John Curtius a senior partner at Tiger Global and a key figure in several of the company’s most significant investments over the past few years is leaving the company to create his own venture fund. He’s leaving to launch his own company that will focus on Series A through C investing. Sources claim that Curtius will remain with Tiger till the end of June.
Tiger Global also confirmed the news in its quarterly investor letter given out earlier today. “We are thankful for all his efforts to Tiger Global and have respected his work ethic and intellect,” it said. We plan on maintaining our friendship and working together whenever possible. In addition to assisting the investment team with the shift of responsibilities, Curtius will continue to work with a number of the portfolio firms in which he has a personal investment.
We hear that Curtius’s new company will put its money into business-to-business SaaS, mobile apps, data centers, and other forms of artificial intelligence and machine learning. We won’t be using crypto here.
How did you come to the choice to go? Having previously worked at Silver Lake and Elliott Management, Curtius apparently decided that now was a good moment to pursue his lifelong dream of starting his own firm.
— Tiger Global (@Tiger_Global) May 29, 2018
Despite the fact that the new firm has not yet begun raising capital, we have heard that Curtius may be tapping founders from his extensive network at Tiger, which includes companies such as Databricks and, more recently, CleverTap and Lattice, as well as UiPath, Snowflake, Asana, and many more (several have expressed interest already). Whether or not Tiger will contribute to the fund remains unclear.
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Massive drops in publicly traded tech stocks brought on by economic developments have trickled down to put pressure on privately supported enterprises, which have seen their values reduced and, in many cases, funding dried up during the past year. This has also put significant stress on major financial institutions. Big public tech investor Tiger appeared to be at a turning point in the middle of this year when its losses hit over $17 billion.
According to Tiger’s investor letter, “excessive inflation has persisted,” interest rates are still going up, and a recession is looking more and more imminent. Various gauges of investor mood are holding at historic lows last seen during the Great Recession.
Even while there may be fewer investors and a general decrease in values, there are still plenty of promising entrepreneurs looking to seek capital for their next round of funding.
The Information reports that in addition to Matt Mazzeo quitting Coatue to launch his own fund, Tiger is not the only major firm losing a significant partner. (As far as we can tell, there is no collusion between the two investors and the timing of their respective statements is merely coincidental.)
The current market climate has been dubbed a “financing winter,” and Tiger is feeling its effects just like everyone else. Public funds earned losses, public longs underperformed driven by China positions, and its private portfolio was down in the quarter, as noted in the company’s investor letter. We have made an effort to structure the portfolio in light of the fact that “this is still a hard market for our strategy.” A more appropriate name for this fresh flurry of activity may be “funding spring.”
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