PE firms have been showing a growing interest in the venture capital world, finding ways to extend investments to VC-backed companies—especially those that are in the late stage and, more specifically, pre-IPO phase. A good example of such a firm is TPG, which operates a middle market and growth equity investment platform called TPG Growth. TPG's growth arm invests in a broad range of industries including consumer, retail, technology, Internet, healthcare, energy, transportation and more, utilizing a broad range of investment structures including leverage buyouts, growth equity and private investment in public equities. While TPG Growth's portfolio is filled with mostly middle market companies, it has really ramped up its involvement in venture capital deals over the last couple years, funding a number of big name VC-backed companies.
TPG Growth's most recent such investment was its participation in a $150 million financing round for cloud storage platform Box (full story below), a company backed by VC firms like NEA, U.S. Venture Partners, Meritech Capital Partners and Andreessen Horowitz and on the verge of an IPO. TPG also joined Google Ventures in August 2013 to pour $258 million into transportation service Uber. Within the past year, TPG Growth also took part in a $100 million Series B venture round for Evolent Health and led a $125 million Series C financing for Domo. TPG Growth's most massive VC deal, however, came this past April, when it invested $75 million in Airbnb as part of the company's $450 million financing that valued it at around $10 billion.