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Coatue Cuts Deal Count 82% From 2021’s Highs

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Coatue — one of the highest-flying investors back in the record-shattering venture days of 2021 — came back down to earth last year, curtailing the number of deals it did by 82% from just two years ago.

In 2023, the crossover investor giant took part in only 29 completed and announced venture deals — per Crunchbase data — a steep decline from the 168 deals it took part in in 2021 and a 57% drop from the 70 deals in 2022.

As deal-number dropped, so did the total value of all deals Coatue was participating in. The 168 deals Coatue took part in came to nearly $43 billion. (That was the total dollar amount of all the deals, not what Coatue invested. Individual investments in rounds are not typically revealed.)

Last year, the total dollar amount for the 29 deals the firm participated in came to only $4.1 billion, per Crunchbase.

In the headlines

Coatue, whose more noteworthy investments include Lyft, Reddit and Box among others, has made recent headlines for closing its London office earlier this month — the firm still plans to invest in European startups — as well as news that Michael Gilroy, a general partner at the firm who co-led its growth team and focused on fintech companies, is leaving.

However, it also has been reported the firm has raised about $3 billion for a structured equity fund — which allows private companies to raise money through structured financings and avoid down rounds.

Such financings would not be new to Coatue. Back in 2022, it was reported Komodo Health raised a “structured equity infusion” of $200 million led by the firm. Coatue also conducted a $150 million debt financing for Navan — then called TripActions — that same year.

Just last August, Coatue also took part in a $2.3 billion debt financing for AI cloud infrastructure startup CoreWeave. That round actually represented the largest round involving VC-backed companies Coatue took part in last year.

However, the firm also participated in two $300 million funding rounds — for both Ramp and Our Next Energy — as well as a $290 million funding for Sierra Space. Coatue did not lead any of those rounds.

Different time

Of course, Coatue is not alone in its pullback in investing. Other large crossover investors that made a huge splash in the venture market like Tiger Global and Dragoneer also have severely reduced their investment cadence.

As venture started to explode in 2020, many large firms with deep pockets looked at the startup sector as a viable investment that could produce home-run returns. As money turned more expensive after the end of 2021 and startup valuations started to fall, many firms were left with significant markdowns.

So far 2024 does not seem like it will be a big rebound year. For example, Coatue has been part of only one announced round this calendar year — a venture round for Montreal-based software startup Valsoft.

However, things can change fast in venture — just look at how quickly the market turned after 2021.

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