GrowthCap is pleased to announce the Top 25 Growth Equity Firms of 2021. This year’s awardees represent some of the most impressive growth investment firms around the globe. We received hundreds of nominations that provided detailed feedback on firm strengths including sector expertise, strategic acumen, operational capabilities and firm culture, among other key attributes. Awardees were selected based on a thorough evaluation of nominations submitted in addition to further research and peer commentary.
We focused keenly on the unique attributes of each firm that enable it to consistently identify great investment opportunities, create value for portfolio companies and optimize outcomes for all stakeholders involved. We also paid close attention to a firm’s commitment to ESG and progress towards enacting effective policies and procedures. The best firms were cultivated over many years through sustained focus and a steadfast commitment to building exceptional firm culture.
Please join us in recognizing the Top 25 Growth Equity Firms of 2021.
Founded in 1968, TA Associates is one of the leading global growth private equity firms. Over more than 50 years, TA has raised $47.5 billion in capital and invested in hundreds of profitable, growing companies across its five target industries – Technology, Healthcare, Financial Services, Consumer and Business Services. As an active investor, TA partners with the owners and management teams of portfolio companies to help drive growth and build lasting value, leveraging the firm’s diverse experience, broad network of global resources and value-add capabilities.
With offices in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong, TA benefits from an international team of more than 100 investment professionals committed to identifying and investing in companies worldwide with high-quality business models and opportunities for sustainable growth. TA’s dedicated Strategic Resource Group and Capital Markets Group provide further growth-oriented support to portfolio companies, both organic and acquisitive, including targeted strategic consulting and assistance structuring and financing transactions. Across the firm and its portfolio companies, TA fosters a culture of meritocracy and entrepreneurial hustle, with a focus on transparent communication, intellectual honesty and personal responsibility.
Summit Partners is a global alternative investment firm that is currently managing more than $42 billion in capital dedicated to growth equity, fixed income and public equity opportunities. Since the firm’s founding in 1984, the Summit team has invested in more than 550 companies across growth sectors of the economy, including technology, healthcare, e-commerce, consumer, financial services and other industries. These companies have completed more than 175 public offerings, and more than 200 have been acquired through strategic mergers and sales.
Summit’s deep experience, long-standing focus on growth investing, and commitment to innovation helps the team bring a growth-focused perspective to the companies and teams with which the firm partners. As active board members and through dedicated, purpose-built value enhancement teams, Summit offers on-demand, strategic support to portfolio company leaders focused on areas critical to accelerating and promoting long-term growth, including revenue optimization, growth marketing, human capital strategy and talent acquisition, capital markets expertise, and technology and data science. Summit maintains offices in North America and Europe and invests in companies around the world.
TPG Growth has a 15-year track record of success in meeting the unique needs of earlier-stage companies, from traditional minority growth investments to growth buyouts and specialty capital. Having launched TPG Growth in 2007, TPG has had the opportunity to partner with some of the most innovative entrepreneurs, founders, and management teams of the past decade and a half. The team brings an established perspective and differentiated blend of conviction, flexibility, and partnership to growth equity that allows them to invest behind unique opportunities early, particularly in markets that are at points of inflection, disruption, or significant change.
TPG Growth takes a thematic approach, identifying compelling business models and opportunities across Consumer, Healthcare, Business Services, Software and Enterprise Technology, and Internet, Digital Media, and Communications. Post-investment, TPG’s dedicated operations team delivers business-building capabilities (go-to-market optimization, human capital recruitment/management, supply chain/procurement, capital markets expertise, ESG, and other operational best practices), deep industry expertise, and creative problem-solving to help its companies grow and scale.
Today, TPG Growth manages $15.2 billion in assets. Select investments have included Airbnb, Beautycounter, C3, Calm, Fender, GoHealth Urgent Care, Greenhouse, Medical Solutions, MX, Nykaa, People 2.0, Pharmeasy, Precision Medicine, Solara, Spotify, Uber, and Zscaler. TPG Growth and its companies benefit from the intellectual capital, global network, and infrastructure of the broader TPG platform.
