Against a backdrop of elevated dry powder figures and healthy fundraising for both private equity and venture capital, the sheer mass of distributions to limited partners that have prompted recommitments must be noted. No less than $416 billion was sent back to LPs by PE managers in 2015, while their venture counterparts tallied up $65.1 billion—both highs for the decade.
But what does the most recent data show? PitchBook's latest Global PE & VC Benchmarking Report, sponsored by Donnelley Financial Solutions, reveals that venture net cash flows have turned negative for the first time since 2013, while PE GPs have still distributed at a robust rate. Now, the question for firms on both sides is how best to contend with the current cooling of the exit environment in order to realize value in the oldest post-crisis vintages.