AGC’s Tech Private Equity Annual Report

The global tech ecosystem has escalated to a feverish pitch since briefly getting crushed by COVID in the spring of 2020. Tech company formation, revenue and hiring growth, and the viral spread of technology to every aspect of our lives has propelled the sector to be the #1 industry, representing $6.9T in GDP, ahead of manufacturing, finance, healthcare, and everything else. Entrepreneurship, VCs, PEs, bankers, and public investors have stoked the flames of the raging tech industry’s growth with a flood of capital, manpower, and creativity.

 

While not all of the fruits of technology utilization are pleasant – e.g. 10 hours of screen time a day – there is so much of our lives that have been altered/improved in the way we work and live by the introduction of new technologies. 24% of the S&P 500 is represented by technology and the public software index has risen by 218% since April 2020, outperforming the S&P 500 by more than 2x. Annual technology M&A transaction value, which peaked around $600B pre-COVID, will cross over $1.3T this year. The tech IPO market will be up 7x in 2021 compared to its ten-year median. The SPAC market, which did not exist two years ago, will put up $480B in M&A value and over $100B in IPO proceeds in 2021. Public SaaS valuations, which have fluctuated between 5x and 10x revenues over the last 10 years are at roughly 16x.

 

In this post-COVID world, the sun has shined on technology, and tech PE funds have been making a ton of hay. By our last count, there are now over 300 tech PE funds with 3,700 portfolio companies and over $1.5T under management. Led by Vista, Hg, TA, Thoma, and Insight, tech PEs have done 1,200 of the 3,700 tech deals thus far in 2021. The latest tech funds to be announced are ginormous: Insight at $20B, Silver Lake at $20B, Thoma at $22B and Vista at $22B.

 

In our annual PE report, we have surveyed more than 50 of the top tech-focused PEs. With heavy participation from many of the top PEs, we gathered four years of stats on tech M&A activity, total assets under management, total number of majority-owned portfolio companies, and total number of platform deals. We hope you enjoy the report