General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity investor focused on partnering with companies that are shaped by and driving digital innovation across its six core investing sectors: Climate Tech, Consumer, Financial Services, Healthcare, Life Sciences and Technology. The firm pioneered the growth equity asset class over 40 years ago and has partnered with over 445 growth companies to scale their visions with the support of its patient capital, operational expertise and global network. General Atlantic currently has over $86 billion in assets under management inclusive of all products as of September 30, 2021, with more than 215 investment professionals based in New York, Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, Palo Alto, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Stamford.
In 2021, General Atlantic reached several milestones – the firm closed its sixth flagship growth equity fund at $7.8 billion, bringing total committed capital to $23.8 billion; launched its climate venture, BeyondNetZero; formed the GA Global Growth Institute, which seeks to advance the conversation and thinking around key topics contributing to global growth; and supported 25 portfolio companies through their public debuts.
Blackstone Growth (BXG) is Blackstone’s dedicated growth equity investing platform. BXG has experienced growth investors backed by the scale, operating expertise, and global reach of the world’s largest alternative asset manager. BXG focuses on providing capital to companies seeking to manage the execution risks associated with high-growth environments.
Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative asset manager. The firm seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for its investors, the companies it invests in, and the communities in which it works. Blackstone does this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Blackstone’s $881 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, infrastructure, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis.
Insight Partners is a leading global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and ScaleUp software companies that are driving transformative change in their respective industries. Since its founding in 1995, Insight has closed more than 600 investments and supported more than 160 strategic exits, including more than 55 successful IPOs of Insight portfolio companies. Insight’s mission is to find and fund scalable companies and work with visionary executives and founders, providing them with the practical, hands-on software expertise that fosters long-term success.
What sets Insight apart from its peers is the firm’s ability to leverage data and pattern recognition, which enables Insight to provide strategic support and scale up exceptional companies at every stage of the growth cycle. Critical to this ability is Insight Onsite, the industry’s largest software-focused operations team, which is comprised of 100+ operators in the Insight ecosystem who work alongside Insight portfolio companies in the areas of talent, sales, marketing, product, engineering and strategy and help founders and executives identify and execute key strategic growth initiatives.
Also, within the Insight network is Insight IGNITE, the most powerful technology ecosystem for G2000 decision makers in growth, software and innovation. The Insight IGNITE team matches portfolio companies with corporations in need of enterprise-ready solutions to help drive their digital transformation. Across its people and its portfolio, Insight has developed a culture underscored by the belief that ScaleUp companies and growth create opportunity for all.
Thoma Bravo is one of the largest private equity firms in the world, with more than $91 billion in assets under management as of September 31, 2021. During the last 20 years, the firm has invested in more than 350 software and technology companies representing over $155 billion in value.
Thoma Bravo executes a focused and successful growth investment strategy, led by Robert (Tre) Sayle, through which the firm seeks to invest in hyper growth software and technology companies. Applying its operational and software expertise and partnership-driven approach, Thoma Bravo works closely with management teams to accelerate growth and drive innovation at the companies in which it invests. Thoma Bravo remains heavily focused on enterprise software growth investments, some of which include Illumio, ServiceTitan, Pendo, Paradox, P44, Personetics and others. The firm also invests in Web3 businesses, including FTX, Figment and Anchorage Digital, making Thoma Bravo one of the largest and most active equity investors in the space.
In 2021, Thoma Bravo also launched its first Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), which took ironSource – a leading business platform that enables mobile content creators to prosper within the App Economy – public at a $11.1 billion valuation. ironSource is a leader in a large and growing mobile application monetization market, and represents one of the rarest financial profiles growing over 60% organically with a mid-30’s EBITDA margin.
