Tiger Global slows investment pace with downsized fund

Tiger Global is launching a private equity fund that will seek $6 billion in investments, less than half the amount raised for a previous fund, as the prominent tech investor slows its once breakneck pace.

The fundraising began on Thursday, according to a letter sent to the limited partners and presented to the Financial Times. Chase Coleman, Tiger’s billionaire founder, has been looking for investors willing to buy into the tech downturn that has hit his group’s portfolio.

Tiger’s previous $12.3 billion private equity fund closed in February. According to a person familiar with the situation, the $6 billion private fund is below early targets of about $8 billion.

People close to Tiger believe that the new fund’s smaller investment size will correspond to lower valuations after the market crisis this year.

The group has promised that it will invest less than half of the fund in its first year, a more moderate pace than the previous fund, which is already mostly invested. The size of Tiger’s typical investment has also been nearly halved to approximately $30 million.

The letter states that Tiger will try to take advantage of opportunities such as secondary sales of private technology companies whose values ​​have fallen in the financial market crisis.

The reduced fundraising and defensive approach comes as Tiger, with its $63 billion fortune, faces upheaval. Its flagship fund fell about 50 percent this year through July, according to documents sent to limited partners, while it devalued its more than $45 billion portfolio of private technology investments every month this year, it recently told investors .

The fund group has also experienced turnover among investment staff. On Monday, Tiger announced that former partner John Curtius, who led the company’s private equity investments in software and business services, would be leaving.

Curtius had been expected to stay on temporarily following the announcement to ensure an orderly handover of his portfolio to others within Tiger. “John will be working closely with other members of the investment team over the coming months to transition his responsibilities,” Tiger said Monday.

However, he has not been an employee since Thursday, said three people familiar with the situation. Curtius plans to start an investment firm called Cedar Investment Management, people familiar with the matter said.

Curtius has been one of Tiger’s most prolific investors, having led over 100 venture capital investments, including investments made as recently as Sept. 27, according to PitchBook data.

This week, Tiger Global asked questions at meetings with limited partners trying to get a better understanding of Curtius’ sudden departure, two people directly involved in the matter said.

Coleman and Scott Shleifer, heads of Tiger’s private investment business, decided this summer that Curtius would leave the company because of concerns about the autonomy he wanted in managing an ever-expanding portfolio, people close to Tiger said.

Internally and in discussions with limited partners, Tiger has described itself as a collaborative firm where investors overseeing public and private investments from the US to Brazil, India and China work closely together to identify investments.

People close to Curtius painted a different picture. In recent months, he’s been looking for an opportunity to start his own company to capitalize on a dramatic drop in valuations across the industry, they said.

Tiger Global and Curtius both declined to comment.

https://www.ft.com/content/cb46c2fa-d5c8-4543-bb35-bbf37fc369cc Tiger Global slows investment pace with downsized fund

Adam Bradshaw

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