Despite Increased Competition, VC Fund Managers Confident in Future Opportunities

Preqin study finds main concerns are the exit environment, fundraising, and performance.

Despite increasing competition, most Venture Capital (VC) fund managers don’t feel pressure in sourcing attractive investment opportunities in 2017, according to a survey by Preqin.

According to Preqin, 49% of the 56 VC fund managers surveyed in June reported increased levels of competition for transactions, while 47% reported no change. Only 4% reported a decrease in competition. Simultaneously, 32% of fund managers reported pricing for portfolio companies is higher than 12 months ago. Only 13% reported that pricing had gone down.

Compared to one year ago, 54% of fund managers are reviewing more investment opportunities. Of those surveyed, just 11% are reviewing fewer opportunities. Preqin speculated that the hunt for more opportunities is being done in response to the above.

Preqin also reported positive outlook for competitive deal-making, as 35% of fund managers viewed pricing for portfolio companies as a “major challenge facing the industry” in the next year.

Of these fund managers, 65% expect to deploy more capital in the next year—including 44% that expect to deploy significantly more.

Oddly enough, very little has changed in terms of difficulty. The survey reports that 70% of fund managers see no change in difficulty finding attractive investing opportunities. In fact, 15% have equally found it more difficult or easier.

The main issue for fund managers in the coming year turned out to be the exit environment —with 52% of those surveyed citing concerns. Fundraising and performance were also highlighted issues at 37% and 35%, respectively.

“In keeping with trends we are seeing across the private capital industry, it is clear that strong fundraising is putting pressure on deal-making in the venture capital market. Large influxes of capital are causing dry powder to soar, and asset pricing is rising as a consequence, forcing fund managers to find increasingly innovative ways to source attractive deal opportunities,” said Preqin’s Felice Egidio, Head of Venture Capital Products, in a statement. “However, this does not seem to be the largest concern of fund managers. Although a significant proportion reported that it was harder to find attractive deals, an equal number felt it was easier. Venture capital has long been a fragmented industry, with many firms specializing in specific areas that may be less vulnerable to competition. This may explain why, although the effects of high levels of available capital are a key challenge for fund managers, they are more concerned with being able to exit their investments in favorable circumstances.”

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