Silversmith Capital Partners is a Boston-based growth equity firm focused on partnering with, and supporting, the best entrepreneurs in growing technology and healthcare companies. Since its founding in 2015, the firm has raised three funds totaling $2.0 billion of capital under management. Silversmith typically invests between $20 million to $100 million in profitable, growth-oriented companies that have achieved scale in a capital efficient way and is flexible on deal structure. The firm has backed innovative SaaS & Information Services and Healthcare IT & Services companies including ActiveCampaign, DistroKid, impact.com, Iodine Software, LifeStance Health, and Webflow.
Great Hill Partners is a Boston-based private equity firm that invests in high-growth, disruptive companies beyond early stage across its five core sectors (Software, Digital Commerce, Financial Technology, Healthcare, and Digital Infrastructure). Over the past two decades, Great Hill has raised over $12 billion of commitments across eight funds and invested in more than 90 companies, establishing an extensive track record of building long-term partnerships with founders and entrepreneurs to help middle-market industry pioneers achieve their full potential. With an individualized approach to each of its investments, Great Hill is long-term focused, growth-oriented and a true partner to its portfolio companies’ management teams.
As part of its focus on value creation, Great Hill provides robust executive networks, deep domain expertise and strategic counsel to accelerate company growth and enhance strategic value. Great Hill’s team includes a dedicated group of Growth Partners who work hand-in-hand with its investment teams and portfolio companies to accelerate its businesses by optimizing efforts across go-to-market, customer acquisition, product expansion and strategic talent initiatives, as well as geographic expansion and sourcing strategic acquisitions.
KKR is a leading global investment firm managing approximately $471 billion in assets across growth equity, private equity, infrastructure, real estate, and credit. KKR’s growth equity strategies leverage the firm’s expertise and reach, offering differentiated capital and strategic solutions to growing companies in both the Technology and Health Care (HC) sectors.
KKR offers a unique combination of resources that directly help high-growth companies scale, including deep industry expertise and pattern recognition, an extensive global presence across 21 offices on four continents, a global network of 100+ portfolio companies and myriad executive relationships, and proprietary solutions such as: KKR Capstone, which helps portfolio companies optimize operational performance; KKR Capital Markets, which provides tailored capital markets advice and helps with equity / debt financing and capital structure improvement; the KKR Global Institute, which provides expertise and analysis on emerging developments and long-term trends in geopolitics and demographics; and KKR’s Global Macro and Asset Allocation team, which works alongside deal teams to assess macro influences at the company, sector, and market levels.
KKR has raised four dedicated growth equity funds and has made growth investments in approximately 50 companies, including Technology investments in DarkTrace, GetYourGuide, KnowBe4, OneStream, OutSystems, o9 Solutions, PolicyGenius, ReliaQuest, Slice, and Zwift, and HC investments in Ajax Health, Argenta, Blue Sprig Pediatrics, BridgeBio Pharma, Clarify Health Solutions, Gamma Biosciences, Headlands Research, Nordic Bioscience, and Sapphiros.
Sageview Capital LP (“Sageview”) is a private investment firm with over $2.0 billion in assets under management. The firm provides growth capital and operational support to leading software and tech-enabled companies. Sageview focuses on investing in and building great, long-lasting businesses. As active partners, the Sageview team leverages its decades of industry experience (having sat on over 70 corporate boards across industries and market cycles), extensive operational expertise, and deep connections throughout the Global 2000 and across the software and technology ecosystem to help companies scale to industry leaders.
Sageview approaches each investment with a lead investor mindset and actively looks to drive value within each company it backs. Whether operational initiatives, scaling sales & marketing, making customer introductions, recruiting top talent, aiding in M&A, or providing additional funding, Sageview works side-by-side with its management teams in every step of the growth process. As partners, the Sageview team helps develop the right growth plan for each company, understanding that every business is different, and there is no “one size fits all” blueprint for scaling.
