PitchBook News - A look back on Europe's 2021

Plus: PE's mega-fund frenzy, VC on the rise in Southern Europe, our interactive mega-IPO datagraphic & more
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The Weekend Pitch
December 19, 2021
Presented by Deloitte
(Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty Images)
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," runs the opening line of Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities." It also provides a fitting description of the past 12 months in Europe.

As with the rest of the world, the pandemic rages on, but with a side-helping of other problems that have included an energy crisis, supply chain disruptions and a dangerous stand-off on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Here in the UK, where I'm based, we get the added bonus of dealing with the fallout of Brexit.

Despite all this, the private markets are going great guns, not just recovering from 2020's post-outbreak fallow period but also setting new records for fundraising and investments. Will it last in the new year?

I'm Andrew Woodman and this is 2021's final edition of The Weekend Pitch from PitchBook's London bureau. You can reach me at andrew.woodman@pitchbook.com or on Twitter @adwoodman. Let's get into it.
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A message from Deloitte
Health tech is set to revolutionize the 2020s
Health tech is on a tear. 2021 has seen close to 560 completed transactions accounting for $23.8 billion in deal value, just through the end of September. In the latest edition of Deloitte's Road to Next series, the thriving health tech ecosystem is explored in depth, especially considering its acceleration by the COVID-19 pandemic and its myriad ramifications. Highlights include:
  • Analysis of key datasets such as median financing metrics
  • A spotlight on the consumerization of healthcare
  • Insights from experienced health tech Deloitte professionals as to critical growth considerations, regulatory changes and more
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"Marc, Ben and Chris really took a chance on me and on crypto, and I'm ready to go out on my own."

—Katie Haun, crypto investor and former federal prosecutor, on her decision to leave Andreessen Horowitz to start a new firm.

Deal Flow

Private equity leaders stocked up with mega-funds in 2021, raising over $329 billion across 31 private vehicles of at least $5 billion.

Did you know ...

(Olga_Gavrilova/Getty Images)
… That Southern Europe's VC ecosystem is on the rise? As investors scour new corners of the world for more opportunities, countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal and even Greece are drawing the attention of founders, GPs and LPs.

The bulk of the venture investment action has centered on Spain, which this year saw deals totaling a record of €2.2 billion (nearly $2.5 billion) through the end of Q3, according to PitchBook research. Read more about the booming region in our analyst note on VC in Southern Europe.


Mega-IPOs have been the face of the US market for newly public companies this year. And when it came to the 20 most valuable IPOs to hit Wall Street in 2021, those debuts translated into massive stakes for a few crossover investors.

Leading the pack is SoftBank, whose exits on paper are worth $37.63 billion for its stakes in massive new stocks like Didi Global, Coupang and Full Truck Alliance.

Other big winners with mega-IPO stakes include Sequoia and Tiger Global (each with over $11 billion), NEA ($9.3 billion) and Index Ventures (roughly $8 billion).

Our interactive datagraphic has more

Recommended reads

As more companies make remote work permanent, developers are being forced to convert old office buildings into warehouses, apartments and other uses. [The Wall Street Journal]

Millions of bits of discarded debris are currently orbiting Earth. How one self-proclaimed "space environmentalist" and professor at the University of Texas is hoping to clean up the cosmos. [Texas Monthly]

Africa's digital transformation is underway, creating opportunities for change across all economic sectors in the country. One founder of a data analytics company argues that success lies in homegrown enterprise solutions. [Harvard Business Review]

How an EV startup and its charismatic CEO nearly cornered the market for electric delivery vans—until it all fell apart. [The Verge]

The story of a Harvard job offer no one at the school had ever heard of, and an online scam that targeted prominent women in India. [The New York Times]

From ecommerce expansion to a focus on opening stores in nontraditional locales, a look at why many luxury brands are increasingly planning to keep their pandemic playbooks. [Bloomberg]
This edition of The Weekend Pitch was written by Andrew Woodman, Alexander Davis and James Thorne. It was edited by Alexander Davis, Angela Sams and Sam Steele.

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