Motive Partners seeks to triple firepower with second fund – exclusive

The fintech-focused firm, which counts fundraising veteran Bob Brown as a partner, has returned to market and is eyeing a first close this month.

Motive Partners, a fintech-focused private equity firm that counts fundraising veteran Bob Brown as a founding partner, has returned with its sophomore fund and is seeking as much as triple the size of its predecessor vehicle.

Bob Brown
Brown: Helped raise Motive Fund I

The New York-headquartered firm is seeking between $1 billion and $1.5 billion for Motive Capital Fund II, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The firm began speaking to investors about the fund in March and expects to hold a first close this month on around one third of the target, one of the sources said.

A spokesman for Motive declined to comment on the fundraise.

Motive’s debut fund, which raised $488 million upon final close, is already fully invested, according to the sources. Fund I has invested in seven companies including wealth and asset management software provider Tegra118 and business data and analytical insights provider Dun & Bradstreet.

Brown, who founded placement agent BearTooth Advisors before it was acquired by Houlihan Lokey in 2018, joined Motive as founding partner and executive committee member after helping raise its debut fund, Private Equity International reported in November. He focuses on capital raising, investor relations, business development and marketing & communications, among other duties.

The firm counts Allied Irish Banks and New York State Common Retirement Fund among its LP base, according to PEI data.

LP sentiment towards their private equity fund commitments given the covid-19 crisis has improved since global lockdowns began. According to a survey by PEI in May, 13 percent of investors plan to reduce their number of fund commitments this year, down from 21 percent when asked in March.

Motive, which has an office in London in addition to its US headquarters, typically makes control and minority investments in established businesses and installs its own members on the portfolio company’s management team.