Sageview runs a concentrated portfolio to ensure senior-level focus and involvement in each investment. Further, with over 20% of each fund’s committed capital coming from the Sageview team, the firm is genuinely aligned with the entrepreneurs it backs as well as its fund investors. With this significant G.P. commitment, every investment truly matters.
Bain Capital is on the frontier of technology investing across the globe. Since its founding in 1984, Bain has partnered with hundreds of entrepreneurs to build and grow exceptional companies with technological innovation at their core. Bain Capital is one of the only firms in the world with a seed stage to scale technology platform. Bain Capital Ventures, Bain Capital Tech Opportunities and Bain Capital Private Equity back technology companies at every stage of the growth lifecycle from pre-revenue seed funding to growth investments to market-leader buyouts, and everything in between.
With approximately $155 billion in assets under management, Bain Capital provides access to a substantial global platform that works closely together to drive investing and operational outcomes and provide a gateway to international markets. The firm’s pioneering value-added approach to investing commits the resources and guidance to help businesses grow faster and smarter than the competition; and its experienced operating team supports technology companies as they scale in critical areas including talent, go-to-market, product strategy, and M&A. Bain Capital strives to partner with high-performing tech companies and brings extensive global capabilities that are uniquely well-suited to address their needs and ensure their success.
Founded in 2000 as one of the first technology-focused private equity firms, Accel-KKR has since invested in 300+ mid-market software and technology-enabled services businesses around the world. Today, Accel-KKR manages over $11 billion in capital commitments. The firm stands out amongst its peers for collaborative and supportive partnerships with management while delivering strong results and value creation.
Accel-KKR makes available the full range of the firm’s expertise, talent, network and resources to all its investments, and this is never more evident than in how it partners with portfolio companies that receive growth equity investments. The trust and momentum between Accel-KKR and growth capital companies have often led to accelerated growth, global expansions, transformative M&A and market leadership for the companies.
Accel-KKR focuses on middle-market companies and provides a broad range of capital solutions including buyout capital, minority growth investments and credit alternatives. Accel-KKR also invests across a wide range of transaction types including private company recapitalizations, divisional carve-outs and going-private transactions. Accel-KKR is headquartered in Menlo Park with additional offices in Atlanta, London and Mexico City.
Founded in 2000, Vista Equity Partners was a pioneer in the enterprise software space when few others understood the mission-criticality and massive productivity gains that made software such a durable asset. For over two decades, Vista has continued to deliver a differentiated and disciplined approach to investing in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses.
From convertible preferred equity offerings specifically for founders and late-stage growth capital to scale, to more traditional private equity buyouts, Vista offers compelling capital solutions and the partnership and expertise to help the founders and executives of today’s leading enterprise software businesses innovate, grow and thrive across private equity, permanent capital and credit offerings. Founders and CEOs who partner with Vista receive connectivity to and learnings from the entire Vista ecosystem, which spans more than 80 companies with more than 75,000 employees active in over 175 countries.
Companies also gain access to Vista’s Value Creation Team, which comprises more than 100 seasoned enterprise software experts who provide strategic counsel and hands on support to executives and their organizations across Talent, Product & Technology, Go-To-Market, Business Operations and Value Creation. Access to this collective counsel and resources gives company executives the support to unlock opportunity, scale their business and sustainably grow with confidence to deliver value to all stakeholders.
PSG was founded by Mark Hastings and Peter Wilde in 2014. The firm partners with middle-market software and technology-enabled services companies to help them navigate transformational growth, capitalize on strategic opportunities and build strong teams. Having backed more than 95 companies and facilitated over 375 add-on acquisitions, PSG brings extensive investment experience, deep expertise in software and technology and a firm commitment to collaborating with management teams. In 2021, PSG completed more than 30 platform investments and over 70 add-on acquisitions.
