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Tiger Global Bit Off A Lot Less In 2023

Illustration of a tiger-striped dollar sign in tall grass.

Tiger Global, quite possibly the poster child for the go-go venture days of 2020 and 2021, is on pace to slash its deal flow more than 90% from 2022, as the one-time growth-round leader significantly pulled back in the venture market.

Last year, Tiger took part in 288 deals, with those deals totaling a mind-blowing $23.2 billion, per Crunchbase data. (It is important to note that the total amount of deals is not Tiger’s stake but the total amount invested by all investors. Individual stakes by VC firms in a single round usually are not announced.)

With only weeks remaining in 2023, the firm has taken part in only 27 deals, totaling less than $2 billion. In fact, Tiger has only one announced deal thus far in Q4 for an undisclosed amount.

While the biggest round Tiger participated in this year was Databricks’ massive $500 million-plus Series I led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, the biggest round it led was a much smaller Series B worth approximately $61 million for Brazil-based fintech startup Nomad.

Last year, Tiger co-led a $768 million Series E for London-based on-demand delivery startup Getir.

Different time

However, 2022 was a very different time for Tiger, especially early in the year when it took part in more than 240 deals.

The second half of last year saw the venture market recoil, as interest rates rose, inflation crept in and the public markets became wobbly.

The result was a significant venture capital pullback — especially in late-stage growth rounds, where Tiger participated — valuation drops and massive recalibration through the tech startup ecosystem.

This year Tiger has seen some of the effects of those changes.

In February, The Wall Street Journal reported Tiger had yet again reduced the target size for its latest venture fund to $5 billion — down from a $6 billion target it set last fall and down even more from the $8 billion the firm had anticipated raising earlier.

Just last month Tiger Global told investors that venture head Scott Shleifer was stepping down from his role and transitioning to a senior adviser position.

After that announcement, Bloomberg reported investors in Tiger’s Private Investment Partners XV were facing an 18% paper loss at the end of September — after the firm cut valuations on some of its portfolio companies.

Per that report, Tiger marked down AI-powered workflow company Superhuman by 45% and search engine platform DuckDuckGo by 72%.

It also marked down a couple of its NFT-related companies — Bored Ape Yacht Club was down by 69% and NFT marketplace OpenSea by 94%.

WSJ previously reported Tiger cut valuations in its venture funds last year by about 33%, erasing $23 billion in value.

Earlier in the year, The Information reported several notable mark downs from the firm’s PIP fund, including its entire $38 million investment in the now bankrupt FTX and FTX.US, as well as other crypto and Web3 investments such as MoonPay, decentralized wireless network company Helium, and a significant writedown on its largest holding, ByteDance.

It seems clear some of those markdowns may have made even a tiger a little timid in this market.

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Illustration: Dom Guzman

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