Side Letter: Partners Group’s fundraising forecast; H&F’s $24bn haul; VC feeding frenzy

Partners Group's fundraising forecast is brighter than initially expected. Plus: Hellman & Friedman has raised this year's largest fund (so far) and VC activity is exploding. Here's today's brief, for our valued subscribers only.

They said it

“It’s a dog fight”

Partners Group chief David Layton describes intense competition for deals this year during the firm’s H1 update on 15 July

Just happened

Partners Group’s brighter outlook
Partners Group has upped its fundraising expectations for 2021. The firm now expects $19 billion-$22 billion of investor commitments this year, up from the $16 billion-$20 billion stated in January, per its half-year update on Thursday. This time last year, the firm was downgrading expected gross client demand by $3 billion due to the pandemic. Here are some takeaways from its latest results:

  • The firm collected $12.1 billion of commitments in H1, up from $8.3 billion for the same period last year. Inflows were driven in part by pent-up demand from investors.
  • PE represented 58 percent of total inflows. The firm’s fourth buyout fund is approaching a final close in H2.
  • Partners Group deployed $13.1 billion across private markets in H1, more than triple its investments during the first half of last year.
  • About $8 billion was deployed in direct transactions, and the remainder went into portfolio assets such as secondaries, primaries and syndicated loans.

The year’s largest fund?
ICYMI: Hellman & Friedman has raised the largest fund (thus far) this year, amassing $24.4 billion for its 10th flagship vehicle. The process began in January and the firm held an institutional close on the fund’s $22 billion hard-cap in May. Hellman & Friedman committed $1.8 billion, and $600 million came from friends and family. More details in our story here.

Whether Fund X marks this year’s largest vehicle remains to be seen. Carlyle Group is said to be seeking $22 billion for its eighth flagship buyout fund.

GA’s climate fund
General Atlantic is seeking $4 billion to invest in companies scaling climate change solutions, our colleagues at New Private Markets reported on Friday (registration required). Here’s what you need to know:

  • The new platform, called BeyondNetZero, will pursue growth equity investments in companies building technologies that curb carbon emissions.
  • The firm has tapped former BP chief executive John Browne to lead the venture as chairman.
  • General Atlantic plans to commit up to $1 billion, or one-quarter of the fundraise.

They did the math

Lots ventured, lots gained?
So far, 2021 is shaping up to be US venture capital’s best year on record by almost every conceivable metric, according to PitchBook’s Q2 2021 Venture Monitor. Late-stage activity through the first half of the year ($108.8 billion) has almost reached the full year 2020 total ($109.8 billion). Mega-deals of $100 million-plus also reached a record high total of $85 billion, thereby signalling the largest concentration of capital ever recorded in VC.

Dig deeper

LP meetings. It’s Monday, so here are some LP meetings to watch out for this week.

19 July

21 July

23 July

Today’s letter was prepared by Alex Lynn with Carmela Mendoza