Founded in 1992, JMI Equity is a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies. JMI has partnered and collaborated with countless entrepreneurs, founder-owners, and management teams over the past 29 years. With over $6 billion of committed capital raised since inception, JMI has the collective experience to help growth businesses become industry leaders. JMI looks for opportunities where the firm can bring their company building experience to create shareholder value. Over the years, JMI has completed over 170 investments, over 110 exits, and 19 IPOs. JMI’s typical investments range from $20 million to $200 million. The firm has backed companies such as Arena, Applied Systems, automotiveMastermind, ButterflyMX, PointClickCare, Practice Ignition, Seismic, ServiceNow, and ServiceTrade.
Kayne Partners, the Los Angeles-based dedicated growth private equity group of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P., leverages its large firm resources to partner and invest in lower middle market, privately held, high growth, enterprise software and tech-enabled service businesses across North America. The team has developed a durable and repeatable investment strategy and process for applying its stage expertise through sourcing and investing in companies at an early inflection point, adding value and scaling through organic growth and M&A, and exiting these must-have assets to strategics & financial sponsors. The team has experience investing across media & telecommunications, supply chain & logistics, financial technology, healthcare IT, security & compliance, and business process outsourcing and automation.
Battery partners with exceptional founders and management teams developing category-defining businesses in markets including software and services, enterprise infrastructure, online marketplaces, healthcare IT and industrial technology. Founded in 1983, the firm backs companies at all stages, ranging from seed and early to growth and buyout, and invests globally from six strategic locations: Boston; San Francisco and Menlo Park, Calif.; Herzliya, Israel; London; and New York.
Battery is currently investing its 13th family of funds, capitalized at $2 billion, and has raised $9.3 billion since inception. The firm’s investment professionals pursue a thematic, research-focused style of investing, searching for the most promising companies regardless of stage or geography. The private equity team specifically leverages Battery’s more than three decades of experience identifying and building—in close partnership with management teams—promising technology companies both organically and through targeted acquisitions. The firm, which believes there is no one-size-fits-all approach to value creation, also leverages an in-house stable of functional experts in areas like talent, sales, business development and marketing/communications to help companies grow.
For over 20 years, NewSpring has partnered with the innovators, makers, and operators of high-performing companies in dynamic industries to catalyze new growth and seize compelling opportunities. The Firm manages over $2.5 billion across five distinct strategies covering the spectrum from growth equity and control buyouts to mezzanine debt. Having invested in over 190 companies, NewSpring brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and resources to take growing companies to the next level and beyond. This approach is the starting point for the way that NewSpring partners with its entrepreneurs. The NewSpring investment team brings significant CEO-level experience as former business owners and operators to help management teams find predictable paths to growth and develop their businesses into market leaders. NewSpring identifies opportunities and builds relationships using its network of industry leaders and influencers across a wide array of operational areas and industries providing new ideas, new opportunities, and new insight.
Guidepost Growth Equity (“Guidepost”) is a leading growth equity firm founded in 2007 and based in Boston, managing ~$1.6 billion of capital commitments. Guidepost partners with entrepreneurs across three market segments: Application Software and Data Services, Infrastructure Software and Services, and Technology-Enabled Services. Guidepost invests between $15-75 million of equity as a minority or majority investor and provides the flexible capital, operational resources, and strategic guidance necessary to support the continued growth of its companies. Guidepost has developed a Portfolio Resource Program which is focused on 6 critical areas for growth stage companies: Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR, Product Management & Technology Infrastructure, and Governance. Guidepost has developed best practices and an operating advisor network available to its investment partnerships in these focus areas.
Guidepost recognizes the principles of environmental, social, and corporate governance (“ESG”) through its investment strategy, operating philosophy, and its general business practices. Embracing ESG initiatives enhances our portfolio companies, industry, firm, employees, and investors. As a responsible employer, Guidepost creates a culture focused on developing a diverse pool of high-caliber employees and staff with a commitment to talent management to provide everyone at the firm an opportunity to perform to the best of their ability.
