Private equity has become a well-established path to liquidity for VC-backed startups, but a rebound in IPO activity and the rise of SPACs could mean more competition for deals. Notable examples include Platinum Equity-backed Cision’s $450 million purchase of Brandwatch from investors including Highland Europe and Nauta Capital, and Vista Equity Partners’ reported $1.1 billion deal for Gainsight, backed by Battery Ventures and Lightspeed.

SPACs have taken off in the US over the past year as an easier alternative to traditional listings. Some 232 blank check companies raised nearly $75 billion so far this year, according to data from SPACInsider. And investors in other countries, like the UK, are looking to follow suit.

The emergence of SPACs also represents an opportunity for PE firms wanting to capitalize on the boom. Apollo Global Management launched Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp. last year and went on to merge it with VC-backed electric vehicle maker Fisker. In January, Learn Capital-backed online learning startup Nerdy agreed to go public through a merger with TPG Pace Tech Opportunities.


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Source: Picthbook

By Leah Hodgson