrelenting pace in 2021, increasing 2.7x in the last decade. Through Q3 2021, 155 IT deals closed, thus putting the region on pace to easily hit a new annual deal volume peak by a considerable margin. To put this standout year into context, 2020 set the current high, at 157 deals closed."

Source: PitchBook's 2021 DACH Private Capital Breakdown
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