Frontier Growth is a Charlotte, North Carolina-based growth equity firm that deploys both investment capital and operational expertise to software companies with $5M to $30M in revenue. The firm was founded with a culture that puts People Before Numbers, because it’s people that lead to real growth. With over 20 years’ experience, over $1.5B in AUM, and actively investing its fifth fund, Frontier respects that each of their companies represents someone’s life’s work. It’s why the firm’s explicit focus is to help them grow without stifling the innovation that’s made them successful.
Norwest is a leading venture and growth equity investment firm managing more than $12.5 billion in capital. Since its inception, the firm has invested in more than 650 companies and currently partners with over 200 active companies in its venture and growth equity portfolio. Norwest invests in early to late stage companies across a wide range of sectors with a focus on consumer, enterprise, and healthcare. Norwest’s growth equity team has a long track record of working with the most innovative companies in the following key sectors: technology (cloud & IT infrastructure, Internet & consumer, SaaS), business services, financial services, consumer, and healthcare.
FTV Capital is a sector-focused growth equity firm that has raised nearly $4 billion to invest in innovative, high-growth companies in enterprise technology and services, financial services, and payments and transaction processing. FTV’s experienced team leverages its domain expertise and proven track record in each sector to help motivated management teams accelerate growth. FTV also provides companies with access to its Global Partner Network®, a group of the world’s leading enterprises and executives who have helped FTV portfolio companies for two decades. FTV closed its largest fund to-date, FTV VI, in 2020 at its hard cap of $1.2 billion.
Over the last 18 months, FTV’s exciting momentum has continued to accelerate with more than a dozen new investments in high-growth companies like: 6Degrees Health, Embroker, Lean Solutions Group, Luma Health, LoanPro, Paddle, PeopleCert, PlateIQ, Vortx and Vagaro. Recent successful exits and IPO activity include Enfusion, InvestCloud, Strata Fund Solutions, Sunlight Financial and VPay. Founded in 1998 with offices in San Francisco and New York, FTV Capital has invested in more than 125 portfolio companies.
Catalyst Investors is a growth equity firm based in New York. The firm’s mission is to earn superior returns by helping entrepreneurs build great companies. Catalyst employs a rigorous top-down research focus that seeks to identify investment opportunities in companies and industries that will exhibit strong revenue growth. Over the past 20 years, Catalyst has invested in companies across the SaaS, tech enabled services and internet infrastructure sectors, and has established a successful track record of partnering with entrepreneurs and helping companies scale. Recent investments and exits include Pax8, LinkSquares, Weave, ChowNow, Fusion, PresenceLearning, Clinicient and Envoy.
Founded in 2003, Mainsail Partners is a growth equity firm that invests exclusively in fast-growing, bootstrapped software companies. Since inception, the firm has raised over $1.3 billion and has invested in more than 50 growing companies. Mainsail prioritizes investments in B2B software companies, specifically focused on vertical SaaS, Healthcare IT, Financial Technology, Infrastructure and Security Software, and select Horizontal SaaS. With a focus on bootstrapped companies, Mainsail leverages experience and resources it believes are specifically relevant to helping founder-led software companies grow.
Mainsail has a dedicated team of operating professionals that is purpose-built to work alongside software company management teams to help scale operations and accelerate growth. The Operations Team is organized by functional area, focusing on talent, sales, marketing, product management, engineering, customer success, legal and financial management. The Operations Team works directly with portfolio companies to assist with various growth initiatives including, hiring for key management positions, deploying technology, implementing best practices, and conducting research and strategy projects. Mainsail has offices in Austin and San Francisco.
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Disclaimer: The data provided in this publication is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice, endorsement, nor recommendation. GrowthCap believes the information in this publication to be accurate but does not verify its accuracy independently and does not warrant or guarantee that it is accurate or complete. GrowthCap has no obligation to provide any updates or changes to the information. No investment decisions should be made using this information.
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